Thanksgiving-Hanukkah overlap spurs thanks, angst

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SummaryAmerican Jews were dealing with a rare quirk of the calendar that overlaps the traditional U.S. harvest holiday of Thanksgiving with the start of Hanukkah

have Hanukkah and Thanksgiving on the same day,'' said Jason Teper, an eighth-grader who was helping the second-graders with their menurkeys. ''Also, it's really good for kids because they get presents and they get to eat good food on the same day. For Hanukkah, you usually just get presents and then for Thanksgiving you just eat. Now everything is just mixed together and I think that's a great thing.''

Saul Rube, Hillel's dean of Judaic studies, said the light-hearted combinations of Thanksgiving and Hanukkah icons underscore a deeper bond: The Talmud, one of Judaism's core texts, describes Hanukkah as a ''holiday of thanksgiving.''

''The fact that you could meld our Jewish culture and the popular culture is such a wonderful opportunity, when so many times in December observant families feel ... torn. They want to be part of that whole holiday season,'' he said.

Rube said his Thanksgiving dinner table will have one notable addition: a challurkey, a loaf of Jewish challah bread in the shape of a turkey.

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