Since childhood I have always loved Sukkot. Coming so soon after the intensity of Rosh Hashanah and Yom Kippur, it’s a festival when we literally go outside and enjoy the company of others.

Indeed, many of the customs of Sukkot like sitting in the sukkah, simchat beit hashoevot (celebrations remembering the water libation ceremony in the Temple), and welcoming in the ushpizin (the Biblical guests) to our sukkot, places a clear emphasis on socializing.

Spending Sukkot in Israel, as I have done since making aliyah 16 years ago, is extra special as you can enjoy tiyulim (hikes) and outdoor activities. Sukkot reminder of how lucky we are to live in Israel – the weather is perfect – it’s fun just to walk around and soak up the festive atmosphere.

Anna Donen, an olah from the UK, said “I just love being in Jerusalem for Sukkot. Going on tiyulim (hikes), dancing at simchat beit hashoevot and sitting in the cafes in Mamilla with my friends is really special. Growing up in the UK, we never experienced that; here in Israel, with Sukkot everywhere, you live the chag on the streets.”

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