You don’t see a hut on top of a camel every day. Then again, you don’t see a camel in the middle of a city park every day either. So it’s no surprise that just such a sight drew quite a crowd Monday at Jerusalem’s Independence Park.

Sponsored by Chabad-Lubavitch of Rehavia as part of its Sukkot holiday celebrations, the carnival and accompanying camel drew hundreds of people to the municipal greenbelt across the street from the American Consulate General. In addition to introducing the neighborhood to the center’s newly arrived directors, Rabbi Yisrael and Shoshana Goldberg, the event also served an educational goal by illustrating an oft-studied, but rarely implemented Jewish law that allows a sukkah – a temporary hut in which Jews dwell during Sukkot – to be built atop a camel.

Altogether, the structure and its saddle base weighed 66 pounds.

“That’s not a lot for a camel,” assured caretaker Chaim Carmel, a resident of Beit Chilkiya who built the sukkah out of metal poles, cloth and branches.

Carmel, who originally hails from Jerusalem, was looking forward to the show for weeks.

“This is also an attraction for me,” he said. “It’s good to do something special that catches your attention and makes people ask questions. They suddenly see the camel and ask if the sukkah is kosher.”

The Mishnah, a compendium of rabbinic rulings from between the 2nd century B.C.E. and the 2nd century C.E., provides the answer. In a discussion of the qualifications that make a sukkah kosher – it must have a permeable roof of unaltered plant material and at least two walls – the text specifically permits building the hut atop a camel.

(In applying the law, modern scholars permit building a sukkah on the flatbed of a pickup truck, thus fueling to the proliferation of so-called sukkah-mobiles that Chabad-Lubavitch rabbinical students drive this time of year in cities throughout the world.)

The Goldbergs, however, weren’t looking to use the sukkah, per se. After arriving days before Rosh Hashanah and blowing a ram’s horn for whomever he met on the street, Yisrael Goldberg wanted to organize something bigger for Sukkot.

“We wanted to do something in an interesting and different way, in a fun way,” said Shoshana Goldberg.

At the park, families hopped aboard a vehicle-bound sukkah to make a blessing on the Four Species, while the kids took advantage of an inflatable moon bounce. All the while, the camel made the rounds of curious spectators.

Stands advertised programs that the Goldbergs have on their agenda, including Torah classes for residents of all ages. Yisrael Goldberg handed out thousands of flyers.

“I believe the very best way to make a difference is face to face,” he said. “It’s a very special thing.”

The Goldbergs, whose previous postings included assisting emissaries in New Jersey, said that they’re thrilled to be running their own Chabad House.

“We looked and looked all over the world,” said Shoshana Goldberg, who despite having grown up in the central part of Israel had mentally prepared herself to living in a community without the benefits of easily-accessible kosher food or Jewish education. “It was really funny that we ended up back in Israel.”

“There are about 10,000 to 15,000 Jews living here in a relatively small area in the center of town,” said her husband, a native of Toronto. “The opportunities are literally unlimited.”