Some things happen once in a lifetime. Some things only happen once every 8,000 or so lifetimes*. So when that thing happens, you really need a special celebration. This year, for the first (and last) time ever, Hanukkah falls on Thanksgiving, and the Skirball Cultural Center has your celebrating well in hand. So grab the kids and get ready to rock the turkey, with a side of latkes.

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Celebrate Good Times
Today’s events all revolve around the story of Hanukkah, and ways to create, learn and celebrate with your family. There will be performances (a Hanukkah musical, a klezmer music performance and a Jewish kindie rock band) and storytelling, drop-in art workshops (make your own tzedakah box, puppet making of characters from ancient stories, and even make a menorah) and community activities (join together to make a gratitude tree) that are appropriate for all ages.

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The Lineup
In case you’ve got nappers, here’s what’s happening when, so you don’t miss your favorites:

  • The Young Maccabees, an original Hanukkah musical for families, will show at 11:30 am & 1:45 pm.
  • The “outrageously hip” Jewish kiddie-rock band ShirLaLa performs a Hanukkah program of joy and spirit, story and song at 12:30 pm & 2:45 pm.
  • The Golden State Klezmers will get you dancing at 11:00 am, 12:00 pm, 1:15 pm & 2:15 pm.
  • The Lights of Hanukkah Family Tour takes place at 12:00 pm.

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While You’re Here
Don’t miss the regular Skirball activities, including our favorite – Noah’s Ark. This amazing interactive exhibit occupies 8,000 square feet and plenty of activities to fuel a preschooler’s mind. The floor to ceiling ark is filled with animals and things that make your fingers itch to build, create, climb and explore every inch. A new gorilla family landed in the ark this summer, so be sure to stop by and say hello. (Timed tickets for the exhibit will not be available in advance, so you’ll need to get there early to make sure you snag tickets before they run out.)

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What about the Turkey?
For a sit down lunch, Zeidler’s Café’s has “Thanksgiving Hanukkah” treats like roasted pumpkin-apple soup, pear and potato latkes with cranberry apple relish, and stuffed acorn squash filled with chard, white beans, and walnuts. For grabbing on the go, Zeidler’s Cart has seasonal pumpkin butter–filled sufganiyot (jelly donuts), those holiday latkes, and warm turkey sandwiches.

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*Why is This Hanukkah Different From All Other Hanukkas?
The Jewish calendar is very slowly getting out of sync with the solar calendar, at a rate of 4 days per 1000 years. This means that while today Hanukkah can be as early as November 28, over the years the calendar will drift forward. The last time Hanukkah falls on November 28 is 2146 (which happens to be a Monday – so NOT Thanksgiving). Therefore, 2013 is the only time Hanukkah will ever overlap with Thanksgiving (until the year 79,811!).

Hanukkah Family Festival
Skirball Cultural Center
2701 Sepulveda Blvd., West LA
Sunday, November 24 from 11:00 am – 4:00 pm
This event is appropriate for all ages.
$10 adults, free to Skirball Members and kids under 12
Online: skirball.org/programs/for-families/hanukkah-family-festival
Photo Credits: BeBe Jacobs and Peter Turman courtesy of the Skirball Cultural Center.

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How are you celebrating this rare holiday occurrence? Let us know, in the comments below. (We’ll be here, scooping up all the pumpkin sufganiyots!)