The Ushpizin of the Silver Screen
The Ushpizin of the Silver Screen was a 2020 reimagining of the traditional Sukkah fashioned as an old-time Hollywood era movie house, projecting stories on screens to commemorate our beloved elders and give them a voice.
While honoring the legacy of Los Angeles, the exhibit focuses on the Sukkot tradition of symbolically inviting seven exalted guests into the sukkah (known in Aramaic as Ushpizin), representing the seven shepherds of Israel: Abraham, Isaac, Jacob, Moses, Aaron, Joseph and David. According to tradition, each night a different guest enters the sukkah followed by the other six.
Some streams of Judaism also recognize a set of seven female shepherds of Israel, which are Identified with the seven prophetesses of Judaism: Sarah, Miriam, Deborah, Hannah, Abigail, Hulda, and Esther. Each of the ushpizin has a unique lesson to teach the parallels and the spiritual focus of the day on which they visit.
While the sukkah remained COVID-empty last year, the diverse Jewish stories and remembrances will be told and retold in the digital space until we can all gather together in person.
The Ushpizin of the Silver Screen was a collaboration of Reboot and Holocaust Museum LA, made possible with the generous support of CANVAS. The work is part of the national project – Dwelling in a Time of Plagues – which makes new outdoor art possible at museum sites, with organizational support from the Council of American Jewish Museums. To see the other works on display, visit plaguedwelling.com.