Wednesday, January 24, 2018
News Roundup

Rare convergence of Thanksgiving, Hanukkah brings twist to holidays

TAMPA — Rabbi Richard Birnholz chuckles when he says the word Thanksgivukah.

Trademarked by a Boston-area woman, Thanksgivukah was coined to mark this year's rare confluence of Hanukkah and Thanksgiving. It's spawned a Facebook page — with more than 12,000 likes and counting — T-shirts, aprons, notepads, recipes and more.

The convergence of the two holidays is a major happening. It last occurred in 1888, and after Thursday, won't happen again for 70,000-plus years.

This year, the lighting of the first Hanukkah candle will take place after sundown Wednesday. Thanksgiving will mark the first day of the eight-day festival and the second candle lighting.

Birnholz of Congregation Schaarai Zedek in Tampa said his family will wait until after Thanksgiving dinner to light the second candle, making sure to distance the traditions.

"I've heard people say they are going to try and keep them separate, and then there are people who have made Menorahs shaped like turkeys, with the tail feathers sticking up as the candles," Birnholz said. "Everyone has a different take on it."

Jody and Debbie Berner and their son, Benjamin, 13, are ramping up the celebrations. The Belleair family had hoped to celebrate Benjamin's bar mitzvah on Thanksgiving. "But we couldn't find vendors," Debbie Berner said.

So the bar mitzvah will be Saturday. But when more than a dozen relatives gather on Thanksgiving morning for the annual Turkey Trot, Berner hopes they'll all don Happy Thanksgivukah shirts.

"We're milking it," she said.

In Seminole, Judi Gordon is baking, frying and freezing for Thanksgivukah.

She's baked a challah — the traditional Jewish bread — in the shape of a turkey. For her grandchildren and great-nieces and -nephews, she's planned a special joint-holiday project that will become the centerpiece of the Thanksgivukah buffet table.

"I'm going to be getting eight small pumpkins and one medium-sized pumpkin and they are each going to get to decorate them with blue and silver and then we are going to cut a hole in each one and that will be our menorah," Gordon said.

To accompany the latkes she's made from about 12 pounds of potatoes, she'll make her mother's apple sauce recipe. But in a nod to the dual holidays, she will offer cranapple sauce as well.

All the fuss won't be confined to Thursday, though. Gordon will host a Hanukkah dinner on Wednesday, the first night of the Festival of Lights. Her guests will be greeted with a banner proclaiming, "Happy, Happy Thanksgivukah."

"We have to combine the two. You can't let something that occurs so rarely pass by without special notice," she said.

Debra Joseph and her husband, David, members of Congregation Beth Am in north Tampa, will light their Menorah together each night, including Thursday. They prefer it when Hanukkah falls in December.

"It's very inconvenient," Debra Joseph said. "I like it better when its not so early because I really like Thanksgiving and would like to celebrate it as a separate holiday."

Anna Salomon, director of lifelong learning and engagement at Temple Beth-El in St. Petersburg, said the coinciding holidays offer positives, but also challenges.

"For the kids, I think the biggest challenge is the month of December. With Hanukkah ending on Dec. 5, that's an awful long month not to have anything, with all of the commercial aspects of Christmas surrounding you," she said. "Normally Hanukkah overlaps and the earliest is in the middle of the month. Now it's early and it's over."

Rabbi Danielle Upbin of Congregation Beth Shalom in Clearwater and a rabbinic fellow with the Jewish Theological Seminary said she sees only opportunities in the shared timing.

"At the time of Hanukkah, we are thankful for the miracles and blessings in our lives," she said. "In that light, I think the motif of gratitude and rededication are interlinked."

At Hanukkah, Jews remember Judah Maccabee, his small band of fighters and their victory over the religious and cultural persecution by Syrian-Greek oppressors, who seized the temple in Jerusalem. It was recaptured in 165 B.C., but when it was time to rededicate the temple, only one cruse of undefiled oil was found to rekindle the eternal light. The oil that was enough for one day miraculously lasted for eight.

The idea of meshing the holidays is appreciated by Rabbi Mendel Rubashkin, founder of the Jewish Discovery Center in Brandon.

