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Light the Menurkey and Celebrate Thanksgivukkah


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If you haven’t heard or realized it yet, Hanukkah is really early this year.  So early, that the first day of Hanukkah coincides with Thanksgiving here in America.  While the anomalies of the Jewish calendar never fail to amaze the casual observer, the confluence of one of America’s most popular secular holidays with one of the best known Jewish holidays occurring on the same day in a happenstance that will not happen again for over 70,000 years* has led to a feathered flurry of holiday mashups.

In the spirit of gobbling good fun, here are some of our favorite Hanukkah/Thanksgiving articles, products and recipe ideas.

Have you heard about the Menurkey?  A Menurkey is a mash-up of a menorah and a turkey.  There is a song about it and here you see a turkey menorah that you can actually buy – did anyone get one yet? Find out more at Menurkey.com.


BuzzFeed shared a whole menu with recipes and pictures for How To Celebrate Thanksgivukkah.  Not sure why they had to put butter on their turkey, but they did include some fun table decorations and many recipes that are kosher.

Modern Tribe is selling this shirt and similar posters for your November gathering.

If you are too cool for a tee or miffed about the Menurkey, sharpen your #2 pencils, crack open your calculator and join Jonathan Mizrahi for an explanation of the past, present and future of the Thanksgiving and  Hanukkah holiday calendar at: http://jonathanmizrahi.blogspot.com/2013/01/hanukkah-and-thanksgiving-once-in.html.

Not to be outdone (or overdone) Jamie worked on some recipes for you, too.  We’re still working on the pictures, but check out these yummy ideas….  Individual Sweet Potato Pies with Tam Tam CrustCaramelized Corn, Thyme, and Onion Donut HolesCranberry LatkesTurkey Latkes with Black Pepper Gravy, and Jumbo Potato Pancake with Sage.

*Note that the first night of Hanukkah will coincide with the night of Thanksgiving Day slightly more frequently, but still not for another 60 years or so.

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About Joy of Kosher


JoyofKosher.com is the number 1 kosher food and recipe website featuring Jamie Geller, cookbook authors, bloggers and chefs. With over 6,000 recipes there is always something new.




29 Responses to Light the Menurkey and Celebrate Thanksgivukkah

  1. avatar says: dz13dz

    I cant believe a frum Jewish website like JoyofKosher would post such an article. This is a terrible mix of a spiritually uplifting and special holiday Chanukah and a completely non-Jewish holiday of thanksgiving which non of our ancestors celebrated. I love JoyofKosher and I truly expect more from a website of this standard.

    • avatar says: Ps15ps

      I like how fun and amusing this article is and as an American Jew it is very relevant for me. Thanks Joy of Kosher!

    • avatar says: Noa

      I don’t know who your ancestors were but mine certainly celebrated Thanksgiving. In fact, since my mother is a chozeret b’tshuva the only holiday I could celebrate with my (Jewish) family was Thanksgiving. Thanks for this article Jamie. We are having cranberry sauce filled sufganiyot.

    • Terrible mix like frumkeit and the internet?? Let’s not throw stones lady.

    • avatar says: Linda

      Awww…C’mon…Lighten up, yeah?

    • avatar says: Linda

      My plea to lighten up was directed to Dz13dz. It’s important to have fun with all our holidays, frum or not and it doesn’t minimize the beauty or significance of Chanukah at all to blend in the miracle of the Thanksgiving holiday…if anything, I believe it brings to our awareness all the more, the hand of Hashem in all things that happen in His world. Isn’t it something special that for the first time in eons the two holidays coincide and this will never occur again, according to the sources….
      Something really amazing! ;D

    • I never thought of Chanuka as a religious Jewish holiday. It is not a non-work holiday and in fact, is a kind of Thanksgiving, isn’t it? I think it is perfectly in keeping to have a double celebration that we are free as Jews and also free in a country that has always allowed us our religious freedom. Get a life.

    • I think its a great mix, Thanksgiving is not a religious holiday so what is the problem??
      Stop being Debbie Downer. This site rocks!!!

    • avatar says: B

      I totally agree with this being a terrible mix up :( ! Especially after you read this article… sorry guys…I hope I didn’t give you a scare but I don’t have much respect for thanksgiving after that.

    • You know the fact that JoyofKosher posted an article regards to Chanakah AND Thanksgiving just indicates that they want to let those who enjoy BOTH holidays celebrate with all the necessary festivities..and I think they did a great job of creative ideas, from crafts that make the table look festive, to foods that enjoy BOTH holidays …Absolutely nothing wrong with it..Thanxgiving by the way is an American Holiday and if you live in this great nation and are alive to witness the first time this has happened and hopefully the world will still be here 7000 years from now to witness this again, than hey, open a bottle of champaign and loosen up will you?

    • avatar says: Jennifer

      I do believe that Thanksgiving has more relevance as a humanitarian holiday being truly unique to North America, however being able to adapt and merry the two in whichever fashion is an amazing attempt at keeping both traditions alive no matter which way you butcher it. I deeply appreciate this article and love this transitional idea for the convergiance of the two holidays. I also think your supportive nature and understanding tone suits you well in you response to this once-a-lifetime occurrence. Allowing people to joyfully celebrate both holidays with a modern approach along with the knowledge that you won’t be alive to see it happen again surely is a better alternative to strict adherence to tradition to the point of exclusion of another time honored holiday celebration. I can’t imagine the judeaic customs meant to disallow other celebratory examples of humility and humanity with full disregard for any public holidays in disalignment with their calendar…

  2. this is so fun can’t wait to try some of these recipes.

