The eight-day holiday of Sukkot – the “Feast of Tabernacles” – recalls the Israelites’ fragile dwellings during their 40 years of wandering in the desert after their exodus from slavery in Egypt.

Beginning at sundown on October 12, this “hut holiday” has many service and social justice themes: it is a joyous festival, which celebrates a healthy harvest and an appreciation for nature; it also encourages us to embrace shelter – even if it is just a hut – as both a blessing and a basic human right, and reminds us to be generous to those who are less fortunate.

Sukkot may only be eight days long, but we know these themes last year round. For some holiday inspiration, check out Repair the World’s Top 10 posts from 5771/2011 on homelessness, poverty and hunger, as well as sustainable agriculture and the environment — and share them at your sukkah tables!

POVERTY, HOMELESSNESS, HUNGER

  • Rock Out. Repair the World interviewed Andrew Cohen of Hot Molasses, a raucous rock band that plays benefits to raise money and awareness about social justice issues like affordable housing in Boston.
  • Three Faces of Service. Rabbinical student, Andrew Scheer, contributed a touching photo essay documenting his time helping Alabama families recover from this year’s tornadoes – particularly rebuilding their destroyed homes – as part of a 3-part series.
  • Baking with the Governor. We posted a great video showing the Challah for Hunger team at the University of Delaware baking with Governor Jack Markell.
  • Working It. Repair the World interviewed Steven Weinberg, co-founder of Will Work for Food, an organization run out of the University of Michigan that raises funds to combat global child hunger and malnutrition.
  • Fast and Famine. Our post for Tisha B’av highlighted several different organizations working to end hunger.

SUSTAINABLE AGRICULTURE & THE ENVIRONMENT

  • Farm in the City This post features the work (and a great video) of the new Jewish farm in Berkeley, Urban Adamah.
  • Slow Food. Repair the World interviewed Josh Viertel, the powerhouse Executive Director over at Slow Food.
  • Service in the Garden College student, Samuel Plotkin, contributed this beautiful essay about reaffirming his love for Judaism through food, agriculture and environmental thought.
  • Nature Park. This post features Repair the World grantee-partner Agahozo Shalom Youth Village‘s new 4.26 acre nature park in Rwanda.
  • Interfaith Sustainability Repair the World interviewed Eitan Press from the Interfaith Center for Sustainable Development in Israel.

Chag Sameach – Happy Holidays!