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U.S. Jews readying for Thanksgivukkah

Published: Wednesday, Oct. 9 2013 5:30 p.m. MDT

This year it’ll be the turkey spinning the dreidel.

The United States’ Jewish population is readying for a rare superholiday this year — Thanksgivukkah. The Jewish holiday Hanukkah starts early this year, on Nov. 27, causing it to overlap with Thanksgiving, which begins on Nov. 28.

This isn’t the first time Thanksgivukkah has surfaced. It happened in 1888 — the first known occurrence since President Abraham Lincoln declared Thanksgiving a national holiday in 1863, according to Associated Press. Researchers estimate the next Thanksgivukkah might not be for another 79,043 years, or the year 81,056.

Thanksgivukkah is already sweeping the nation in multiple ways.

Not only does the holiday have its own Facebook and Twitter pages, but T-shirts and posters for the unique celebration have also risen into the mainstream.

And it’s hitting home at the grassroots level. Asher Weintraub, a 9-year-old boy from Manhattan, N.Y., has invented and trademarked the Menurkey — a menorah shaped like a turkey — to help believers celebrate both holidays. They’re available for $50.

“When you think about it, Thanksgiving and Hanukkah are sort of related,” Weintraub says in a video about the project, according to The Times of Israel. “They are both holidays when we spend our time with family and are thankful for all that we have been given.”

Songs are popping up, too. Rabbi David Paskin from the Kehillah Schechter Academy in Norwood, Mass., co-wrote “The Ballad of Thanksgivukkah,” which is available for listening on his website.

“It’s pretty amazing to me that in this country we can have rich secular and rich religious celebrations and that those of us who live in both worlds can find moments when they meet and can really celebrate that convergence. There are many places in the world where we would not be able to do that,” Paskin said to the AP.

But how will these holidays mix when it comes to dining? One blogger at The Huffington Post offered her suggestions on what to bring to Thanksgivukkah.

Buzzfeed good also offered advice on what should find its way to the table.

“How do you make pumpkin pie Jewish? (Answer: Add rye flour and caraway seeds to the crust, then teach it a Torah portion.) How much sweet potato do you need to add to a noodle kugel to make it taste like Thanksgiving? (A lot, and then some bourbon too.) Does challah make a good turkey stuffing? (OH MY GOODNESS, YES.),” Buzzfeed wrote.

In addition to potato latkes with applesauce, Buzzfeed also suggest eating “Rye Apple Pye” and “Pecan Pie Rugelach.”

This is a holiday certainly worth celebrating, wrote Matthew Zuras of Refinery 29.

“You can wish everyone ‘gobble tov’ as you pass around the copious amounts of wine necessary for most family Thanksgivings,” he wrote.

And, he said, this superholiday is something you don’t want to miss.

Email: hscribner@deseretnews.com

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