Feast of Tabernacles 2017 .  .  .

Wednesday Evening, October 4 - Thursday, October 12

Planning for Sukkot

So you've been moved to want to observe God's festivals, specifically the fall festival of Sukkot. What do you do now? Well, you've already taken one of the first steps - visiting this web site. We are blessed to be among the growing number of Hebraic ministries that provide a place where you can meet with others and learn about God's special days. As you look thru our site, you'll find information about this festival site as well as housing, activities, and of course, the festival itself. What are the next steps? Here's our suggestions for a truly successful Feast of Sukkot:

Come up with a budget -

The amount of money you have available for the festival will be a huge determining factor when it comes to choosing housing and transportation. If funds are going to be tight, you may want to camp. Camping saves on both housing costs and food, but maybe not enough to justify the cost of camping equipment. If you have your own camping equipment,it is probably the best (and in my view) and most enjoyable way to observe the festival.

A spreadsheet is always a good tool for putting together a budget. If you'd like, you can download a sample from our website - www.season-of-our-joy.com/Budget.xls. After you've put together your budget, divide the total budget amount by the number of paychecks till the festival and that's how much you'll want to save each pay period. It's been my family's tradition to begin saving for the festival at the conclusion of the previous festival. We just make it a part of our family budget.

 Secure housing -

We have rented the entire Camp Shiloh facility for this year's festival. It has a number of housing options including Cabins, 2-room suites, and even a few "motel" type rooms.  There are also about 30 RV sites (with full hook-ups) as well as plenty of areas to pitch your tent.  All "on-campus" housing will be handled by SOOJ.  Please secure housing early as we expect to fill up quickly.

Get time off from work - 

In some cases this is the hardest part of your festival preparations, but never-the-less, it's achievable. Because God's festivals are the highlight of many peoples walk, they schedule their vacation for the festival season. But if you're new to the festival and have not made arrangements to get off work there are some things you can do to convince your employer to let you off and not penalize you. 

I employ about 30 - 40 people and am faced with numerous requests for time off including time off for religious purposes. Here are some of the things I look for when a person asks time off for religious purposes: 

Remember, you're employer in many cases has his hands tied by federal, state, and company policies. Therefore, do what you can to make this easier for him. As always, spend some time praying about your situation before going to your boss, you may need that extra bit of persuasive power.

Make arrangements to get your children out of school -

Getting children out of school is not as hard as it might seem since there are laws pertaining to children being out of school for religious reasons. Even though using the law should not be your first course of action, you should arm yourself with the information you need to show your school officials that the law is on your side.

Many school districts include information about religious holidays in the Student Handbook. Be sure to read it! Check your states statues concerning religious holidays. You may be surprised to find (thanks to our Jewish brothers) that in some states, the Feast of Tabernacles is already deemed a religious holiday.

After gathering the information you might need, here's the steps I would follow:

From what we have seen, it is usually not a problem getting the children out of school and it being an excused absence. Usually after the first year, it's a snap. In fact, you may have more difficulty convincing your older children to leave school than you'll have problems with the school. The older children will come around real quick once they enjoy one of God's festivals!

Hag Samaech!   (Have a great festival!)