Succah-building goes south

By Leon Symons, September 17, 2010
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Rachel Brown

Rachel Brown

Succah building preparations get under way in earnest this Sunday - and extend to the farthest reaches of Britain.

The hamlet of Trehaddle, near Truro in Cornwall, could claim the title of the southernmost succah in the country.

Set in a pergola in the garden of Rachel and Iain Brown, it will host members of Kehillat Kernow, affiliated to the Reform Movement.

Mrs Brown said: "This will be the fourth year in our garden and we can take 15 to 20 people.

"The pergola was already there when we bought the house in 1990 and I said then that it would serve as a succah. We lived in Manchester before and didn't have our own succah because there were so many others.

"My children Rachel, 14, and Murray, 12, help to put it together and we get our schach from wherever we can, because there isn't much down here.

"We have a very eclectic community here with people from all denominations and everyone joins in together."

Six hundred and fifty miles away sits what is probably the most northerly succah in Britain, at the Aberdeen Hebrew Congregation. The shul is based in a 19th-century traditional Aberdeen granite house, and the succah is built in its rear garden. Synagogue president Ramsay Brown said: "We have schach in abundance here. Traditionally, we have a special arrangement with a keeper at Hazelhead Park, which is nearby.

"He collects schach for us and we collect a bottle of whisky for him, and we exchange them in a small ceremony. It's a very good relationship that has been going on for decades. We're a small Orthodox community with about 15 individual members and their families. We'll be joined in the succah by students from Aberdeen University, which has a very good Judaica collection and with which we have very good links.

"Children from the community will be decorating it, led by one of the mothers, Sarah Bronzite."

    Last updated: 11:15am, September 17 2010