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Jewish Family Service of San Diego and NewSchool Partner on Sukkah Project to Commemorate Sukkot

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Published on:

September 13, 2017


Jewish Family Service of San Diego and NewSchool Partner on Sukkah Project to Commemorate Sukkot

NewSchool announced that a group of its students, under the direction of professor Chuck Crawford, are designing and building a sukkah – a temporary dwelling to commemorate Sukkot, the seven-day Jewish harvest festival held in October. Student architects will build the sukkah on Friday, Sept. 29, starting at 10:30 a.m., at the Jewish Family Service of San Diego’s Joan & Irwin Jacobs Campus, located at 8788 Balboa Avenue, San Diego, CA 92123.

NewSchool’s female-led team of 14 students come from diverse backgrounds and are all very dedicated to building the sukkah. Classes are currently out of session and the students are volunteering their time during break to complete the project. The community involvement, cultural learning and team building is crucial to their real world education and future careers. For the Jewish Family Services 2017 Sukkah, NewSchool students, Noura Bishay is principle designer and Dilini Perera is principle designer for Leichtag Foundation. Sarah Cabana and John Sanders III are project coordinators. The design and fabrication team include: Firas Alrakhayes, Cameron Atsumi, Nic Coffman, Marlena Jackson, Oscar Lopez, Miguel Marquita, Cynthia Morose, Madhavi Natarajan, Adam Peltier, Doling Perera, Sovanarry Phy and Veena Ravi. Technical and construction advisor is Doug Blume, Paragon Builders.

With three walls and an open door, the sukkah represents inclusivity, hospitality, and the temporary nature of life. For the project, NewSchool students conformed to specifications that respect Jewish traditions while also integrating design approaches that reflect NewSchool’s own emphasis on sustainability.

“NewSchool’s diversity is quite remarkable, as reflected in this year’s team,” said Crawford, “The Sukkah Project is a unique one that I look forward to every year. It reflects and aligns with our school values by encouraging team work and the importance of being a part of the community.”

Jewish Family Service is a trusted community resource for individuals and families of all faiths and backgrounds working to build better lives. The nonprofit approached NewSchool about building a sukkah that could be re-constructed on an annual basis and enjoyed by JFS’s wide variety of clientele, including low-income families and individuals, seniors, immigrants and refugees, teen volunteer leaders, and many more.

“With the sukkah, the NewSchool students are building something tangible, and from Jewish Family Service’s perspective, the students are also helping us build community – and that is something to celebrate,” said JFS CEO Michael Hopkins. “We look forward to sharing this sukkah with our clients, staff, volunteers and more for years to come. To improve the community, it takes a community.”

For more information on NewSchool of Architecture & Design, visit For more information about Jewish Family Service of San Diego, visit

About NewSchool of Architecture & Design

Located in San Diego’s design district, NewSchool of Architecture & Design prepares students for career success in design fields with an emphasis on human-centered design, including interdisciplinary and global design skills, industry collaborations and real-world projects. Programs include architecture, construction management, product design, media design, and interior architecture & design. Best College ranked NewSchool #2 for Best Online Masters in Construction Management Degree Programs for 2017-2018. NewSchool is accredited by the Western Association of Schools and Colleges Senior College and University Commission. NewSchool offers Bachelor and Master of Architecture programs, accredited by the National Architectural Accrediting Board (NAAB). One of more than 70 institutions in 25 countries that comprise the Laureate International Universities network, New School prepares students to successfully work in global and diverse organizations. For more information, visit

About Jewish Family Service

Since 1918, Jewish Family Service of San Diego has been a trusted community resource for individuals and families working to build better lives. Operating throughout San Diego County and the Coachella Valley, the agency’s integrated services are focused around three goals: Empower Individuals & Families to Move Toward Self-Sufficiency, Support Aging With Dignity, and Foster Community Connection & Engagement. Many people first turn to Jewish Family Service with a specific need, such as job coaching or transportation, and that first contact often leads to a wide range of services, including counseling, education, nutritious meals, social connection, and more. JFS was named a 2016 California Nonprofit of the Year and has earned a 10th consecutive 4-star rating from Charity Navigator, America’s largest independent charity evaluator that highlights the work of efficient, ethical and open charities. To get help, volunteer, or to learn how JFS empowers change in our community, visit