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October 13, 2005 - Image 19

Resource type:
The Detroit Jewish News, 2005-10-13

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To Life!


The Happiest Sukkahs
on Earth

Learn how to

make your


fun and fresh

with divine


Octobre 13 2005

ulie Feldman always enjoys
having a few friends over
for Sukkot. This year, she's
inviting about 300.
"It's a major production:' she
says, laughing. "But I love enter-
Before a single guest even
enters the Farmington Hills
home Julie shares with her hus-
band, Brad, and daughters Emily,
3, and Allison, 10 months, the
theme is there.
This year marks the family's
eighth annual sukkah party. Last
year, the Feldmans had a Sesame
Street theme, with characters
(Big Bird was in attendance
along with Elmo) and decora-
tions galore. This year, the
Feldmans are hosting a Disney
"We just mailed out all the
invitations:' Julie says. "It was a
CD, and we wrote the words
using the Disney font, which we
found on the computer." The CD
includes a few Disney songs, the
time and date of the gathering
and a request to come to the
"Happiest Sukkah on Earth:'
It all began with Julie's parents,
Ellen and Dennis Yashinsky, who
always liked a nice crowd for the
holiday. Julie had so much fun
and so many happy memories
that she decided to expand the
nice crowd to a huge one and add
a theme.
"We always have at least 50
kids:' she says — children who,
this year, will have a chance to
meet Mickey and Minnie. "We
invite family friends, friends
from the neighborhood. I think I
passed out 40 invitations in [our
subdivision] Rolling Oaks alone."
While the Mickey and Minnie
are hired from an entertainment
company, all the decorations are
made by the Feldman family.
Their favorite project is sun


catchers (see sidebar for instruc-
tions on how to make) and plen-
ty of art projects Emily makes at
Adat Shalom nursery school in
Farmington Hills.
"I have decorations from my
parents' sukkah, too:' Julie says,
"and we use tons of fruit."
Food is in abundance, whether
you eat normally or are one of
those perennial dieters. The

Feldmans serve cider and
caramel apples, donuts and
cookies — plus Greek salad and
spinach dip. Julie does much of
the cooking, while friends and
family (husband, Brad; along
with Julie's mother, father and
sister Amy; and friend Franci)
The big party is held in the
Feldmans' backyard sukkah, with

tables set up outside and with
extra chairs.
Planning, arranging and actu-
ally hosting the event, not to
mention cleaning up, pretty
much occupies much of her life
for a few weeks, Julie admits.
How does she do it all? "Oh, I just
don't sleep:' she says.
But once she wakes up to the
fact that it's all done, the plan-
ning begins again.
"As soon as this [sukkah
party] is over, I'm already think-
ing about what I'll do for next

Hanging Around

Julie, Allison, 10 months, Brad and Emily, 3,

work on bringing Mickey and Minnie into the

Feldman sukkah this year.

Make Your Own Suncatchers:

1) Find a black-and-white image off the Internet
2) Print the image onto a clear transparency (available at local
photocopy shops).
3) Hand cut and color images, punch holes in the top, and
string them around your sukkah.
(Julie Feldman recommends Sesame Street images at

Staff photos by Angie Baan

Elizabeth Applebaum
Contributing Editor

Sherri Ketai insists she is "the
least creative person on the plan-
et." And the very thought of a
craft shop? "Oooh," she says.
"Those places scare me:"
Yet Ketai of Franklin came up
with a sukkah craft project that
would make Martha Stewart jeal-
ous. It's fun. It's easy. It's afford-
Ketai was admiring photos of
their children that friends Elyse
and Jerry Schostak had in their
sukkah. How, she wondered,
could she put her children's pic-
tures in a sukkah, but also make
them part of an art project.
That's when foam entered the
Armed with nothing more
than her purse, Ketai bravely
entered a craft shop and went
"You've seen those signs that
you hang from your door — the
ones that say, 'Do Not Disturb, or
something like that?" she says. "I
got foamy ones [at the craft
Next, she laminated (to with-
stand the rain) small photos of
her children and affixed them to
the foam. Ketai recommends
tacky glue for that part of the

Sukkahs on page 18


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