The Leichtag Foundation in Encinitas is seeking architects and designers to participate in the second annual competition to re-imagine a Biblical structure known as a sukkah.

A sukkah is traditionally erected for one week each autumn to commemorate the Jewish harvest festival of Sukkot. The structure must be temporary, but within it families share meals and entertain.

“The sukkah’s religious function is to honor the temporary structures that the Israelites resided in during their migration from Egypt,” said Rabbi Andy Kastner, director of the Jewish Food Justice Fellowship, a Leichtag Foundation initiative. “We’re interested in exploring how this space can express and advance ideas of community engagement, social justice, and sustainability.”

Designers of all backgrounds are invited to submit designs. A panel will select three finalists, whose designs will each be constructed by volunteers using a $2,500 materials budget.

The three structures will serve as center stage for a week-long celebration of Sukkot at The Ranch from Oct. 8-17. Judges will award $3,600 to the winning design team, selected by public vote.

This year’s design themes are release and renewal. Each Sukkah must be temporary, have at least two-and-a-half walls, be large enough to contain a table and most of a person’s body, and must have a roof made of shade-providing organic materials through which a person can see the stars.

The entry form and full contest details are available online.

The Leichtag Foundation purchased the former Ecke Ranch property in 2012 to create a cultural and community resource for the San Diego region and the Jewish community.

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Chris Jennewein

Chris Jennewein is Editor & Publisher of Times of San Diego.