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I was debating with my brother whether they had sukkah hops in Europe, and failed to find a good answer via Google Books or Scholar.

  • Is it a specifically American institution?
  • What's the first recorded sukkah hop?
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Perhaps you should consider adding the definition of a "sukkah hop" to your question. I, for one, had never heard of it. –  HodofHod Sep 22 '13 at 18:28
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@HodofHod Sukkah hop, as I know it, is a custom for mostly children to go from sukkah to sukkah along a designated route (at 4 PM we go to the Kohens, then to the Levis, then the schwartes, etc). Often the kids are given candy at each sukkah they visit. –  Ze'ev Felsen Sep 22 '13 at 19:41
    
It was a Top-40 hit in the mid-1980s. –  Seth J Sep 23 '13 at 15:06
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@Ze'evFelsen Is it important that it's first kohanim and then leviim? :-P –  Charles Koppelman Sep 23 '13 at 18:24
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@CharlesKoppelman, it was of course intentional, but not essential. –  Ze'ev Felsen Sep 25 '13 at 1:36
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1 Answer

up vote 5 down vote accepted

What I'd seen around the blogosphere was that it was an innovation by "Rabbi" (he was never formally ordained) Shraga Feivel Mendolowitz intended for Torah UMesorah community day schools that were open on Chol Hamoed (probably in the 1960s, I assume). Some of the students were not observant and didn't have a sukkah at home, so they'd take class trips to see people's sukkahs.

At some point later it morphed from a school activity for the less-affiliated to a social, on-yom-tov, activity for the more-affiliated.

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