6: Memoir excerpt from Farideh Dayanim Goldin's “My Iranian Sukkah,” 2009.
Farideh Dayanim Goldin is a memoirist whose writing reflects on her experiences growing up in a prominent Jewish family in Shiraz, Iran, her Western education, and her immigration to America. In this passage from a personal essay, Goldin compares her experiences building sukkahs in Shiraz and in Virginia, and expresses the displacement she feels as she tries to recreate the practices of her youth in an American land and American Jewish culture in which they do not easily belong.
Suggested Activity: Have your students discuss the following questions: In what ways do sukkahs differ across Jewish cultures, and what is consistent? Why does the author try to recreate an Iranian sukkah in Virginia? Why does she say she prefers the Virginian model, in which the sukkah is vulnerable to poor weather and may fall? In what ways is this sentiment similar to the folksong Beyle Shaechter Gottesman sings in resource #3 of this kit?
Source: Farideh Dayanim Goldin, "My Iranian Sukkah" in Where We Find Ourselves: Jewish Women Around the World Write about Home. Ed. Miriam Ben-Joseph and Deborah Nodler Rosen. (New York: SUNY, 2009) 225-34.