Shortly we will gather to celebrate Thanksgiving. This year the second candle of Chanukah and Thanksgiving fall on the same night and is affectionately being referred to as Thanksgivukkah. For the Jewish community this rare occurrence provides the opportunity to renew and deepen our understanding of both holidays.
For those who delight in the culinary experience of being Jewish, Thanksgiving during the festival of Chanukah opens the door to untapped cuisine creativity, turkey latkes, potato pie, pecan rugelach? In years when Chanukah occurs in close to Christmas, the message of Chanukah can be overshadowed by the trappings of the December Dilemma. But this year, Chanukah and Thanksgiving occurring together serves to amplify a sense of appreciation of the freedoms we as Americans enjoy and profound sense of gratitude for the earth’s bounty.
When we sit down for our Thanksgiving meal let us shift our focus from merely eating to mindfulness of the blessings in our lives. When we celebrate Chanukah let’s shift our focus from merely gift giving and cherish and celebrate the power and importance of religious freedom.
Daily Jewish prayer at its core is an expression of gratitude. Each time we eat, we pause before and after to recognize the privilege and sacred gift of being sustained. Throughout the day Judaism guides us to express amazement at every extraordinary moment. We hope to be aware of the sacred in our lives and live accordingly informed by humility and respect.
Expressing gratitude and thanksgiving lays the foundation for sacred living, making it possible to encounter the divine. The ability to express thanksgiving guides us to act with responsibility, cultivating moral and ethical imperatives for living in balance with others and the universe.
Our Annual Hanukah Happening (Nov. 23, 12:30-2:30 p.m.) with Hanukah activities, games, booths, arts/crafts, prizes, gifts and lots of latkes, is a fun way to start the Thanksgivukkah week!
After Thanksgivukkah, on Friday, Nov. 29 at 7:30 p.m. we hold our annual Chanukah Community Candle Lighting Service, Storytelling, & Singing. Our doors are open to all who chose to join us. Be transported into the miracle of the holiday through an evening of storytelling by the glow of the Chanukah lights. Bring your own menorah and share the magic of hundreds of lights glowing as we sing and celebrate as a community!
May our Chanukah and Thanksgiving traditions inspire us to render the gathering of Thanksgivukkah to live up to the finest impulse of our religious and American teachings.
Rabbi Yael Romer
Temple Emanuel, Kingston
Feast with Family on Thanksgiving
Family of Woodstock will be holding its 38th annual Thanksgiving Feast at the Woodstock Community Center on Rock City Road from 1–4 p.m. on Thursday, Nov. 28.
With support from local businesses and individuals, Family provides a spectacular feast each Thanksgiving, free of charge. Everyone is welcome to join the Feast and you are sure to see just about everyone you know! And if you are new to the area, you’ll make new friends.
Donations of beverages and freshly prepared foods (delivered hot on Thanksgiving morning) are needed to give the meal that homey Thanksgiving flavor. Your mother’s special stuffing, your favorite pecan pie or that veggie dish you always brag about will be the perfect additions to Family’s table.
Volunteers are also needed to help set up, serve and clean up. This is a wonderful celebration, open to all, and we hope you will join us. It’s what Thanksgiving is all about.
To donate, to volunteer, or for further information, contact Family at 679-2485. A Family volunteer will help you sign up for a shift or note what delicacy you will make for Thanksgiving morning.
Family outreach volunteer
Scouting for food
Rip Van Winkle Council Boy Scout Food Drive collected over 15,000 items for the Saugerties Food Pantry as well as the Atonement Lutheran Church Pantry.
Saturday, Nov. 10 was the collection date for the annual Scouting for Food Drive conducted throughout the BSA Rip Van Winkle Council, which includes all of Ulster and Greene counties. The people of Saugerties belong to a very generous community. Between all the Troops, Cub Scout Packs and the Venture Crew that are located in the Town of Saugerties, over 15,000 items of food and some toiletries were collected. Boy Scout Units in Saugerties include Packs 33, 37 and 135, Troops 31, 36, 131 and 135, and Venture Crew 1507.
Thanks goes out to those who contributed to this food drive. This thanks includes the youth participating in the collection and learning about service to their community while doing so, as well as the parents who helped driving them to distribute and collect the bags a week later. Thanks to the members of the units who took the extra time to set up the collection areas and the youth and adults who sorted, boxed and delivered the food to the pantries. Thank you also to the locations that gave a place for the collection to be held, Glasco Firehouse, St. Mary of the Snow, Centerville Firehouse and St. Joseph’s in Glasco for assembling boxes the evening before. Special thanks to the people of Saugerties for being so generous in their donations. Without your aid, this great accomplishment would not be possible.
Scouting for Food chair
Troop 135, Venture Crew 1507
A renewable energy future
Several weeks ago Josh Fox, the director of Academy Award-nominated “Gasland” and its sequel, “Gasland II,” spoke to over 500 campus and community members at SUNY New Paltz. His documentaries explore the perilous impact of horizontal hydraulic fracturing (aka fracking) on the environment and communities.
The oil and gas industry has run out of conventional fuels and shifted to a new business model of extreme energy extraction. These unconventional fuels include fracked gas which is extracted from deep below the earth’s surface. And along with this extreme energy extraction comes extreme climate change.
The decision to move forward with either this extreme energy extraction or renewable energy in our state is with Gov. Andrew Cuomo. Call the Governor at518-474-8390. Tell him to ban fracking because this form of extreme energy extraction 1.) sets us up for extreme climate change and 2.) delays moving ahead more whole-heartedly with renewable energy.
Josh presented a renewable energy project that will on a state-by -tate basis identify the custom mix of renewables needed for the state and key locations for deployment of those renewable resources. There was a big cheer from his SUNY New Paltz audience when he suggested he might return to do one in New Paltz. Go to thesolutionsproject.org to learn more about Josh’s new project and actually join the movement.
Taking these steps will protect future generations and help reëstablish our state as a model to other communities worldwide who look to us for environmental leadership. Do it now!