Thanksgiving in Jerusalem

Happy Thanksgiving to all our American friends!
Here in Jerusalem, Americans still cling to their outmoded and foreign customs, refusing to integrate with society at large. They speak the language of the old country and live in enclaves or ghettos if you will, stubbornly clinging to a lifestyle ill-suited to the rigors of the middle east. At no time is this more apparent than during Thanksgiving. All along Emek Refaim, the heart of anglo Jerusalem, Americans have booked every available table in order to celebrate the feast of Thanksgiving. At such a meal, the average American will consume enough food to feed a typical Israeli family for 1.4 days. Walking down the street one hears only English and woe unto the waiter, waitress or bartender whose command of the language is less than stellar.

While this is ostensibly a day of celebration, openness and grace, here it’s all about Americans and American-style consumption. Nowhere is this more apparent than at Norman’s Steak ‘N Burger, an upscale meat restaurant in the heart of Emek Refaim, home of the one pound Kahuna and 2 pound Sumo burgers. Despite the fact that the owner of Norman’s is a Canuck, every table was booked till 3 am with American expats celebrating Thanksgiving. To get people into the spirit, all the staff wore face paint and Indian feathers as modeled above by our good friend Yoni (husband of Simone). Being a vegetarian with no prior reservations, I didn’t eat there, but man did it look like everyone was having a good time! Well, next Thanksgiving in Jerusalem! הודו לה ×›×™ טוב

Heh… get it?

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About the author


Founder and Publisher of Jewlicious, David Abitbol lives in Jerusalem with his wife, newborn daughter and toddler son. Blogging as "ck" he's been blocked on twitter by the right and the left, so he's doing something right.


  • Oy, there are just so many things wrong with that photo. And CK, if Thanksgiving involved couscous and seviche, I think you’ld be a bit less critical of the food consumption, eh? Happy Turkey day Weekend 🙂

  • Thanksgiving is for crackers.

    You think there were any Jews with that bunch of honkies at Plymouth Rock? You think they used kosher turkeys and Badatz pumpkin pie filling? You think there was any place for the Jew man at a table full of ornery Puritans?

    Naw, man. Naw.

    Damn, brother. Free yo mind, and yo holiday table will follow. Let whitey have Thanksgiving. That ain’t our culture. One love!

  • I’m all for preserving bits of culture, especially in a new country. But this guy looks like such a tool. Couldn’t get a better picture ck?

    I’d actually believe it if ya told me that his name was Norman. he just looks like a Norm, Normie, Norman…Whatever you wanna call him.

  • encino? Yoni was kind enough to ham it up for the camera in order to illustrate my point about Thanksgiving. We shouldn’t repay his kindness with name calling. I should also tell you that Yoni is an awesome specimen of both manliness and cool and he is married to one of Jerusalem’s foremost hotties, the lovely and gracious Simone. Who you sleepin with tonight? 😉

  • Am off to my friend’s annual Thanksgiving Shabbat where we will feast on turkey, all the fixin’s and my enormous pumpkin bread. Forget about that 1.4 ratio-probably more like 2. 🙂

  • In America, Thanksgiving is not all about food consumption, but mostly about family, friends, love, conversation, and gratitiude for life’s blessings. I hope my daughter in jerusalem gets to be thankful with friends this Thanksgiving.

  • I agree with Martha. I’m living in Jerusalem while studying at HUJI and several of my friends and I were feeling homesick. Thanksgiving is my favorite holiday, not because of the food, but because it’s all about loved one’s coming together and being grateful for what we have. I am missing my loved one’s this year, and decided to make the most of it with the friends that I have here. We bought a turkey from Mahane Yehuda, made all the fixin’s and got to share this great holiday with several Israeli and European friends here.

    Martha, I had a great time. I hope that your daughter found some friends to celebrate with, be it cooking at home, going out, or simply relaxing. Happy Holidays!