Expert Guide: Rare Convergence of Hanukkah and Thanksgiving

Nov. 21, 2013

This season, Hanukkah begins the night before Thanksgiving, creating an unusual intersection of the two holidays. The timing is culturally significant for Jewish Americans, and coverage requires historical and religious insight. Experts from The University of Texas at Austin are available to discuss topics related to the phenomenon that many are calling “Thanksgivukkah.”

Expert Guide

Martha Newman
Department Chair, Associate Professor, Department of Religious Studies
512-232-2264
newman@austin.utexas.edu
Newman’s research focuses on medieval Christian monasticism, especially monastic miracle collections and attitudes toward women and the poor. She is available to discuss topics related to the convergence of Hanukkah and Thanksgiving, and how this holiday mash-up affects Jewish Americans.

Robert Abzug
Director, Schusterman Center for Jewish Studies
Professor, Departments of History and American Studies
zug@austin.utexas.edu (email interviews only)
Abzug's scholarship explores the formation of social and moral consciousness in American culture. He has worked in three major fields: social reform and religious life in antebellum America, America and the Holocaust, and, most recently, the interpenetration of religion and psychology in modern American culture. He is available to share insight about the rare convergence of Thanksgiving and Hanukkah.

Naomi Lindstrom
Professor, Department of Spanish and Portuguese
512-471-4936
lindstrom@austin.utexas.edu
Lindstrom is the author of several books and articles on modern Latin American literature and is coordinator with the Latin American Jewish Studies Association. She is available to discuss various topics relating to the convergence of Thanksgiving and Hanukkah.

Jonathan Schofer
Associate Professor, Schusterman Center for Jewish Studies, Department of Religious Studies
jonschofer@austin.utexas.edu
Schofer specializes in rabbinic literature, ethics, Jewish law and mysticism. He teaches courses in Early Jewish/Christian Literature and Jewish Civilization. He is available to discuss the simultaneous holidays and what this rare event means for Jewish Americans.

For more information, contact: University Communications, Office of the President, 512 471 3151.