For 30 years, Stuart Kahan has resisted customers’ entreaties to shake up the Hanukkah selection at his Teaneck, New Jersey, delicatessen. Now he has a reason to move beyond potato pancakes: Thanksgivukkah, a mashup of the American and Jewish celebrations.
Owing to an overlap in the Gregorian and Jewish calendars, Hanukkah and Thanksgiving have collided for the first time since at least early last century. Merchants as varied as Amazon.com Inc., Martha Stewart and Teaneck’s Smokey Joe’s kosher barbecue are rising to the occasion with Thanksgivukkah menus, tchotchkes and merchandise.
Exhibit A: the Menurkey, a turkey-themed menorah, the eight-tiered Hanukkah candelabra, dreamed up by a 9-year-old boy from Manhattan. For folks who want to commemorate the occasion there are “Gobble Tov” and “Happy Thanukkah” shirts. Americans will spend $2.38 billion on Thanksgiving dinner alone, according to the USDA National Agricultural Statistics Service.
“Everybody’s excited about it,” Kahan said. “It’s like a double whammy, two for the price of one.”
The holiday merger has spawned unlikely combinations, including maneschewitz-brined turkey, sweet potato bourbon noodle kugel, challah-apple stuffing and pecan pie rugelach.
In Teaneck, a New York suburb with a large Jewish population, Kahan and other merchants say the combo holiday is driving higher sales than usual.