  3. Thank you Jamie & Joy of Kosher. Celebrating Thanksgiving, an American holiday promoting gratitude on a national level along with Chanuka our holiday of rededication of the Beit HaMikdash is an opportunity for American Jews to think of the positive components of US culture & at the same time reflect on the Nissim- miracles
    & Niflaot- wonders givien to our ancestors & to us!

  4. avatar says: Frum Mom

    The message of Chanukah is that the Jews did not embrace the Greek culture. Whether one celebrates Thanksgiving or not, we should not be melding a secular holiday with a Jewish one. The term Thanksgivukkah is actually a contradiction in terms if you understand what the holiday is about and a name that I find offensive. I am disappointed and saddened to see this in an Orthodox venue.

  5. I certainly empathize with the folks who find the melding of Chanukah and Thanksgiving offensive, but would gently point out that the Pilgrims, who came to this country for religious freedom (as did we Jews), closely identified with the Jewish People of the Tanakh. Indeed, their Thanksgiving was actually a late-fall observance of our Sukkot. Mind you, they were not fond of real-life Jews, but the Sukkot-Thanksgiving-fall harvest festival was very real for them. Does this help?

  6. I don’t normally go for the blending of holiday names but if Thanksgiving and Hanukkah are going to coincide then let’s enjoy them.

  7. avatar says: Pam

    I am proud to be an American Jew. This wonderful country welcomed my ancestors when they fled pogroms in Russia and Poland. My family celebrates Thanksgiving with great joy every year because Thanksgiving is an American holiday and we are Americans. Hanukkah will also be celebrated on Thanksgiving night this year because we are Jewish. Dz13dz, your comments were offensive, to say the least.

  8. I’m loving that T shirt that’s a rip off of the Woodstock design! So cute!

  9. avatar says: Ale

    Who is afraid of Thanksgiving??? When President Washington instituted the holiday of Thanksgiving, Shearith Israel (the Spanish Portuguese synagogue of New York, the first ever synagogue in North America) immediately arranged a special prayer service for the occasion, still observed, and its members were invited to “support that
    government which is founded upon the strictest principles of equal
    liberty and justice.”
    Soon, Thanksgiving started being celebrated at other early Jewish congregations.

  10. No need for people to get upset – this is America, the medinah shel chesed. Want to have a menurkey? Fine. Don’t want one? Also fine, but don’t knock those who find it adorable. I personally don’t make a ‘traditional’ Thanksgiving celebration, but that is because I feel that as an American Jew I should be grateful 365 days a year for the freedoms I have – to practice my religion, to start with!

  11. avatar says: cheryl

    I love all of these ideas! How wonderful!
    By the way…I don’t believe we really know if the pilgrims were ONLY christians???? I am sure there must have been some Jewish people on that boat.

  12. I am an American Jew! I celebrate Thanksgiving being thankful in a spiritual way. I thank G-d for all that my family embraces each day. On Chanukah how wonderful that we celebrate a victory for the Jewish people. We need to celebrate the joy in this world which G-d teaches us and we teach each other. Have fun! Celebrate with family and friends. Keep it Kosher! Teach you children to embrace their American and Jewish heritages! There is really THAT much to be joyful about during this time of year!

  13. avatar says: candeb8

    I take offense at the characterization of Joy of Kosher being a ‘frum’ site. I’m not what any one would describe as classically ‘frum’, yet I keep kosher in a pretty standard Conservative way. In fact I am a Conservative Hazzan serving as a chaplain in a large inner city teaching hospital.
    The original Pilgrims were certainly on a search for religious freedom, but at that period of English history it is highly unlikely that any Jews would have been along for the ride. And certainly the story doesn’t end well for the NAtive American population. But Thanksgiving is one holiday we can celebrate together with (almost)all Americans, and we can gather our families without having to worry about driving on Shabbat or any other restrictions, just as long we agree on a common hechsher :) . Having an astronomical mashup of Thanksgiving and Chanukkah is just silly fun, in addition to some stretching of the religious freedom theme. So, be careful deep frying your turkeys – our ER docs say that is very dangerous!

  14. Gee, who made the Orthodox in charge of kashrut or how we American Jews wish to celebrate our American holiday? Isn’t it enough that you make Israelis crazy with your frummer than thou nurishkeit? I love Thanksgiving- it’s Pesach without all the extra work. It’s family and food, celebrating our gratitude for living in this wonderful country. Adding Hanukkah and Thanksgiving together makes it even more miraculous. Happy Thanksgivukkah!

  15. avatar says: PeninaM

    Having just recently discovered my Jewish roots, I was looking forward to celebrating my first Hanukkah. Unfortunately I live in Spain and there is nowhere I can purchase anything Jewish so was unable to find a menorah, I sent for one on the net but it hasn’t arrived. I have been feeling so low, but after reading all of your posts, it has made me chuckle at some remarks and it has lifted my spirits so. I thank all of you and I thank you Jamie and Joy of Kosher for all your posts. Your recipes have helped me very much in learning Kosher cooking. We lived in Canada for some years and we celebrated Thanksgiving there too, though not as seriously as in America, we all have so much to thank G-d for, no matter what country we live in and for me I am thankful to Hashem for His Torah and the truths He is teaching me. Shalom and Hag Same’ach. <3

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