Monday, November 26, 2007

Thursday Nov 27

Thanksgiving Day

Evening with Maccabean
Camp open meeting.


Matt's Notes

Though he felt deep admiration for his adopted country (the contemplation of free elections had brought him to tears as he listened to the Democratic Convention on the radio earlier in the year) it looks like Papa hadn't developed much attachment to Thanksgiving as of 1924. (This despite the premiere of the Macy's Thanksgiving Day parade in which, according to the New York Times, "a retinue of clowns, freaks, animals and floats" accompanied Santa Claus on a march from 145th Street to the seven-month-old Macy's store on 34th Street.)

Papa had a couple of days off earlier in the week due to slow business at his factory, but I can't tell from this post whether Thanksgiving Day was an official union holiday or whether he worked. It certainly seems like he didn't have a meal with either of his sisters or other relatives, but perhaps the "Maccabean camp" (this was Papa's chapter of B'nai Zion, the fraternal organization to which he belonged) held its open meeting to give its members, most of whom were immigrants, a place to gather for the holiday.


My mother adds:

Very few Jews, even when I was growing up, celebrated Thanksgiving the way we know it now...We never had turkeys...I think because there weren't any kosher ones. Turkey was what we read about in school...Pilgrims, grandmother's house. etc., mainly consumed by Gentiles. I doubt that Aunt Nettie and Aunt Clara had any clue about the holiday.

1 comment:

  1. I am amazed to hear about Jews who didn't celebrate Thanksgiving in some way. My mother and her siblings, who came to America just a year before Papa's diary, were always tuned in to Thanksgiving. I think, for some immigrants, it was not that they didn't care for the concept, but they didn't know how.

    See my favorite holiday to look at a Jewish Thanksgiving.