October 5, 2012
Polish architects design five sukkot for display in Warsaw
Five sukkot designed by Polish architects are being displayed in a public square in Warsaw.
The Poland office of the American Jewish Joint Distribution Committee, which initiated and organized the Warsaw sukkot exhibition, had the temporary Jewish ceremonial dwellings placed at Grzybowski Square in the Polish capital.
The idea was to find “a more innovative and open way to educate the general public about some Jewish customs,” Karina Sokolowska, JDC country director for Poland, told JTA.
Sukkot are built as a reminder of the biblical tale of the nomadic period which the Israelites spent after their liberation from Egyptian slavery.
The exhibition, Sokolowska added, also was meant to serve as an “inauguration” for the Warsaw Jewish Community Center, though -- like the ancient Israelites during their desert wanderings -- that center is without a permanent address.
“At this moment the JCC is still operating without walls, but hopefully will soon find its permanent location,” Sokolowska said.
Piotr Lewicki, an architect from Krakow who designed one of the sukkot with his business partner Kazimierz Latak, described the structures as natural additions to Warsaw’s chaotic urban landscape.
“Public spaces in our cities are usually ruled by mess,” he told JTA, adding that Warsaw’s streets are no strangers to “shacks and stalls.”
Instead of a traditional canopy of branches, the two architects from Krakow used wicker, a common material used in traditional Polish masonry.