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PJ Library, Tucson J plan Shanghai Sukkot event

(Illustration from 'Shanghai Sukkah')

A family Sukkot celebration, “Shake It Up in Shanghai!,” sponsored by the Tucson Jewish Community Center and PJ Library, will be held in the sculpture garden at the J on Thursday, Oct. 20, from 5-6:30 p.m. The organizations invite families to be their ushpizin (Hebrew for “guests”) in the sukkah, a temporary structure that evokes the dwellings of the ancient Israelites during harvest time.

The event will include a PJ Library craft and story time, with a reading of “Shanghai Sukkah” by Heidi Smith Hyde, illustrated by Jing Jing Tsong, which tells the story of a Jewish boy whose family moves from Berlin to Shanghai in the 1930s. There will be a photo op with a dragon costume from the Chinese Cultural Center, songs with Shabbat Scott and Julie Zorn, Asian-inspired cuisine — including shakes and fortune cookies — and a chance to shake the lulav, a combination of palm fronds, willow and myrtle that is shaken with the etrog, a citrus fruit, as part of the celebration of Sukkot. There are many interpretations of the symbolism of the lulav.