Dartmouth Celebrates Thanksgiving and Hanukkah

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It’s happened only once before and it won’t happen again for another 79,000 years: Thursday, November 28, marks both the Thanksgiving holiday and the start of the eight-day celebration of Hanukkah.

Dartmouth is celebrating with several events to commemorate the holidays, which this year many are calling “Thanksgivukkah.” The last time the two overlapped was in 1888.

Milly Goosey

“Thanksgiving Day: or the Fate of Poor Milly Goosey” (Boston: Wier & White, ca. 1850) is a hand-colored children’s book in the collection at Rauner Special Collections Library. (Photo courtesy of Rauner Special Collections Library)

Dartmouth’s Lewis Glinert, professor of Hebrew studies in the Department of Asian and Middle Eastern Languages and Literatures, says Thanksgiving and Hanukkah are uniquely intertwined in American history.

“Hanukkah is proclaimed in the Talmud as a holiday of thanksgiving for the defeat of the Hellenists who sought to eradicate Jewish ancestral customs. Shortly after American independence, George Washington guaranteed freedom of worship to America’s Jews, at a time when many countries in Europe and Asia still prohibited it,” says Glinert. “Though an Englishman by birth, I will be joining my American relatives to celebrate Thanksgiving and to thank the Lord that the U.S. still safeguards these freedoms.”

Dartmouth’s Rabbi Edward Boraz says he will celebrate by eating turkey alongside potato pancakes, a traditional Jewish dish eaten during Hanukkah.

“Hanukkah is a time for thanksgiving in our tradition,” says Boraz. “So this is a very special Thanksgiving for our people.”

Rauner Library Blog: The Ill-Fated Moll

To celebrate Thanksgiving this year, Rauner Special Collections Library writes about an illustrated book from its Class of 1926 collection, Thanksgiving Day: or the Fate of Poor Milly Goosey (Boston: Wier & White, ca. 1850). This hand-colored children’s book relates the tale of young Prince Gander’s courtship with the lovely Miss Molly Goosey. The two fall madly in love and became engaged, and then the trouble begins:

Both looked forward, soon, to a sweet honeymoon,
For neither of them did remember,
That once, every year, there comes, it is clear,
A Thanksgiving day in November.

To read more, visit Rauner’s blog.

To celebrate the start of Hanukkah, the Upper Valley Jewish Center will sponsor a Hanukkah party at Dartmouth’s Roth Center for Jewish Life. The party will begin with the lighting of the menorah at 6 p.m. on Wednesday, November 27.

There will be a traditional Thanksgiving dinner for international students on Thursday, sponsored by the Office of Residential Life. The annual dinner will start at 4 p.m. in the first floor lounge of Rauner Hall in the McLaughlin Cluster. The event usually has anywhere from 40 to 60 students in attendance.

Georgi Klissurski ’14, who is from Bulgaria, will be one of them.

“The international student dinner on Thanksgiving day will be a wonderful way for us to celebrate this American holiday,” says Klissurski. “As an international student, I deeply appreciate the support and thoughtfulness of all those who are putting together this event.”

In addition, many Upper Valley residents who participate in the International Friendship Family Program will open their homes to students as they break bread and carve turkey.