Every year during Sukkot, the Chief Rabbi of Akko, Yosef Yashar, opens his home to members of all of the diverse communities who call Akko home, as a warm sign of peace and friendship. This year, Mirit Sulema, Coordinator of the Akko Educators’ Kibbutz, was invited to address all attendees.
Sukkot is the holiday of booths, in which Jews in Israel and around the world build temporary huts for a week to remember the time the Israelites spent wandering the desert on the journey from slavery in Egypt to freedom in the Land of Israel. This holiday, occurring just five days after Yom Kippur, is a time to recall the transience of all material things, to scale back and simplify, and to be grateful for our many blessings.
Sukkot is traditionally associated with hospitality – it is a time for friends, family and neighbors to share in the bountiful gifts of life. In Akko, this kind of hospitality among neighbors holds important significance as the city is shared by Jews, Muslims, Christians, Druze and members of the Bahai faith. Leaders from all of these communities are invited to the Chief Rabbi’s sukkah every year to celebrate the uniquely delicate and peaceful social fabric upon which our shared city thrives.
Mirit Sulema, was given the honor of addressing the crowd. After thanking Rabbi Yashar for the invitation and greeting local dignitaries, she said: “I would like to take this opportunity to wish everyone a happy holiday. Sukkot is a time during the year where we take a week to step back and appreciate what we have. We are all blessed to live together side-by-side here in Akko, a truly shared city. For that I am deeply grateful.”