About - Purpose & History of this service
This year (2013), will be the 20th year of this service.
The worldwide list of Sukkahs began in 1994, as a list for Melbourne only. The idea of the list is to enable people who work on Chol-Hamoed to eat lunch in a Sukkah, which is close to their place of work. The Sukkahs on the list are primarily owned by Shules, Jewish day schools, Jewish communal organizations, and Jewish businesses. The list also includes some Sukkahs located in shopping centers, universities, and amusement parks. In areas where the Shule has no Sukkah, or the Shule is closed during working hours, members of that Shule have listed their home Sukkah. As all listings are confirmed annually prior to publication, the benefit of the list is that users of it can be almost certain that the Sukkah that they wish to use is indeed available prior to heading there. The list also includes details of numerous Sukkahs that would otherwise remain unknown to many users of the list.
The list was started, after it was realized that there are many Sukkahs in workplaces that nobody knows about. The person who suggested the compilation of the list, pointed out that a few friends of his had not been able to eat a proper lunch on Chol-Hamoed as they had no Sukkah at their workplace and did not know that he had a Sukkah nearby that he was willing to share.
In the first year there were only nine Sukkahs on the list as it was organized only a few days before Sukkos. However, in the subsequent years there were between 30 and 35 Sukkahs on the list. In 2002, the list was expanded to cover all of Australia. In 2003, the list was expanded to cover all places around the world. Last year (2012) there were 442 Sukkahs listed, located in 27 countries. The list has grown every year since its inception. Even though the listings are confirmed primarily via email, new listings have always exceeded unconfirmed and uncontactable previous listings. As the list is a new concept to many, it may be some years before a comprehensive worldwide list is achieved (as its growth is heavily dependent on new registrations being received from sharing organizations, businesses, and individuals throughout the world).
The main reason why no more Sukkahs are currently listed throughout the world, is that many people do not fully understand and appreciate the purpose and aim of this service. This is especially true with regards to people who live in areas where lots of Jews live and where there are lots of Sukkahs readily available to members of the public. These people fail to see the advantage that this service offers to people who plan to visit their location, and know little or nothing about their location. Over time, more and more people will realize what this service is about and register their Sukkahs with this service. Another reason, is that it takes an extremely long time to spread the word to everyone that this service exists.
In past years, the list has brought many people to the Sukkahs in the Central Business District of Melbourne. Both the owners of these Sukkahs and the visitors to them enjoyed having this list. In 2003 a webcam was added to one of the Melbourne Sukkahs, so that people could see how crowded it was before heading there to eat lunch.
The list is not exclusive to any particular section of the Jewish community. All Sukkahs are publicized regardless of the affiliation of their owners, and all Jews are welcome at any of these Sukkahs. The idea of this project is merely to promote achdus (Jewish unity), and to help other Yidden. There is no charge for this service.
In 2011, we produced a short video showing pictures of some of the Sukkahs around the world that have been listed in past years. We released an App which is compatible with iPhone, iPod touch, and iPad. An Android App was also released. The Apps make it much easier to find a Sukkah nearby, as they use GPS to determine your location. Facebook and Twitter pages were also created, to enable people to quickly find out about new developments as they happen. Links to all of these new features appear at the bottom of the homepage of the website.
The Links page of the website has over 400 carefully selected links, and is updated regularly throughout the year.
Please help to spread the word about this service, as Local Sukkah has no advertising budget and relies heavily on referrals to publicize the existence of this service. If you have Facebook, please “Like” our Facebook page. If you have a website, please include a link to this website (if you wish to display a banner on your website, please feel free to use the banner below). If you have a notice board, please display our promotional flyer (see link above). If you have a Sukkah that you would like to share, please register it with this service. In this way, you will be able to help other Yidden whom you have never even met.