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Open to the Sky: The Beacon Sukkah Project

A sukkah is a house that gives no shelter, a house that parodies the idea of security.

It's a Jewish sand mandala of a building, open to the sky and used for seven days around the time of the fall harvest and then dismantled. It's rickety and tenuous, creating the illusion of permanence and highlighting the impermanence of everything.

Sukkot (pronounced sue-coat) is the name of both the ephemeral houses and the holiday during which they are used.

To read some of the press on Open to the Sky, click here.

Open to the Sky: Conversations

These days, it can feel difficult, if not impossible, to talk to people who are different than us - different ages, or genders, or religions, or political persuasions. We, as a society, are better at shouting and denouncing than we are at listening and inquiring. 

The Sukkah, however, is a meeting place, a place where opposing energies can be brought together in pursuit of what is holy and good, so in this fractured moment, the focus of Open to the Sky is talking Face to Face. 

There is something powerful, magical even, that can happen when we really listen and talk with each other face to face. This year, the focus is going to be on conversation, not presentation; on dialogue, not monologue. The focus is us - the people of Beacon and beyond. We are inviting the whole Beacon community to grab a cup of coffee and come talk to each other. 


Open to the Sky: The Beacon Sukkah Project will be at Polhill Park in Beacon, NY (by the Beacon Visitors' Center) from Sunday, October 13, 2019 through Sunday, October 20, 2019.

For the week that Open to the Sky is up, there will be events, classes, workshops, children's programs, and more that are open to everyone, free of charge. Check out our full calendar of events; see what seems interesting, and come and visit.

All of the programs of Open to the Sky are offered without charge; however, there are (of course) costs associated with the construction and maintenance of this project and others like it. We hope you will support Open to the Sky with a donation of any size.


One of the main things we do in the sukkah is come together to learn, to teach and to explore. So, if you have something you want to teach the community, a workshop you want to run, or a conversation you want to host, we hope you’ll sign up to be a guide at Open to the Sky: The Beacon Sukkah Project. If you have any difficulties or challenges registering, please be in touch

More About Sukkot

According to the mystical tradition, we also welcome ushpizin, or ancestor guests, to celebrate with us. Some people invite the biblical patriarchs, some invite the biblical matriarchs, and some invite other guests altogether.

In addition to the huts, the holiday of Sukkot is also marked by waving of lulav and etrog, four species of plants in each of six directions - north, west, east, south, towards the heavens and towards the earth.

Finally, and perhaps most important, we study the book of Ecclesiastes, which teaches not that all is vanity, but that all is vapor, all is ephemeral and passing, like the sukkah which gives the holiday its name.


We are proud to again be organizing Open to the Sky: The Beacon Sukkah Project together with Beacon Arts.

Tue, January 31 2023 9 Shevat 5783