By Gateways: Access to Jewish Education
The coincidence of Hanukkah and Thanksgiving falling on the same day creates an opportunity to examine giving thanks from a Jewish perspective. All Americans give thanks on Thanksgiving, and Jews are thankful on Hanukkah for the miracle of the oil burning for eight nights. During this once-in-a-lifetime double holiday celebration, we can combine the two and really explore what giving thanks means with our children.
Below are examples of stories and activities created by Gateways that you can incorporate into your festivities. These activities were created using the same techniques that we use with our students with special learning needs and are also great for young children.
What is Thankful?
This social story explains what it means to be thankful and offers examples of things we could be thankful for.
Saying Thank You to God
This social story connects saying the blessings to being thankful to show that we appreciate what God does in the world, and for us in particular.
Thanksgiving Story Mad Lib
Fill in the blanks with your own words or with the choices provided to create a funny version of the Thanksgiving story. There is an option to either write in the words or cut and paste them. An explanation of why it is funny to choose incorrect words is included.
Hanukkah Story Mad Lib
Fill in the blanks with your own words or with the choices provided for a funny version of the Hanukkah story. There is an option to either write in the words or cut and paste them. An explanation of why it is funny to choose incorrect words is included.
This activity can be played at the Thanksgiving/Hanukkah table. Put items representing both holidays around the table. Give each person a different bingo board and have them cross off the objects they see on the table. The first person to cross off five in any direction wins!
For more Hanukkah resources, visit our online resource center.