This holiday, the Litton brothers were commissioned by the Litton-Dachs families to create a custom sukkah for the White Shul. The sukkah is one of the largest in the Five Towns area, 60 feet long by over 20 feet wide, with a wheelchair-accessible door. They built the custom sukkah to honor the memory of their grandparents, Rabbi Bernard and Mrs. Yolanda Lipschitz, founders and pioneers of the Far Rockaway-Five Towns religious community.
Bernard and Yolanda moved to the community in the late ’40s and were original members of the White Shul. Their oldest son, Michael, was the last bar mitzvah before the shul located on Nameoke Street in Far Rockaway tragically burned down. They then had the opportunity to see the new shul being built in its present location. They were responsible for starting Yeshiva of South Shore and Torah Academy for Girls, and were founders of three shuls. In 1952, they developed the area by purchasing swampland, building houses with the first group of Orthodox young men.
Upon completion of the new sukkah, Rabbi Feiner of the White Shul was so excited that, with happy tears in his eyes, he began dancing with the Litton boys in the sukkah. In the past, the rabbi had hosted parties in the sukkah for children from Chai Lifeline.
For the past 15 years, the Litton brothers have been building sukkahs in the Five Towns as well as Colorado, where they live today. The Lawrence natives, Steven Litton and Jonathan Litton, own and operate BuildMySukkah.com, and first got their start as kids by helping family members and neighbors put up their sukkahs.
Besides building the new sukkah for the White Shul, this season they built a custom sukkah for Rabbi Mintz in Aspen, Colorado for the new multi-million-dollar Chabad building. You can also see their sukkah at the Heichal Dovid (a.k.a. the “W”) shul in Lawrence and several private homes across town.
The Litton brothers offer custom sukkahs built in the U.S., as well as rental sukkahs, and will even put up your own sukkah. In addition to sukkahs, they also offer s’chach, wood beams notched to size, lighting, tables, and chairs.
They make expandable sukkahs so if a customer wants five panels one year, and another five the next, they have the option to expand or contract their sukkah.
The custom sukkahs are made from Sunbrella canvas, which is the same material used on boats, awnings, and outdoor furniture. It is acrylic and can be washed down with a bleach solution to prevent mildew. Their frames are made from 16-gauge heavy-duty steel and baked with powder coat paint to prevent rust. They also have adjustable stainless steel legs for uneven surfaces.
A large part of their business is taking down the sukkahs as well as storage for a fee.
The Litton boys enjoy the satisfaction of seeing the fruits of their labor and helping people perform this mitzvah. The customers just come home, and it’s all ready-to-go for them—all they have to add is family and food!