Submission and Design Guidelines

SukkahPDX 2014 Jurors

Frances Bronet- Dean of the School of Architecture and Allied Arts at University of Oregon.
Kenneth Helphand- Philip H. Knight Professor of Landscape Architecture Emeritus at University of Oregon.
Richard Shugar- Principal Architect at 2Form Architecture in Eugene, Oregon.
Eddy Shuldman- Portland based glass artist and original founder of Northwest Jewish Artists group ORA.

Submission Requirements

Register your INTENT TO APPLY



PROPOSAL DUE By Submission and Registration DEADLINE – MONDAY 7.14.14

1. Statement of Intent/ Project Proposal

-500 words maximum 

-Submit PDF (+ print copy if mailing application.)

3. Current CV

-Group proposals must include an individual CV for each participant 

-Submit PDF (+ print copy if mailing application.)


-Submit PDF (+ print copy if mailing application.)

5. Image Index, including the following information for each image:

-File Name, in following format: Your Last Name_Project Title_#

-Title, Date created, Medium & Dimensions (H x W x D). 

-Clearly indicate if image is of past or proposed work. 

-Brief Image Description. Not to exceed 100 words per image

-Submit PDF (+ print copy if mailing application.)

6. Up to 10 images

-jpeg only. Not to exceed 1.2 MB per image

-File names must clearly correspond to Image Index and should adhere to the following format:  Your Last Name_Project Title_Image #

-Most images should be representative of proposed Sukkah design. You may include      up to 4 images of past work that support or give context to the current proposal. 

Submission METHODS:


 (Subject line: SukkahPDX 2014 Submission)




Oregon Jewish Museum and Center for Holocaust Education

Attn: Coren Rau, SukkahPDX 

1953 NW Kearney St., Portland, OR 97217


Coren Rau, SukkahPDX Curator and Project Manager, at:



The traditional rules for sukkah construction are many and complex. We encourage SukkahPDX participants to view these traditional parameters as guidelines, to seek out the spirit of the law, and to engage with it in a way that is thoughtful, inventive, exploratory, and even playful.

Structures must be designed for installation on a paved surface without cutting, drilling, excavation, or other damage to the site. Each sukkah must be freestanding and self-supporting. No attachment to existing site or surrounding structures is permitted.

 ● All proposed structures should comply with ADA accessibility standards.

NOTE: In some instances, in order to accommodate space limitations, safety concerns, or curatorial considerations, Oregon Jewish Museum may request alterations to proposed designs. If such changes are required applicants will be notified upon acceptance, and every effort will be made to preserve the original spirit and intention of the original proposal.

Guidelines from Jewish Tradition

Traditionally, a new sukkah is built each year, during the five-day period between the holidays of Yom Kippur and Sukkot

The Torah instructs Jews to dwell in sukkahs during the week of Sukkot, “in the manner that they would in their permanent homes.” (Vayikra/Leviticus 39: 42-43) Traditionally, meals are eaten in the sukkah, some may sleep in the structure, and celebrants are encouraged to decorate the sukkah, to invite guests into this temporary home, and to gather there and relax together as much as possible.

A sukkah should be placed outside, in a location that is open to the sky, with no overhanging trees or structures.

A Sukkah should be fixed in relation to the surface or structure on which it is built, but it does not need to rest directly on the ground. (A sukkah built on a boat, on the back of a truck, or even on a camel is “legal” if firmly affixed, but a sukkah on wheels would not be valid.)

The Roof

The roof covering, or Sechach is the most important element of the sukkah from the point of view of Jewish law (halakhah).

Density + Permeability:

The roof should provide more shade than sun during the day. 

The stars should be visible through the roof of the sukkah at night. 

Roof material should be placed sparsely enough that rain can get in, but no opening in the roof should be larger than 10 inches. 

Permitted Materials:

The sechach must be material that grew from the ground and was cut off.

Plant materials such as tree branches, corn stalks, bamboo, reeds, or sticks are all valid. Plant materials in a more processed state, such as two-by-fours can also be used as sechach, but should ideally be used a raw state, and not painted or otherwise finished. 

The roof should not contain any metal, plastic or glass. The sechach should not be secured with wire and should not be supported by metal poles or beams.

The sechach cannot be made from food, tools or utensils, even wooden utensils such as spoons and forks.

Attachments + Connections:

The sechach must be placed loosely and should not be tied into bundles, or tied down. 

Adding the sechach to the sukkah should be the last stage of construction. 

The Torah indicates that the sechach should be applied “actively” and not “passively.” 

For example, constructing a sukkah and allowing the roof to fill in with falling leaves would not fulfill the commandment.

The Walls

Walls must be sturdy enough to withstand a steady wind.

The sukkah should have at least two full walls and a third, partial wall, at least one 

   handbreadth in width.

If there are only 2 complete walls, and they form a corner, the third, partial wall should 

   be within 3 hand breadths of one of the complete walls.

Walls can be constructed of any material.

Walls may be composed of multiple parts or elements, if desired. Elements may be   

   spaced up to three handbreadths apart.

Walls do not need to touch the ground, but should come within three handwidths of   

   the ground. (Walls should come close enough to the ground to prevent a goat from  

   getting into the sukkah to disturb the festive meal.)



Minimum: 36 inches high (ten tefachim, or fist-widths)

Maximum: 30 feet high (twenty amot, a measure based on the length of a forearm.)


Minimum: 2 ft x 2 ft (seven-by-seven tefachim)

(According to the Talmud a sukkah must be at least large enough to accommodate the “head and most of the body of a man, and the “mini- table from which the man eats.”)

Maximim: No maximum area is specified by Jewish law. 

SukkahPDX 2014 Schedule:



INSTALLATION DATES: Sunday 10.5.14 - Tuesday 10.8.14 

All sukkahs must be fully installed, and all construction debris removed 

from the exhibition site by noon on Wednesday, October 8, 2014.

Artists are not required to be on site for the full installation period, but should plan enough time in Portland to complete installation of their own structure, unless alternate arrangements have been made with OJM in advance.

Materials may be delivered to the site prior to 10.5.14 only by prior arrangement.

Artists are strongly encouraged to pre-fabricate structures off-site in advance and to carefully consider ease of installation and removal as part of their proposals. 

Entrants are responsible for safe and timely sukkah installation and removal, including providing all necessary tools, supplies, labor and transportation. However, OJM is happy to help connect you with local resources and support. Please don’t hesitate to contact us to make advance arrangements.

OJM reserves the right to require the removal of structures that are incomplete at the conclusion of the scheduled installation period, which are unsafe or structurally unsound, or which differ substantially from the original project proposal.

Event Dates: 10.8.14 - 10.17.14

Exhibit open to public during regular museum hours and scheduled SukkahPDX events.

DE-INSTALLATION: 10.18.14 – 10.19.14

No materials may be left on site after this date.


The Oregon Jewish Museum and Center For Holocaust Education interprets the Oregon Jewish experiences, explores the lesson of the Holocaust and fosters intercultural conversations.


The Mittleman Jewish Community Center is dedicated to the enrichment of Jewish life by providing for the social, cultural, educational, and recreational needs of the Jewish community, and serving as the common meeting place for the entire Jewish community. The MJCC is committed to enabling Jewish continuity through promotion of Jewish values; strengthening of Jewish family life; encouraging the appreciation of Jewish culture and the application of Jewish spiritual life in daily living; developing Jewish community leadership; and also serving as a communal resource to interpret and foster the relationships between the local Jewish community, Israel and world Jewry.