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Thanksgivukkah brings the holidays a new meaning

By Jana Kaplan

Features Editor

"Dreidel, dreidel, dreidel, I made it out of clay. And when it’s dry and ready, oh football I will play." You heard it right: get your turkey and your latkes ready, because for the first time since 1888, Thanksgiving and Hanukkah will merge to form Thanksgivukkah on Nov. 28.

Even if you do not celebrate Hanukkah, this year’s Thanksgiving dinner could potentially be a culinary dream come true. If you are one of those people who is feeling tired of the same old turkey, mashed potatoes and gravy, Buzzfeed made a unique list of delicious Thanksgivukkah recipes, including potato latkes with cranberry applesauce and challah-apple stuffing.

And if you’ve heard of the cronut craze, then you’d probably be interested in taking the typical jelly donut to the next level at Zucker bakery in New York City. For a limited time only, this Lower East Side bakery will be selling four of their latest creations, including cranberry turkey-, turkey gravy-, cranberry and sweet potato- and marshmallow-stuffed donuts.

The donuts sell at $5 a pop, but may actually be worth your while. Besides the fact that Thanksgivukkah won’t happen again for another 78,000 years, you can enjoy your entire holiday meal in just a few bites. Talk about fast food.

Kosher companies like Manischewitz are also taking full advantage of this great marketing opportunity, offering e-cards with slogans like, “There’s no place like home for the Challadays.”

Don’t worry about buying gifts early and missing the Black Friday madness. Hanukkah begins on Thanksgiving Eve, so there are six days of gifts you can still shop for. You have to love those eight crazy nights.

Rabbi Meir Mitelman, the Rabbinic educator at Hofstra Hillel, said that “It is extraordinarily special how these two holidays converge this year.”

He says that, thematically, both Thanksgiving and Hanukkah represent “gratitude and freedom,” so Thanksgivukkah can connect the victories and freedoms that the Jewish people have gained with those of the Pilgrims.

Like many, Rabbi Meir has done his research on the holiday. In fact, he found that a woman named Dana Gitell coined and trademarked the phrase “Thanksgivukkah,” and ten-year-old Asher Weintraub created the "menurkey," a menorah shaped as a turkey, which has already earned him over $50,000. Meir says that since this holiday is so rare, he and his loved ones “will talk about the way the two holidays converge. By exploring things … [the] possibilities will evolve out of conversation.”

So whether or not you plan on lighting a menorah on your Thanksgivukkah table, take part in this once-in-a-lifetime holiday. While you’re watching football or cooking matzo balls, be extra thankful for what you have. As Rabbi Meir pointed out, “We should aspire to bring more life to the world. It is our chance to give back.”

And while you make some new Thanksgiving dishes to go along with new traditions, be sure to give back and have thanks not just on Thanksgivukkah, but every day.

Overheard at Hofstra

Making memories and keeping traditions alive on Thanksgiving