Interview: Family describe how their £45k Sukkah connects them with nature
We sat down with the Rosenberg family from Hendon to discuss what the festival of Sukkot means to them.
Daily Jews: Thanks for having us in your Sukkah, can you tell us how you built it
Charles Rosenberg (father): You’re welcome, please have some chopped herring. As is traditional, we spent £45,000 on an extension with a retractable roof that we put schach on top of.
Melinda Rosenberg (mother): The children love decorating the Sukkah, we sent them on an artisan pottery course so they could make ceramic figures of the Ushpizin.
Charles: And we got our housekeeper to hang the decorations up.
Daily Jews: Can you tell us what Sukkot means to you as a family.
Melinda: We like to teach our children about the fragility of life and how the Israelites had to live in temporary accommodation just like modern-day refugees. That’s why we didn’t install central heating in the extension. If people are cold, they need to switch on the electric heater. We also have cashmere blankets which we bought from Fortnum and Mason for people who want to feel what it was really like in the wilderness.
Toby ( son, 16): For me, Sukkot is a reminder of how we’re destroying our environment. That’s why Daddy is buying me a Prius when I turn 17.
Natasha (daughter, 14): I like camping out in the Sukkah. I’ve been sleeping on a sofabed in here the past four nights so I can really feel what it was like for our ancestors. It’s not that bad. I don’t know what the Israelites were complaining about.
Daily Jews: Do you invite guests into your Sukkah?
Charles: Yes, we make a point of inviting people less fortunate than us. We had our local Rabbi and his family round, for example.
Melinda: We feel it’s important for us to teach our children diversity, so we use this time of year to invite a Sephardi family around for a meal.
Charles: oh and that 45-year-old single man who never has girlfriends from shul.
Emily (daughter, 7): At school, a black lady serves us lunch
Daily Jews: Are there any downsides to having an indoor, purpose-built Sukkah with all the mod-cons?
Charles: Yes, very much so. I spoke to our local estate agent, and he said that it would only add £25,000 of additional value to the house.