Building Leadership – Volunteers build sukkahs for local Jewish families

Jesse (third from right) and the sukkah building team

While many were preparing for the holiday of Sukkot; Jesse Lubin, Joel Rashcovsky and Michel Dahan were hard at work, leading a team of volunteers to make sure that underprivileged families in our community had a chance to enjoy the holiday as well. Jesse Lubin kindly took the time to speak with Tikun Olam about his experience.

T.O. –  Where did the idea for the sukkah building initiative come from?

Jesse Lubin –  I was volunteering at Le Café with my wife and I was telling Elysa (from YAD Montreal) that I wanted to help out more in the community.  She told me that she was looking for more people to Chair an event they had an idea for. She had already recruited Joel Rashcovsky and Michel Dahan, and wanted another Chair. I thought it was a great idea.

T.O How many people helped you build?

J.L. –  We had 3 teams of 4-5 people. I had a group with my friends and family. All who were very happy to help out.

30 feet

the maximum height that a Sukkah can stand, according to Jewish law

T.O. –  How many sukkahs did you build? In which communities?

J.L. –  We built 4 sukkahs for families, and 1 sukkah for an event. All 3 teams met to build the 4th sukkah together. We did it all in the Cote-des-Neiges area.

T.O. –  What made you want to get involved?

J.L. –  I feel the Jewish community is a special one. The main reason being taking care of our own, I figure if someone wants to celebrate the holiday, but doesn’t have the means, it is a mitzvah to help them out.

T.O. –  What was the most rewarding part of the experience?

Most rewarding experience was building memories for very appreciative families. Every family was able to enjoy the wonderful holiday of Sukkot under the sukkahs that we made.

Also Elysa, Michel, Joel and myself were all very dedicated to the project. It was nice to meet other people who cared as well. Perfect example: One of the sukkahs (the pvc built sukkah) did not fare so well two days before the holiday started. Once we heard this, we sprang into action and all met at the house and took down the old sukkah to completely rebuilt it from a –z (this time out of wood). No one complained, everyone was happy to do it.

Joel, Michel and myself will hopefully do it again, as well as other events. They were great guys to work with and Elysa was there every step of the way. We became quite the specialists. When we started it was the opposite.

To volunteer, please contact Elysa Ben Sabat at 514-345.2645 ext, 3078 or at

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