How Valley Jewish families will combine the celebrations

Some Valley families won't just be celebrating Thanksgiving. Thursday also marks the beginning of Hanukah.
November 27, 2013 12:00:00 AM PST
Some Valley families won't just be celebrating Thanksgiving. Thursday also marks the beginning of Hanukkah.

Thanksgiving is a time to enjoy family, friends and food. Jewish families will do the same during Hanukkah, which marks the triumph over oppression. This day of convergence has been dubbed "Thanksgivukkah."

Candles on the menorah are lit to celebrate Hanukkah. The Jewish festival of lights recall how a small amount of oil miraculously lasted eight days. Lise Rosenthal of Fresno says her family will enjoy both Hanukkah and Thanksgiving.

"When Thanksgiving coincides with Hanukkah it makes me think that even when we think it's not enough, it really is enough and that's the story of the oil," said Rosenthal. "It really was enough and that's what we have to be thankful for."

This year you can find Thanksgiving decorations next to Hanukkah decorations at stores like Party City. Some families will celebrate both on the same day. The last time the holidays coincided was in the 1800's.

Andy Karsh said, "It won't happen for 70,000 years. Haha. Truly once in a lifetime. Once in a lifetime."

Karsh owns Zen Wok Fusion in Fresno's Tower District but he also caters many events for the Jewish community. The holiday meal will see some variation.

"The first thing I said to my mom was we don't need stuffing this year," said Karsh. "We'll just have latkes."

Latkes are fried potato pancakes.

"Some other people have approached me and asked me if I was going to do anything different," said Karsh. "And would I do a sweet potato latke?"

The holiday mashup Thanksgivukkah led one company to create a menurkey, a cross between a menorah and a turkey. Rosenthal takes it all in stride.

"I don't have a precedent for this," said Rosenthal. "We're going to have our dinner and actually Thanksgiving we always have early in the afternoon and the candles aren't lit until sundown."

The maker of that menurkey says his nine-year-old son came up with the idea and so it was put into production.


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