No, you didn’t read that incorrectly. The title doesn’t contain a misnomer of the famous Pizza Hut chain. In fact, it couldn’t be further from the pizza restaurant that feeds countless people every day in places all around the world.
Pizza in the Hut is a celebration that has come into play at colleges and Jewish community centers in some U.S. cities. It takes place during the celebration of Sukkot, one of three pilgrimage festivals celebrated by Jews. The weeklong holiday comes five days after Yom Kippur and celebrates the gathering of the harvest and honors the protection God provided Jews when they left Egypt. Sukkot is celebrated in a foliage-covered booth. For seven days, Jews eat all of their meals inside this booth—or hut—which is called a Sukkah.
The first known Pizza in the Hut took place nearly two decades ago, when a New Jersey Jewish community served Kosher pizza in the foliage-covered booth for a few days during the middle of Sukkot. The phrase was coined and the name stuck.
This past year, Maryville University in St. Louis, Missouri, saw Sukkot celebrated by the college’s Jewish population. Hosted by Maryville Hillel, the group built and decorated a Sukkah in celebration of the harvest festival. Not only did the Jewish students enjoy eating Pizza in the Hut, they invited their non-Jewish friends to give Kosher pizza a try, too.
Who knew Kosher pizza could bridge so many cultures? Since pretty much everyone loves pizza, Pizza in the Hut has become a great way to teach people that even though we have our differences, we can always find something that brings us together.