PHOTO GALLERY: Hut, hut, hike. St. Louis Jews ready to celebrate Sukkot.

Eric Berger, Associate Editor

Last spring, Bob Kaiser, a member of Nusach Hari B’nai Zion and Olivette resident, spoke with a Muslim neighbor who had just finished celebrating Ramadan. Kaiser learned that they both missed the same thing: community.

“There are lessons from COVID, and one of them is that we were all made to be communal because you really felt after a year and a half the absence,” said Kaiser, an attorney. “It was a universal pain.”

Jews from the Orthodox, Conservative and Reform streams shared similar sentiments to Kaiser as they prepared to celebrate Sukkot, a holiday when many Jews build the temporary huts and gather under them with friends and families for meals. But in 2020, many people who normally invited guests over for dinner didn’t do so — or invited fewer people.

Even though COVID-19 remains a threat, local Jews were more relaxed this year and eager to celebrate.

The Jewish Light tried to capture their excitement through photos and by asking them about their sukkahs and what they enjoy about the holiday. (To read the entire caption on your phone, swipe upwards in the text.)