SukkahPDX Brings
Artist-Made Dwellings
to the Oregon Jewish Museum

September 18-25, 2013

September 2013 Media Release

For more information contact: Palma Corral, 503-226-3600, ext. 101

or email




Traditional temporary dwellings celebrate Sukkot, the Jewish festival of thanksgiving for home and harvest 

(Portland, OR) – The Oregon Jewish Museum (OJM) at 1953 NW Kearney St. in Portland presents SukkahPDX, the museum’s annual juried exhibition of artist-created sukkahs. The sukkahs will be on view day and night in OJM’s parking lot, from September 18-25, 2013, and the exhibit is free and open to the public. 

The sukkah is a temporary dwelling, traditionally erected each fall in observance of Sukkot, the Jewish festival of thanksgiving for home and harvest. Explicitly fragile and permeable, these shelters pose ancient questions of protection and enclosure, of transience, displacement and domestic space that remain highly relevant in the 21st  century.  

OJM invited artists, designers and architects from across the country to propose contemporary responses to the traditional challenges of sukkah design. A jury of local artists and scholars–David Eckard, an artist, educator, and performer, Aaron Raz Link, writer, performer, teacher, and curator, and Laura Leibman, professor of English and Humanities at Reed College–selected four winning designs to be constructed for SukkahPDX. Coren Rau, SukkahPDX Project Manager, notes, “Sukkot has a broad appeal. We intentionally sought proposals from a wide variety of artists, designers and makers, and the result is a rich diversity of solutions. SukkahPDX participants come from an array of backgrounds, yet each were able to embrace the themes of the holiday, while adhering to the specific traditional requirements of sukkah design.” This year’s winning artists are: Architecture Building Culture of Portland, OR; Cori Champagne of Boston, MA; James M. Harrison of Portland, OR; and Todd Lawson of Seattle, WA. 

The sukkahs will be on display at Oregon Jewish museum throughout Sukkot, and will serve as the focal point for a weeklong series of events that make current connections to the themes of this ancient holiday. This year’s events include:


Shabbat in the Sukkah—Friday, September 20, 7:00 p.m.

 Free and open to the public. 

Celebrate Sukkot and welcome the sabbath in the jury-selected sukkahs. Portland Young Adult Shabbat (PYAS), Moishe House and OJM bring you a night under the stars, with live music and great food.  

Mitzvah on the Move: Volunteer Service Day—Sunday, September 22, 10:00 a.m. - 4:00 p.m.

Sliding Scale Donation: $1.00-$18.00 (donations support TIVNU and Habit for Humanity)

The holiday of Sukkot is an important time to reflect upon shelter and food as basic human needs, and to take action to improve housing access and food security in our community. OJM partners with TIVNU: Building Justice and Habitat for Humanity to facilitate a day of hands-on volunteer service. Volunteers will gather at an east Portland Habitat for Humanity site and build self-watering raised garden beds for several of the housing units. Age limit: 16 years or older.  Space is limited. Call the museum at 503-226-3600 by Monday, September 16, to reserve a spot. 


Pizza in the Hut—Tuesday, September 24, 5:30 p.m. - 7:00 p.m.

OJM and PJA Members: $8 per family, General Public: $10 per family

Enjoy pizza while listening to pioneer stories in the sukkahs. Afterwards, laugh with the comedians from ComedySportz as they give a child-friendly performance of their famous improvisational slapstick comedy. Co-sponsored by Portland Jewish Academy and Mittleman Jewish Community Center with support from the Jewish Federation of Greater Portland and Oregon Jewish Community Youth Foundation. Call the museum at 503-226-3600 to RSVP.


SukkahPDX is possible thanks to grant funding from the Jewish Federation of Greater Portland and the Multnomah County Cultural Coalition.


The Oregon Jewish Museum, the Pacific Northwest’s only Jewish museum, examines and preserves the rich cultural heritage of one of Oregon’s earliest immigrant groups. Through creating and hosting a variety of community-based and traveling exhibitions, maintaining a library and archive, presenting films and other cultural programming, and engaging in educational outreach, we seek to stimulate dialogue about identity, culture, and assimilation. We provide opportunities for Jews and non-Jews alike to understand the Jewish experience as a paradigm both for cultural survival and inter-cultural understanding.

Sukkah Proposal Design: Architecture Building Culture; Portland, OR, 2013.

Sukkah Proposal Design: Todd Lawson; Seattle, WA, 2013.