The Ottumwa Courier

AP National

November 25, 2013

Thanksgiving-Hanukkah overlap spurs thanks, angst

(Continued)

Kerry Elgarten, host of an annual Hanukkah party for family and friends at his apartment in New York City's Bronx borough, calls the convergence "a conundrum." Because of guests' Thanksgiving commitments, he's moving the bash to the following weekend.

"I feel a little bit weird about pushing it off — it was just too much holiday for one weekend," he said. "Honestly, I will even cheat on the candles. I'll fill up the whole menorah ... and just pretend."

In California, Bruce Sandler has no plans to move or modify the annual Thanksgiving eve party he throws for the staff and other affiliates of his medical supply business. The party's kosher offerings typically include a turkey and his wife's nondairy cornbread. Hanukkah, he said, doesn't call for any changes.

"I don't think it's a big deal — I think maybe it adds a little bit to it," said Sandler, who is president of Young Israel of Northridge near Los Angeles. It's worth noting that Sandler is fond of having fun with holiday mixing and matching — he recently hired a man to paint Santa Claus riding a medical scooter while spinning a dreidel on his storefront window.

Back at Hillel Day School, students entering the library see a colorful poster designed to provoke thoughts about the convergent holidays: Under a Thanksgivvukah headline are several questions, including "How are Thanksgiving and Hanukkah alike?"

"I think it's a great honor to be able to 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."

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