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October 25, 2016 / 23 Tishri, 5777
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Touro College, Boro Park

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Question: Does it bother you that an increasing number of Orthodox Jewish families don’t celebrate Thanksgiving, viewing it as a secular holiday?




Yes, it bothers me. I don’t understand why some Jewish families choose not to celebrate it. After all, it is not a specifically Christian holiday. It’s is a good reason for families to get together — in fact, my family has a dinner. It’s a day to show gratitude.

 — Izick Vizel, student




No, it doesn’t bother me. It is an individual’s choice whether he or she wants to celebrate Thanksgiving. I think the backlash is so ironic; people preach America’s freedom and then turn around and criticize others for choosing not to do the same things they do. Personally, to some extent I do celebrate the day by eating a silver-tip roast. We have many other American holidays to celebrate, so people shouldn’t be bothered if some don’t celebrate this one.

 — Duvy Spira, student



I’m neutral. Some years my family gets together and eats turkey and other years we don’t; it’s not a tradition that’s enforced. It does bother me that some Jewish families don’t celebrate the national holiday at all, but there is a big misconception about this. I think many more Jewish families celebrate it than one might think. Most of my friends celebrate Thanksgiving and I know when I have a family of my own I will celebrate it as well.

 — Shlomo Maghen, student




No. It’s not a Jewish  based holiday meaning it’s not halachically mandated, and besides, we as Jews don’t need one day set aside on the calendar to appreciate this country like the secular world does. We express our gratitude for America and everything else every single day when we daven and thank Hashem.

 — Shmuli Hershovitz, student    

Ita Yankovich

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