Hut, hut, hike: Raider Nation is invited to celebrate Sukkot at Chabad tailgate party

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Raider Nation, meet the Rally Rabbi.

Rabbi Yosef Langer of Chabad of San Francisco — known to many as the San Francisco Giants’ Rally Rabbi — announced last week yet another event on the Bay Area Jewish sports landscape: A Sukkot tailgate party in the Oakland Raiders’ parking lot.

The party will take place before the team’s Oct. 19 home game against the New York Jets — replete with free He’Brew beer, free kosher hot dogs and other snacks … and a sukkah, of course.

“We’re going to be right there in the main parking lot, but sectioned off in an area near the stadium,” Langer said. “Everyone can come in. You don’t need a ticket. I’m inviting the entire Raider Nation.”

Which makes it imperative for this vital fact to be stated: There will be only a “limited” amount of free beer.

Unlike the Giants’ and Warriors’ Jewish Heritage games, the Raiders will not be publicizing this event, Langer said, although Jewish fans who buy advance tickets through the Raiders will be seated together at the 1:15 p.m. game.

No tickets are needed to get into the tailgate party, however, so if you already have tickets for the game, look for the 10-by-15-foot sukkah just south of the stadium, in a secured party area in parking lot B. There will also be an inflatable moon bounce, as well as face-painting and cotton candy, for children. The party gets under way as soon as the stadium parking lot opens at 8 a.m.

Langer has the wheels rolling on a publicity campaign; it’s a takeoff on this season’s Raiders’ advertising, which shows regular folk wearing an eyepatch (like the pirate in the Raiders’ logo) and adds “There’s a little Raider in all of us.”

In Langer’s ad, he’ll be pictured on his three-wheeled Honda — his “mitzvah bike” — wearing a black eyepatch with the slogan “There’s a little spark of G-d in all of us.” “G-d” is emblazoned in glowing white.

Langer grew up in Oakland and, in his late teens and early 20s, used to attend Raiders games when they played at old Frank Youell Field from 1962 to 1965. So he is very excited about this new Raiders event, which will be attended by other Chadad rabbis such as Yehuda Ferris of Berkeley and Moishe Kagan of Walnut Creek.

“It’s going to create a buzz around town,” Langer said. “How many people will come? I don’t know. We’re testing the waters on this one.”

This event comes between the Giants’ fourth annual Jewish Heritage Night held Aug. 25 at AT&T Park and the third annual Warriors’ Jewish Heritage Game, set for March 1, 2009 at Oracle Arena.

“The 49ers are coming up,” Langer said. “We’re working on it.”

The Sukkot tailgate party before the Raiders-Jets game begins at 8 a.m. Oct. 19. It is free. For more information, visit To buy game tickets ($46), contact the Raiders’ Matt Fahr at (510) 864-5001 ext. 3243 or [email protected].

Andy Altman-Ohr

Andy Altman-Ohr was J.’s managing editor and Hardly Strictly Bagels columnist until he retired in 2016 to travel and live abroad. He and his wife have a home base in Mexico, where he continues his dalliance with Jewish journalism.