Sukkot in Champaign was packed with great holiday programs all week long!
We started out on Wednesday night, moving our Maimonides class to my house, or to be precise my sukkah, for a Yom Tov dinner and discussion. Between courses, we had 10 minutes lessons on "What is the essence of a Jewish holiday," "Why do we celebrate Sukkot in the autumn," "Understanding the connection of the 4 species to our lives," and "Learning Faith from the Sukkah."
On Thursday we had a Yom Tov lunch for the Maimonides 2 students, who came with lots of questions about how a sukkah is built and what makes it kosher.
On Friday my family ate lunch at Hillel and we had an opportunity to connect with the students there. On Friday night we had a large crowd for Shabbat dinner in the sukkah, which included lots of singings and celebrating. Saturday we had Shabbat lunch in the sukkah, and ate the 3rd meal at Hillel which I led in place of the JLIC rabbi who ate at home to support his wife, who just had a baby boy this past Wednesday!
Sunday was a "Sukkah on the Quad". We put up a sukkah on the grass behind the union, and served homemade kosher Chinese food, and had special musical guest Eliyahu Dvorin from Kol Ish and Key Tov Orchestra.
On Monday we hosted a dinner for the law students. We served "Soup in the Sukkah," and I taught a class on environmental law, to combine our outdoor holiday with the legal field. The topic was "Man's Right to the World's Resources."
On Tuesday I traveled to Bloomington to lead a lunch and learn in the sukkah at Illinois Wesleyan University. This was the first time in 4 years that a sukkah was put up anywhere in the town of Bloomington, IL. We spoke about the meaning of the sukkah, and I taught the students about the lulav and etrog, and they got to experience performing the mitzvah, almost all of them for the first time. I then went that evening to Normal, IL to Illinois State University. They didn't have a sukkah, so instead of a meal we had ice cream, and I again taught about the meaning of the holiday to the crowd of students.
After a week of great programs, I am proud to say I interacted with 107 different students at 10 programs over 7 days, with many students attending several of the events.