Editor's Letter

Tradition (just ask Tevye) is intimately intertwined with Judaism. Yet in Judaism tradition is always evolving and changing (again – ask Tevye!).

In our Seniors special section this month, Golde Barde recalls the Old South Portland neighborhood where so many Jewish families lived. The richness of that close-knit community was scattered across the metro area by urban renewal, and she laments that today’s youth don’t have the same experiences in a neighborhood full of Jewish families.

But, as our Camp section shows, young people can find those carefree summer days immersed in Jewish life at summer camp. Studies show Jewish campers become more involved with Judaism – being more likely to light Shabbat candles, give to charity and attend synagogue at least once a month. Parents who have attended overnight camp want their children to have that same experience.

Dor l’ dor, generation to generation.

We all know that Hanukkah recalls two great traditions. The great victory of the Maccabbees over the Greek/Syrian armies that were far superior in numbers and weapons inspires soldiers in the Israel Defense Forces to this day. The miracle of the one-day supply of consecrated oil that burned for eight days reminds new generations that miracles can happen.

This year American Jews are creating new traditions to celebrate “Thanksgivukkah,” the rare convergence of Hanukkah and Thanksgiving. Light your Thanksgivukkah Menurkey and enjoy deep-fried turkey and pumpkin latkes topped with cranberry sauce in celebration of the joining of two holidays that are both long on thankfulness.

While calculations on the next convergence vary, most agree it won’t happen again for at least 70,000 years. So be sure to make the most of it this year! To help you out, we have a wonderful Thanksgivukkah feast and celebration ideas in this issue.

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