The blogosphere may still be plotzing over the fact that Thanksgiving and Hanukkah fall on the same date this year, but in Israel, even with this rare calendrical coincidence, Turkey Day barely registers. That, however, doesn’t mean no one celebrates the holiday on these shores.
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Americans living in Israel often host Thanksgiving feasts for friends and family, serving up the traditional spread: Turkey, stuffing, cranberry sauce, macaroni and cheese, mashed sweet potatoes (sometimes with marshmallows!), pumpkin and pecan pies and much more – with an antacid chaser, of course.
This year, a Tel Aviv-based group has cooked up a way for Thanksgiving enthusiasts to give thanks and do good at the same time: White City Shabbat, which hosts new immigrants and internationals for Shabbat dinners, is partnering with Nefesh B’Nefesh for a special Thanksgiving (or rather Thanksgivukkah) dinner and charity event.
On Thursday, November 28, new immigrants, internationals and lone soldiers are invited to a catered kosher dinner and clothing drive. For NIS 80, participants get a Thanksgivukkah fusion dinner, with Turkey, latkes, pumpkin pie and wine supplied by the Golan Heights Winery; guests are asked to bring bags of lightly worn clothes to give to the needy. (If you don’t bring clothes, entrance is NIS 100; lone soldiers with ID get in free.)
Since it’s also Hanukkah, there will be candle lighting and some singing as well. Space is limited, and those interested need to register in advance here.
The event is being held at the Goren Shul at 20 Modigliani Street, Tel Aviv, starting at 7 P.M.
Lone soldiers, take note: A separate Thanksgivukkah party, with a festive dinner and candle lighting, is being organized by the Lone Soldier Center and the Israel Forever Foundation on the same date. It’s being held at Beit Heseg, 46 Rothschild Blvd., Tel Aviv, starting at 6 P.M.
Finally, for those more interested in a DIY Thanksgiving dinner at home, keep in mind that ingredients that American supermarkets stock up on might be harder to find in Israel.
Some advice: For whole Turkeys, head to a local butcher, not the grocery store, and to find cranberries, look in the frozen food section at your local supermarket, gourmet food store, or Russian grocery store. Shops in cities with larger English-speaking communities may import even harder to find goodies, like canned pumpkin or packaged stuffing, so keep your eyes peeled. Once you’re set, all that’s left it to make like a Turkey and gobble gobble!