A Sukkah Table That will be Remembered For Years to Come

holiday table settings, sukkah and table decor, sukkot table settings

A Sukkah Table That will be Remembered For Years to Come

No Comments 19 September 2012

Thank you Kineret Spector for sending in this beautiful inspiring story about the importance of carrying on our wonderful Jewish holidays and traditions! Marlene

The Reason for Everything

It was Sunday night dinner in our Sukkah.  Family and good friends totaling 20 were gathered around the table, already a beautiful sight!  I beamed at my guests for a minute and thanked everyone for being there, before turning to go in for the soup. Suddenly, my friend Jody’s daughter spoke up.”I want to say something!” she announced.  We all turned to look at Gilda, 6 years old, a normally reserved and serious child, and shy around adults – definitely not one to speak up at a table of 20. But Gilda showed no sign of hesitation as she continued, “I just want to say how happy I am to be here in this Sukkah, and it is so beautiful in here, and I really love it.  I am so happy.”  Her eyes glistened as she looked around the Sukkah.

I was speechless. Years of hosting, cooking, decorating, inviting. Every Shabbat and holiday, as we say, Eem kol ha lev - with our whole heart.  And always to a happy, satiated, and appreciative crowd.  But Gilda’s pure and genuine compliment, in all its simplicity, instantly reminded me (and provided a case in point to my whole family), why we do this at all.  For our children.  For the next generation of Jews.

Every Shabbat and Holiday is ultimately for them, but especially Sukkot.  We know the symbolism of a sukkah and retell it every year.  But for children, it’s even more than that. It’s a fort! A little hut! A small house! An enchanted little getaway. And we get to have this in our driveway every year because we’re Jewish!  While the Sukkah is being erected, the kids are hard at work at the decoration table, making paper chains, paper lanterns, and welcome signs.  They get to decide where it goes.  It’s their own little Sukkah fort.  Truly, the party starts that evening, as it all starts to come together.

For Gilda, the magical appeal of a sukkah may have been just that spark that evoked the gush of appreciation and awareness. I’m so lucky. I’m so happyI’m Jewish. I’m part of something. Our kids do as we do.  We tell them we’re Jewish, we model the rituals and tradition, we tell and retell stories of our ancestors, we explain and we teach. But to witness the moment when the first burst of genuine spirituality is stirred in a child – that is just a transcending experience.  From oldest to youngest, we were all touched by a little bit of sukkah magic that night.

Kineret Spector lives in Los Angeles with her husband and four daughters.  Please ‘like’ her facebook page BSG Tablescapes. 

 

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Update Your Holiday Table Decor on a Budget!

at home, DIY, holiday table settings, holiday tables, sukkah and table decor, sukkot table settings

Update Your Holiday Table Decor on a Budget!

No Comments 19 September 2012

This year, I decided to dump my tinsel sukkah decorations and try to find some updated sleeker last-minute looks. As most of my kids would rather get creative with a new latte in Starbucks, this year I  did not have the cute home made decorations that they used to bring home from second grade art class, and thankfully my fourth grader was really SO excited to help with the fun DIY napkin rings that we dreamed up together.

Step 1- I checked online at Jamali Gardens  and found gorgeous artificial hydrangea balls to hang from the scach or our Sukkah. Each one comes with a green ribbon loop that makes it easy to hang. You can buy them packaged in a set of 6, they come in lavender, green, and white, these gorgeous blooms can probably be passed down to your grandchildren if you keep them stored away with your Sukkah. (On the other hand, I think that they would be a great addition to a summer barbeque gracefully hung from an umbrella or awning.)

2- We shopped at IKEA and found some inexpensive botanical artwork to hang up as a modern Sukkah Decoration. It comes wrapped in plastic, which we kept it protected from the weather.

3-IKEA also had stunning $5 chandeliers in all shapes and sizes,

but unfortunately we did not make sure that they were waterproof,(we tried covering them with garbage bags) and unfortunately, they didn’t last too long…..

