This post is written by Hanna Griff-Sleven, Director of Cultural Programs and Intern Coordinator at the Museum at Eldridge Street.
My mother died on the 5th of Kislev in 1991 (November 12th) and this year her Yarzheit (the anniversary of her death) is on Thanksgiving. The Jewish calendar is a lunar one and every few years her Yarzheit falls on Thanksgiving or my wedding anniversary (November 11th). This is not a sad thing, because more than any holiday during the year, and even though she was a very religious woman, I think of her on Thanksgiving. For many years I was the child in our family that lived the furthest from home and my parents made it a point to visit me for Thanksgiving. Thanksgiving worked as it was the rare occasion when my father actually took time off from running Griff Furniture in Waltham, Massachusetts. Back then, business was slow between Thanksgiving and the first week of December – before stores were open on Thanksgiving and Black Friday.