Historically speaking…

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So, we’ve all heard that the last time Hanukkah and Thanksgiving occurred on the same date, it was in 1888. Not much else has been contributed to the discussion about this. My research of historical records indicates that from 1850, German Jews, who had emigrated to the United States, celebrated Thanksgiving. Combining Jewish and American rituals, in 1873, Congregation Berith Kodesh of Rochester, New York participated in the first Jewish Thanksgiving interfaith congregational service in the United States.  And, in 1888, Thanksgiving and Hanukkah were coincident. Comparisons were drawn between their respective themes of freedom that undergirded both holidays. Newspaper reports at the time in the American Israelite recorded conjoint celebrations of the two holidays.

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