By Dean Bilenker and Sam Essenfeld
This year, Chanukah and the American holiday of Thanksgiving fell on the same day, November 28th. This is indeed a rare occurrence as this has not happened since 1868, according to the web site, www.forward.com. The next time Chanukah and Thanksgiving will overlap will be in the year 79,811.
Here at BCDS, it is important that we celebrate these holidays. “Giving thanks and expressing gratitude to God is an essential Jewish value. Both the Maccabees and the Pilgrims shared that value,” said the BCDS Director of Jewish Studies, Mrs. Michal Smart. “Thanksgiving can teach not only Jews, but everyone, that we should be grateful for what we have and that we should thank God ourselves for our achievements.”
BCDS organized an assembly to speak about this specifically. This is mainly what BCDS wants to teach our students. In addition, BCDS conducted special classes and held a unique festival, which took place the day before Thanksgiving, mainly to help demonstrate to our students about the values and importance of the two holidays. “Thanksgiving can teach Jews not to take what we have for granted and to be thankful for our achievements. As American Jews, it is special opportunity to celebrate both aspects of our heritage and customs together,” said Mrs. Smart.
“This is the kind of message the faculty wants to send to our students.”