Chanukah…thanks for the memories

27 Nov

Sufganiyot in Ma’alot

Each year during Thanksgiving I reflect on the many blessings for which I am thankful.  This year, with the first day of Chanukah coinciding with Thanksgiving, I also have recollections of Chanukahs past which also give me reason to give thanks.

I remember my father, who passed away in March, making his annual batch of potato latkes.  While he did not cook much, latkes for Chanukah were his specialty.  One year, my husband, daughter and I spent Chanukah in Jerusalem.  We walked through the Old City marveling at the oil-burning Hanukiah in the windows of every home. We went to The Great Synagogue, singing Maoz Tzur realizing that we were part of a world-wide Jewish community. Last year, I spent the last two nights of Chanukah in Ma’alot, a town in northern Israel six miles from Lebanon. I was staying in a hotel full of families as it was the Chanukah vacation from school.  I joined in to the light the Hanukiah and indulge in sufganiyot thinking about how thankful I was that there was peace and celebration in this corner of the world which suffered a devastating attack in 1974.

This year, in addition to being thankful for my family and Jewish community, I will be gratefully celebrating both holidays with family and friends in my home.  In deference to Thanksgivukkah, there will be sweet potato latkes on the table…Dad would have loved them.

Ilene Fox is the Director of Women’s Philanthropy at The Jewish Federation of Sarasota-Manatee.


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