Gone are the days when Jews would scurry through their neighborhood and their local pizza store as if they were wandering the desert in search of a sukkah. Now, like most things, there’s a digital tool for that.
Open Sukkah, founded by Toronto born and Tel Aviv-based Aaron Taylor, has one goal in mind: To connect Jews with public sukkahs and with individuals who are willing to share theirs. Not only does Taylor’s technological advancement enable Jews to fulfill the mitzvah of sitting in this four cornered hut, it fulfills the mitzvah of inviting ushpizin (guests) into your home.
Taylor, who served as a paratrooper in the IDF and now works at a software company as a developer, knew there was a need for such an app. “I feel it’s so important to utilize my software engineering skills, and the Tel Avivian hi-tech culture to enhance people’s chag [holiday] the world over,” he says. The IDC Herzilya graduate also points out that the holiday of Sukkot is prime time for traveling. “Whether you want to go on a hike, to the beach, or wherever it may be, this website aims to allow you to enjoy all of that; knowing where you can crash for a bit, grab a bite, or even just some shade,” he adds.
To contribute your open sukkah, simply zoom into your location, double click on the map, and write a title, address, hours, and contact information. To search for a sukkah, look in your area on the map for a public sukkah and contact the owner before coming by, if they require it.
“We are on our phones for everything. When we aren’t on our phones, we are in front of the computer. My hope is that you’ll have another tab open helping connect Jews with Sukkot around the world, and allow others to be “V’samachta b’chagecha,” to be joyous on the holiday,” Aaron says.
Peruse the app and its features, [here] http://www.opensukkah.com/#/).