Arts and Culture

Rebooting Reboot: Cultural group behind ‘Sukkah City’ hires new director, charts its future

NEW YORK (N.Y. Jewish Week) — In the fall of 2010, Sukkot became a national topic of conversation when Reboot, the Jewish cultural organization, engineered an architectural competition around the temporary shelters used to celebrate the holiday.

“Sukkah City,” as it was called, will have a slightly different sensibility when it is staged again in 2012, and the organization will have a new leader.

The average Jew couldn’t have built any of the earlier sukkahs, but this time around, each sukkah will come with a blueprint, said Executive Director Yoav Schlesinger, 32, who came on the job just weeks ago.

Of course, the market is already full of simple sukkahs, and that fact encapsulates a tension between insider and outsider that is central to Reboot. Schlesinger was hired in part for his ability to help Reboot negotiate that tension.

“The director has to be a person who fits in both worlds,” said David Katznelson, a board member who is himself both a record producer and a director at the Jewish Community Federation in San Francisco. “He needs to be able to talk to our funders … and he needs to be able to talk to Rebooters, and they have no ties to traditional organizations.”

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