chanuka table settings, hanukka recipes and tablesettings, holiday table settings, thanksgiving table settings

“Thanksgivukkah” Table and Decor-Syrian Style!

4 Comments 19 June 2013

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Dear Hostesses,

In case you haven’t heard, the new code word for the next huge family get together is “Thanksgivukkah”. This year, in a rare alignment of calendars, Hanukka and Thanksgiving fall on November 28, 2013. Astronomers say that we won’t see this occurrence again till the year 79,811 so  I decided  to make a big deal out of this menorah/pumpkin  shidduch (or buzzrah  as they say in Arabic) by re-creating  a Syrian Jewish Hanukka table with a twist  of Thanksgiving thrown in.  Some may say that this American/Jewish holiday connection is pure coincidence, but I’m thinking that there is a greater cosmic connection that’s just waiting to be blogged about.

As Jews in America,  we are very grateful to be able to celebrate our holidays publicly without fear of being persecuted. Just the fact that we can honor the mitzvah of lighting the menorah at the front window to shout out the 8 day miracle of Hanukka is reason enough to bring out our finest china and table decor to honor our peaceful place in Jewish history. For that reason alone, we should all proudly acknowledge and celebrate Thanksgiving.   As a Sephardic Jew living in America I now understand that we are a minority of Jews residing within a minority of the larger Ashkenazi Jewish population. When our community first arrived on these shores in the 1900′s, they were quickly swept up in the wave of fellow immigrants that had also fled for a better life in the U.S.A.. Fast forward one hundred years,  the Syrian Jewish culture readily absorbed many delicious flavors from their surrounding American and Ashkenazi Jewish neighbors while still retaining the pride of their homeland. It’s no wonder I received this email from Rina Kassab who wrote,

“Hi Marlene, in Syria we had no idea what Sufganiyot is! We made Atayef with Ricotta (lebeh) and Walnuts (joz). My Atayef are ready to freeze fresh for Hanukka!
Hope u like!”

I then decided to skip the Sufganiyot and  create a Syrian style Hanukka table sweetened with a tray of sweet chopped nut filled Atayef and drizzled with shirah- a thick rose water syrup freshly made by Rina. Rina told me that on Hanukka in Syria, the Jewish women prepared 8 small glass cups that were filled with half water/half oil and then inserted a handmade wick within each one. (Whaaaat? No Jonathan Adler Menorot?)

And guess what? In Syrian, NO GIFTS were given on HANUKKA!  Gift giving was reserved for Purim!  I wonder if the Ashkenaz Jews had the tradition of eight surprise filled nights way back in the old country. Comment below if anyone you know has the answer! (Hmmm…. why do I suspect that gift giving during December in our great U.S of A evolved into a fabricated American marketing spending scheme…)

I also added in an extra candle that is lit every year by Syrian Jews whose ancestors fled Spain during the expulsion by King Ferdinand and Queen Isabella in 1492. Expelled on Tisha B’Av over 500 years ago, several Jewish families wandered for months until they stumbled upon the Syrian community of Aleppo, Syria some months later on  Hanukka eve. So grateful were this group of exiles to finally find a homeland that they lit an extra candle to commemorate this miracle. To this day many Syrian Jewish families still light an extra candle on Hanukka, some knowing the story of their wandering ancestors, and some just  following this custom by tradition without really understanding why the extra candle is illuminated.

Enjoy my “Thanksgivukkah” table! Flowers and pumpkin menorah designed by Marzan Flowers.

Photos by the talented Morris Gindi of morrisgindiphotography. Call Morris for weddings and special events! Product and architectural shoots. Check out his website HERE and Instagram feed HERE.

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Modern Silver Hanukka Menorah by Parci Parla in Brooklyn. Call Sherri at ((347) 587-5179 for pricing.

Orange roses  by Marzan Flowers (917)406-6259.

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Note the extra candle lit! (Want to know why? Read it above)

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Dreidels filled with a scooped out and silver sprayed pumpkin by Marzan Flowers. Silver tray by Christofle.

Personalized napkins by ipersonalize.(Call or text Joy  718-490-7063 for more options)

 

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Custom Hanukka Straws by personalize. Call or text Joy (718)490-7063 for all of your tabletop personalizationClick here for more personalization ideas!

Blue trimmed linen napkin and blue and white Ikat tablecloth by Tabletoppers- Call or text Michelle at (646)258-0929

Custom Hanukka Place cards  with exotic blue feathers by Karens Invitations. Call Karen at (718) 339-1929

Thanksgiving Rooster Cupcake Topper by Kitchen Caboodles. Call Helen at (917)691-4599

 

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Although I was really doing great on my diet, I didn’t even flinch when the photo shoot was over and I was able to eat an entire Atayef without a drop of guilt. My grandmother used to make these sweet crunchy treasures and each bite was worth every single calorie. Thanks Rina!!!

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This fantastic silver sprayed pumpkin  menorah was designed and hand crafted by Yuval and Ina Marzan of Marzan Flowers.

Call them for your festive events, holiday tables and hostess gift arrangements at (917)406-6259.

Love this IKAT blue and white table topper by Tabletoppers- Call or text Michelle at (646)258-0929

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Delicious Hanukka cake  with Pumkins on top(!!!) designed by Rachel Benun of Flour Power. Call Rachel for your next special event! (917)881-2428

Lucite cake knife by Parci Parla (347)587-5179

 

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Gorgeous multi layered wrapped gift cake by callmecookie1! Call Latifah at (347)536-9361

Wine Decanter by Pampaloni

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Cake detail by  by callmecookie1! Call Latifah at (347)536-9361

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Hope u enjoyed! XoXo

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Your Comments

4 Comments so far

  1. Cydnee says:

    Where did you get the blue glass plates?

  2. Michelle says:

    Absolutely gorgeous!! I’m amazed at all the beautiful details!


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