UMMC Hosts First-Ever Sukkot Celebration on Wednesday, September 29

By Rabbi Ruth Smith
Staff Chaplain
Department of Pastoral Care Services

Building the Sukkah Booth
Building the Sukkah Booth at UMMC.

Patients and visitors at the University of Maryland Medical Center will notice that there is a new booth perched on the porch of Donna’s Café on the first floor of the South Hospital. Some of you may be wondering what this booth is and why it’s in the hospital. This special booth is known as a Sukkah, and it’s used by Jewish staff, students and patients to celebrate Sukkot — a Jewish harvest festival that lasts for eight days.

Perhaps the most distinguishing characteristic of a Sukkah booth is that it doesn’t have a real roof. This is to allow those who are inside of the booth to see the stars through whatever is overhead. The Sukkah that we are using at the Medical Center is currently on loan from Chabad of Baltimore. This group has been very helpful in providing a wide range of religious services for Jewish staff, students and patients staying at the Medical Center. In the past, Chabad of Baltimore has also aided the Department of Pastoral Care Services at UMMC by providing Shofar blowers during Rosh Hashanah and Megilla readers for Purim.

The Sukkah is available for use by staff, UMB students, patients and their families. It will be available during the day from 7:00 a.m. until 7:30 p.m. Please help the Department of Pastoral Care Services spread the word that it is here and alert others about the Medical Center’s first-ever Sukkot celebration. The celebration is a “bring your own lunch” affair, with Pastoral Care Services providing a variety of kosher desserts. The celebration will take place on Wednesday, September 29, from 12:00 p.m. until 2:00 p.m., and we hope that anyone who has some time — regardless of religion or ethnicity — will join us in the Sukkah. To arrive at the Sukkah, use the Medical Center’s Greene Street entrance. Go up the steps and through the gate on Donna’s porch.

The Department of Pastoral Care Services is also raising money to buy our own Sukkah for the Medical Center. If you or someone you know would like to make a donation towards purchasing this Sukkah, please make a check out to the UMMS Foundation, and in the “memo” line write “Sukkah.” You can mail your check to Beth Ryan at the UMMS Foundation, located at 110 S. Paca Street, 9th floor, Baltimore, MD 21201.

We hope to see you at our Sukkot celebration on Wednesday, September 29.

For More Information:

For more information about Sukkot, please visit the Pastoral Care Services Web site at, and click on the “Services for Jewish Patients” link.