Hundreds of Jews on the Kansas University campus are celebrating a week-long holiday with a special hut they built outside the student union.
The holiday is Sukkot and the 4x6 metal, tarp and bamboo hut is called a Sukkah.
“Many Jewish students erect this hut in their backyards at home every year but because they live in apartments and residence homes at school they don’t have that opportunity so we find a central location on campus to set it up,” said Rabbi Zalman Tiechtel of the Chabad Center for Jewish Life.
The hut symbolizes the kinds of dwellings their ancestors lived in during a treacherous time.
According to Jewish history, God performed miracles for their people that sustained them during a 40-year journey through the Sinai Desert.
“I like the holidays that not a lot of people know about except the Jewish people because it draws attention to it and expands their horizons,” said Jewish student Matt Rissien, whose family builds a Sukkah in his backyard at home every year.
The holiday began at sundown Wednesday and several week-long events are set to take place inside the hut including prayers and daily free lunches for all.
“Our goal is to promote Jewish awareness and Jewish identity because KU prides itself on being a very diverse and very multi-cultural community, said Rabbi Tiechtel.
This is the fifth year the Chabad Center for Jewish Life has erected the Sukkah on campus.
Other holiday events will take place at the center, 1201-1203 W. 19th St.