Open to the Sky: The Beacon Sukkah Project

A sukkah is a house that gives no shelter, a house that parodies the idea of security.

It's a Jewish sand mandala of a building, open to the sky and used for seven days around the time of the fall harvest and then dismantled. It's rickety and tenuous, creating the illusion of permanence and highlighting the impermanence of everything.

Sukkot (pronounced sue-coat) is the name of both the ephemeral houses and the holiday during which they are used.

To read some of the press on Open to the Sky, click here.

The Space Between

Ecclesiastes, by way of Pete Seeger, taught that “there is a season for everything… a time to weep and a time to laugh… a time to tear and a time to mend.”

But what do we do in the times between weeping and laughing, between tearing and mending? We live most of our lives between those poles.

This year, Open to the Sky invites creative exploration of The Space Between perceived opposites. It provides time and space to press pause on transitions and connections; to move around in the openings between ideas or states of being.

Sukkot centers around making the permanent temporary and the temporary permanent. The Space Between gathers and celebrates the shifting nature of our own expectations and realities.


Open to the Sky: The Beacon Sukkah Project will be at Polhill Park in Beacon, NY (by the Beacon Visitors' Center) from Wednesday, October 4, 2017 through Thursday, October 12, 2017.

For the week that Open to the Sky is up, there will be events, classes, workshops, children's programs, and more that are open to everyone, free of charge. Check out our full calendar of events; see what seems interesting, and come and visit.

All of the programs of Open to the Sky are offered without charge; however, there are (of course) costs associated with the construction and maintenance of this project and others like it. We hope you will support Open to the Sky with a donation of any size.


One of the main things we do in the sukkah is come together to learn, to teach and to explore. So, if you have something you want to teach the community, a workshop you want to run, or a conversation you want to host, we hope you’ll sign up to be a guide at Open to the Sky: The Beacon Sukkah Project.  Registration for the 2017 sukkah is closed, but if you'd like to be a guide next year send us an email at 

More About Sukkot

According to the mystical tradition, we also welcome ushpizin, or ancestor guests, to celebrate with us. Some people invite the biblical patriarchs, some invite the biblical matriarchs, and some invite other guests altogether.

In addition to the huts, the holiday of Sukkot is also marked by waving of lulav and etrog, four species of plants in each of six directions - north, west, east, south, towards the heavens and towards the earth.

Finally, and perhaps most important, we study the book of Ecclesiastes, which teaches not that all is vanity, but that all is vapor, all is ephemeral and passing, like the sukkah which gives the holiday its name.


We are proud to again be organizing Open to the Sky: The Beacon Sukkah Project together with Beacon Arts.