Watch CBS News

New York Jews Embrace Thanksgivukkah

NEW YORK (CBSNewYork) -- The Festival of Lights has begun and celebrations were held all across the globe to mark the Jewish holiday.

This Hanukkah, however, is a twofer, coinciding with Thanksgiving.

Joshua Nemsersher, 12, of Park Slope, will have a "Thanksgivukkah" with many family and friends -- not all of them Jewish.

"More holidays, more fun," he told CBS 2's Dave Carlin.

"We're thinking start it with latkes and then ... turkey, some pumpkin pie, pecan pie, some jelly donuts and gelt."

It's only the second time the first full day of Hanukkah and Thanksgiving have collided. It won't happen again for 70,000 years, experts say.

Some are making the most of this one with innovative mash-up activities.

"How about giving latkes a sweet potato twist?" said Florence Weiss. "Or brining turkey in manischewitz wine?

"Normally, I might do a cornbread stuffing, and this year I'm making a challah chestnut apple stuffing."

On Wednesday, a Hanukkah celebration was held outside the site of Brooklyn's largest menorah, which stands at 32 feet tall.

The menorah has towered over Grand Army Plaza since 1985.

The festivities kicked off with speeches, followed by the lighting of the middle candle by Rabbi Shimon Hecht with the help of a Con Edison cherry-picker.

Each night the celebration is accompanied by live music and hot latkes for all.  Special gifts are also distributed to every child who attends.

Click here for the full menorah lighting schedule

Organizers say Hanukkah and Thanksgiving share the same ideals of family, friendship and giving back.

You May Also Be Interested In These Stories:

View CBS News In
CBS News App Open
Chrome Safari Continue
Be the first to know
Get browser notifications for breaking news, live events, and exclusive reporting.