(photo credit: Detroit Free Press/MCT)
Pumpkin and chestnut soup, traditional stuffed turkey and pumpkin pie are some
of the traditions of Thanksgiving. For many American immigrants in Israel,
mentions of these foods stir up as much nostalgia or more than matzah, latkes,
hamentashen and other festive Jewish foods.
Jerusalem has always had a
large contingency of Americans, and many do something to mark the holiday of
Thanksgiving. Friends and family gather together and many prepare the
traditional meal complete with all the trimmings. Frozen turkeys can be
purchased at Mahane Yehuda market, and American brands of items like cranberry
sauce are available at most supermarkets.
This year, a scattering of
Thanksgiving-themed events will take place around Jerusalem. One of the most
popular is the annual Thanksgiving dinner at the American Colony Hotel
Jerusalem. The hotel’s meat buffet dinner is popular amongst Americans working in Jerusalem and is fully booked. Another favorite is the Inbal Hotel’s elegant themed
dinner with their Jazz band playing American songs. For something more informal,
Mike’s Place is holding a three-course sit-down dinner
entertainment followed by a cowboy and Indians costume party. Several other
and bars will take advantage of the holiday to offer specials for
Organizations that help the absorption of American immigrants into
Israeli society are taking the opportunity to bring Americans together. The
Association of Americans and Canadians in Israel (AACI) held a luncheon for 50
senior citizens yesterday and promises fun for the whole family at their annual
thanksgiving dinner feast
tonight. “Living in Israel, it could be
considered crazy to be doing Thanksgiving,” says David London, executive
director of AACI. “But we see it as an opportunity to be thankful for our lives
in Jerusalem and in Israel”.
The Nefesh b'Nefesh celebrations draws
crowds of young singles and takes place outside the capital at the Basel Hotel
in Tel Aviv. A special dinner for up to 300 American lone soldiers, organized by
The Lone Soldier Center in memory of Michael Levin, also takes place in Tel
Aviv. The dinner is a way of making it easier for these volunteer soldiers being
away from family during the holiday and is a way of expressing gratitude to
them, in the spirit of the festival.
“For many of these immigrants and expats,
American identity is a big part of who they are,” says David. “Though many are
happy to be in Israel, they also enjoy take part in something they are so
familiar with.”iTravelJerusalem.com is a new online international travel
portal offering all the latest information on things to do, places to eat and
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