"I've always liked how both of them have a similar message, that no one can dictate how we should believe," Rubashkin said.

"This year not only can we celebrate our right to practice our religion back in Israel, but also our freedom of religion in the United States."

 
Comments
Want to own St. Pete’s World Liquors sign? Let the bidding begin

Want to own St. Pete’s World Liquors sign? Let the bidding begin

ST. PETERSBURG — Want to own a piece of city history?Okay, the iconic World Liquors sign is, after all, a big sign for a liquor store. Still, it’s a historic liquor store sign, one that has stood at the corner of Central Avenue and 16th Street for 57...
Updated: 14 minutes ago
Starbucks gives workers raises, stock grants due to tax law

Starbucks gives workers raises, stock grants due to tax law

NEW YORK — Starbucks is giving its U.S. workers pay raises and stock grants this year, citing recent changes to the tax law.All employees can will soon be able to earn paid sick time off, and the company’s parental leave benefits will include all non...
Updated: 27 minutes ago
The Daystarter: Pasco man carries out execution; prepare for Carmageddon II in Tampa; own a piece of St. Pete history; Stamkos, Lightning come up big

The Daystarter: Pasco man carries out execution; prepare for Carmageddon II in Tampa; own a piece of St. Pete history; Stamkos, Lightning come up big

Catching you up on overnight happenings, and what you need to know today.• It’s jacket weather this morning, but temperatures should warm up pleasantly, to the upper 60s, according to 10Weather WTSP. And we’re tracking the weather ahead of Gasparill...
Updated: 1 hour ago
Forecast: Cold front leaves clear skies, return to cooler conditions for Tampa Bay

Forecast: Cold front leaves clear skies, return to cooler conditions for Tampa Bay

Cooler weather takes hold across Tampa Bay as a cold front has moved south through the region, leaving behind drier air and bright sunshine.10News WTSPFeels-like temperatures around the Tampa Bay area Residents will notice the change when they step ...
Updated: 1 hour ago
Sheriff: Two dead, one seriously injured in Hernando shooting

Sheriff: Two dead, one seriously injured in Hernando shooting

BROOKSVILLE — A suspect is in custody after a fatal shooting and standoff in Brooksville on Tuesday night.During a news conference Tuesday night, Hernando County Sheriff Al Nienhuis said two people were found dead in a house on Azen Loop, in the Hill...
Updated: 2 hours ago
Changing the shape of food

Changing the shape of food

Diners began with a warm hand towel sprayed lightly with a subtle lavender fragrance, a way to wake up the palate. From there, guests were presented with a white enamel spoon, an "amuse bouche" of blood orange sorbet, sweet and tangy.This was not lun...
Published: 01/24/18
Dan Ruth: Autopsy On A Stick? Six Feet Under Souffle? Welcome to the state fair!

Dan Ruth: Autopsy On A Stick? Six Feet Under Souffle? Welcome to the state fair!

Well it’s that time of year again, the arrival of the Florida State Fair, or as it might otherwise be known — the yearly gastronomical death march.As always, the fair, which runs from Feb. 8-19, will feature the usual assortment of thrill rides, carn...
Published: 01/24/18
Real, homemade lasagna is worth every minute of your time in the kitchen

Real, homemade lasagna is worth every minute of your time in the kitchen

I grew up on my mom’s lasagna alla Bolognese, composed of emerald green spinach noodles layered with robust ground meat sauce and creamy bechamel. To many Italian food lovers, this is the ideal against which all others are measured. But the world of ...
Published: 01/24/18
Lightning beats Predators in overtime

Lightning beats Predators in overtime

NASHVILLE — Steven Stamkos’ celebration said it all.The Lightning captain delivered an emphatic fist pump after his rocket one-timer clanked in off the crossbar, tying the score with just over two minutes left at Bridgestone Arena on Tuesday night. T...
Updated: 7 hours ago

High school scoreboard for Jan. 23

Tuesday’s scoreboardBoys basketballBoca Ciega 55, Canterbury 53Girls basketballBoca Ciega 65, Largo 19
Updated: 8 hours ago