On a beautiful sunny Sunday Chol HaMoed Succot, Israelis living in Scotland and their families came together at Chatelherault Country Park, for the first event under the auspices of SCoJeC's new YaCHaS project. They enjoyed Israeli food including falafel, salads, mangal (Israeli barbecue) and homemade desserts, and participated in succot-inspired activities organised by Forestry Commission staff. Adults and children worked together to create five natural shelters which then became craft workshops, providing a choice of modelling mini-succahs, clay figure-making, kite-building, seed balls, and carving wooden animals.
"I have been in Scotland for over 20 years," said one participant, and despite the fact that it is a place blessed with much rain, my roots are still slowly growing into this foreign terrain. I always thought that the small size of my homeland and the relative 'remoteness' of Scotland means that there are but a few of us around, so it was with great delight that I found myself amongst nearly 50 Israelis enjoying a joint BBQ in the woods – celebrating Succot together.
"For the first time in many years, Succot was not just a hopeless attempt to build a shelter in a cold, wet, and extremely windy place, but rather a start of a new and exciting journey. This Succot I was amongst fellow travellers; together, we created and shared a temporary shelter and built foundations for a vibrant and sustainable community of Israelis in Scotland."