Minnesota museum uses sukkot to symbolize housing shortage

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The museum is primarily showcasing six sukkah models, designed by local architects and artists, at locations across the city. The museum is also providing information about the Jewish holiday, and tour guides tell visitors that Sukkot is a holiday of tzedakah and justice for the poor and homeless.

"Not only has this never been done in Minneapolis, it's never been done anywhere," said Jacobson.

In addition to the exhibit, the museum will host a conference to discuss the housing issue.

"Because of the history of the holiday, the Jews should be sympathetic towards those in need of housing," said Nick Rosenthal of Jewish Community Action, which is co-sponsoring the conference. "Our organization is basically trying to get the Jews involved with this community issue, even if it doesn't affect them directly."

According to the Metropolitan Interfaith Council on Affordable Housing, the home vacancy rate in Minneapolis declined to 1.6 percent in 1999, while average rents increased approximately 5.9 percent. In contrast, wages have risen by 3 percent.