Wednesday, November 6, 2013

The Hybrid Holiday

One day only!!! Never again for anyone currently on the planet (except maybe Joan Rivers, assuming she doesn't deplete the Earth's supply of silicone and D-batteries before then).

This year, by coincidence, the Jewish Holiday of Hanukkah and the American Holiday of Thanksgiving fall on the same day. Never happened before. And won’t happen again for more than 77,000 years. So we Jews have to make the most of it.

Yesterday I wrote about the 9-year-old in Brooklyn making the most of it… $48,000 so far selling his Menurkey, a cross (pardon me) between a Menorah and a turkey. 

Today we’re going to merge a little Hanukkah Gelt and a little Jewish guilt on the Gitell girls who are promoting something called “Thanksgivukkah,” and giving a poultry - uh - paltry 10% of the gelt from the Thanksgivukkah-wares to MAZON, a Jewish anti-hunger group in keeping with Thanksgiving’s emphasis on thankfulness, and the Jewish requirement to give “tzedakeh” (Hebrew for charity).  That leaves 90% of the tzedakeh going elsewhere. 

Dana Gitell of Boston conjured the concept last year as she drove to her marketing job at an elderly care agency and began brainstorming ways Thanksgiving and Hanukkah could be melded. 

“There are so many interesting and playful cultural juxtapositions that come to mind,” she said. With her sister-in-law, Deborah Gitell of Los Angeles, she created a Thanksgivukkah Facebook page, trademarked the word, printed T-shirts and enlisted artist Kim DeMarco to draw a “Happy Thanksgivukkah.” Kim knocked off Grant Woods famed 1930 painting, American Gothic – not the first remake of this particular artwork, but perhaps the first to convert the cheery couple to Judaism…  

The sisters-in-law are also throwing a Thanksgivukkah party in Los Angeles on Nov. 29. (You may be invited).

According to Comedy Central’s Stephen Colbert, the self-described “pope of basic cable”…

“How dare you, Hanukkah!” he mock-protested.

“Pretty soon school kids will think Thanksgiving started when the Wampanoag Indian Tribe sat down with the Maccabees and the yams lasted for eight nights.”

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