Last year’s Thanksgivukkah may have been a once-in-a-lifetime mash-up deal (and I will forever treasure my Menurkey!), but as a holiday dedicated to family and thankfulness, Thanksgiving is always a perfect opportunity for American Jews to celebrate the reasons we have it pretty great here in the U.S.
Harkening back to my ancestors in Eastern Europe, my family in Israel and friends around the world, here are a few ways American Jews can revel in the luxuries we enjoy:
The Music: Adam Sandler’s “Thanksgiving Song”
Move over “Hanukkah Song,” it’s not your time quite yet. Adam Sandler couldn’t overlook Thanksgiving in this silly little ditty. “Turkey for me, turkey for you”—this may not be much of an artistic claim to fame, but it sure is funny.
The Movie: Woody Allen’s “Hannah and Her Sisters”
I feel like Woody makes every Jewish list in some way, but his 1986 hit “Hannah and Her Sisters” is a Thanksgiving classic. The movie is set in between two Thanksgivings, and it will hopefully remind you to be thankful for a less dramatic family around your Thanksgiving table. With a 93 percent positive rating on Rotten Tomatoes, I can assure you this film is one worth watching. Plus what would American Jewish culture be without Woody Allen?!
The Food: Challah Stuffing
Stuffing is my favorite part of Thanksgiving dinner. And while I love some classic Pepperidge Farm, challah makes a mean stuffing. Here’s a recipe worth stuffing into your bird (or enjoying on the side). Challah with cranberries is also another fun twist on tradition. This Serious Eats recipe looks pretty delicious, plus it would make a great turkey sandwich or French toast the day after, don’t you think?
The Craft: Cornucopia of Giving
Get crafty, recycle and bring a little tikkun olam (repairing the world) to your day of thanks. To make your own simple cornucopia (which literally means “horn of plenty”), use a brown paper bag and follow these instructions. By filling your creation with cans and goodies to donate to the local food pantry (and asking your guests to do the same), it’s a creative centerpiece idea that encourages the Jewish value of giving back.
So get artsy this Thanksgiving and celebrate the beauty and freedom of being Jewish in America!