Ikea chandelier,REGOLIT Pendant lamp shade, white Diameter: 17 ¾ "  Diameter: 45 cm

4- We decided to make our very own crafty napkin rings. We ran over to Karen’s invitations on Avenue U in Brooklyn, and found lime green ribbon. Ran home, found a glue glun and, voila!


5- As for the dragonflies….. I bumped into Jill over at ETSY and she was able to whip up and ship 50 hemp knotted dragonflies for me to top off my DIY napkin rings. What do you think?

6- Table Runners- Craving something original, I decided to run back over to Karen’s Invitations and purchase some handmade papers that she sells by the sheet. If you are looking to buy some stunning handmade paper sheets online, you can CLICK HERE, HERE and HERE.

I decided to keep the ripped edge look of the gorgeous orange and gold handmade paper by folding each sheet down the middle lengthwise and ripping it slowly. Each sheet became a long rectangle, and I placed each edge under a lime green square table topper that I purchased from Michelle over at Table Toppers on East 4 Street in Brooklyn. Flowers, greens and ceramic containers are from Shirley Bar Nathan atop a fresh monstera leaf. The flowers and the monstera leaf lasted the whole week, and can be used over and over again! (The monstera leaf can also be used as a place mat.)

I always have simple glass votives and tea lights to scatter on my table for extra sparkle, purchased from Crate and Barrel.

 

 

7- You can also use your handmade paper to line the table for your bottles of kosher wine, and barware.
8-Don’t forget that even a brightly colored glass water bottle such as Perrier adds a splash of color to the table! Enjoy!!!!
9-What did you do to add a modern splash to your table??? I’d love to hear!!!  Questions??? Comment below!!!
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Sensational Sukkah Display at Table-Set-Go Charity Event by the Seashore

holiday table settings, kosher recipes, sukkah and table decor, sukkot table settings, Table-Set-Go in Deal, New Jersey

Sensational Sukkah Display at Table-Set-Go Charity Event by the Seashore

No Comments 19 September 2012

This past summer, the Morris I. Franco Community Cancer Center hosted a fund raising event at the home of Charles and Ariella Ben Dayan in Deal, New Jersey. Ten teams of Jewish hostesses took on a different Jewish table setting theme that resulted a fierce competition. Though it was an extremely tough decision, Muriel Hidary and Barbara Franco were the table setting winners of the day.

During the festival of Sukkot ,its hard enough to get someone to put up your Sukkah decorations, but imagine how hard it is to build a Sukkah from scratch just for a charity event, for hundreds of women to check out- and then take it all down after 24 hours!! What a feat!!

When I sat down with Barbara and Muriel (a great team- I must say!!!) to discuss the mini- sukkah that they whipped up , they casually described how easy it was to:

  1. Create a faux chandelier by buying 2 bunches of branches and somehow figuring out how to suspend a bird’s nest from Michael’s Crafts with candles balanced atop the birds nest ring!
  2. Buy burlap, beautifully drape it as a table cloth using stick pins from Michael’s crafts in New Jersey.
  3. Sew a beautiful beige linen fabric onto the backs of folding chairs, and THEN wrap each chair with a darker beige gauze and tie together with a mini wreath- also from Michael’s.(how stunning???)
  4. Find real looking greens that resembled the green leaves that are found on the lulav- Hadass and Aravah.
  5.  Tie fishnet that adorned the back columns of the Sukkah.- (from A.C. Moore.)
  6. Sew fabric for back curtains- Lana fabrics in Brooklyn, N.Y.

More Gorgeous Details:

  1. Vietri dishes and Kim Seybert napkin rings were borrowed from “Aimee”.
  2. Each place setting had a name printed within a $1.99 garden daisy picture frame bought from Michael’s Crafts.
  3. The etrog box is antique and is inscribed with the owner’s initials.
  4. The centerpiece is a cylinder vase filled with lemons (etrogs weren’t available in August!)
  5. Artificial succulents- from A.C Moore

I’m sure you found some inspiration here!! Happy Holidays!!!!


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