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Hanukkah 2010 – The Movie

I am not what you would call a ‘practicing’ Jew. In fact, I wouldn’t really identify myself as Jewish. At. All. I don’t speak or read Hebrew. I didn’t attend Hebrew school, nor did I have a Bat-mitzvah. I don’t attend or belong to a temple, and I am not raising my son Jewish. So why do I participate in these religious holiday events?

Anyone up for a ‘Quick Family History’?



Here we go….

My grandmother, my mothers mother ‘Manga’ was an ‘Italian Catholic’ lady. My uncles, my cousins, and all of my relatives on her side of the family are also ‘Italian Catholic’. My grandfather, my mothers father ‘Poppa Sye’ is ‘Jewish’. When Manga and Poppa Sye got married a thousand years ago, their interfaith wedding was a huge taboo. Yes, my grandparents were rebels like that.

My mother, Pam, was raised with both religions and ideals. She was allowed to choose which religion she wanted to be when she grew up. Somewhere along the way, my mother eventually decided to embrace the Jewish religion. I’m not exactly sure when or why.

While my brother Adam went on to attend Hebrew school complete with having a Bar-mitzvah, I went off to tour with the Grateful Dead.

Fast forward in time to the day my mother married her high school sweetheart (my now stepfather – also known as My Daddy and/or Tony Bennett). He is what I like to call a ‘Pseudo-Jew’. My stepfather, Ron, was born and raised ‘Italian Catholic’. His whole side of family is also ‘Italian Catholic’. My stepfather converted to Judaism in his previous marriage and raised his son my stepbrother Lee with the Jewish faith.

So. Let’s break this down.

My family (on BOTH SIDES) are ‘Italian Catholics’. EXCEPT for my immediate family. My mother, my stepfather, both of my brothers, their wives, and all of their children are Jewish.

Got all that?

Confusing. I know.

Anyway, the coolest thing about my family’s religious situation? Up in here we celebrate all of the Jewish holidays AND all of the Catholic holidays. It’s like getting to party together practically year round.

And this year was no different.

I’d love to regale you with funny stories about what occurred in my house for Hanukkah this year, but then I decided I’d rather show you!

Click here for the complete set of photos —-> *Hanukkah 2010*

OR, better yet?  Just watch this video.

[WARNING: I am fairly certain you will NEVER be able to get this theme song out of your head. Many apologies in advance. And speaking of this ‘Theme Song’ I have NO IDEA why, or how, my mother even had this song, and/or why she played this song for the duration of Hanukkah. But my brother and my father definitely found a way to make this one of the most memorable and enjoyable holiday’s I’ve ever had. Oh, and please do not watch this video while you are eating or drinking anything; as there is a very strong possibility you may or may not choke upon laughing. You’re welcome.]

Yep. That’s my family!

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  • Life here is ALWAYS fun.
    Welcome back, Oscar!

  • If I ever should happen to become orphaned, would you please adopt me?

  • Sratches

    Very funny!Thanks for posting & sharing

  • Hell Yes.
    Besides, I already told you I wanted to adopt you!

  • You’re welcome.

  • HAHAHA!!! Your family definitely has the moves. Glad you all had such an awesome time.

  • 🙂

  • Your family is SO much fun! Love how everyone is dancing… and especially cracked up at the part where your dad is playing keyboard and your mom is in the background bustin’ a move!

  • I didn’t even notice my mom in the background, until AFTER I uploaded the
    contents of my camera onto my computer!!

  • Oh you obviously had so much fun! Takes me back to our family holiday times – Lovely memories 🙂

  • Thanks Babs!

  • okay thank you for the warning because I am still laughing. I was doing okay until the dancing started. You have the greatest family….I love them!! Can I come live with you guys?
    Jackie…still laughing!:-))))))

  • Sure! C’mon over!

  • Get out of here. Did your dad dance to the music while you were filming or does he just have the beat in his head and you were able to match it up after the fact? I love his yarmulke!

    And it’s beyond awesome that your family on BOTH sides is Catholic and yet your immediate family is Jewish. I love your family.

  • Oh my dad played the piano exactly to the music – but I still had to match
    it up with the timing of the whole song. He’s like a walking party.
    I feel extremely lucky to have him as my father.

    Him and my brother danced all night to that song.
    Because it just kept playing OVER and OVER again!

    I’m glad to hear you love my family too, because that will come in handy
    when you CANT get that song out of your head.

  • Those Maccabees really knew how to get down with the music! I can see why you enjoy your Hanukkah celebration. Bring on the latkes!

  • My family was CRAZY that night. Seriously.
    And I LOVED it!

  • Michelle

    Looks like so much fun getting to celebrate all those occasions. I would just worry that I’d gain a thousand pounds being around all that good food 🙂 Happy Holidays!

  • Aww yeah! The first time around I missed your mom in the background rockin’ out while your dad was playing piano!

    And I saw the arrow in the beginning but didn’t figure out what it was pointing to until I saw the arrow at the end pointing to your brother. Had to go back to your son in the beginning to see your dad peeking out. This is like a Hannukah gift that keeps on giving!

  • Well that’s when my food allergies and crohn’s disease come in handy!
    I cant eat most of the food, and I usually get sick after I eatso the
    poundage stays off!

  • “This is like a Hanukkah gift that keeps on giving!”

    Ahahahahahhaahha! Thanks Cardiogirl!

    *please don’t kill me when you find yourself humming that song for the rest
    of the day*

  • Things have been so crazy here that I hadn’t had time to really sit back and enjoy your video with no interruptions.

    Now that I have, I’m convinced that your family needs its own reality show! Your family vids are too hilarious!

    Hope your hannukah was filled with lots of prezzies and dreideling. And latkes!

  • He he he he
    Thanks, Mike!

    I definitely think a reality television camera should follow my father

  • *** This was an email I received from my friend Kellypea on Facebook regarding this video. Since I never want to lose or delete what she said, I am copy/pasting it here:

    Omg that was completely PRICELESS! You guys sure do know how to have fun on your get togethers, and what a fun Hanukkah. Let’s see — men in the kitchen in general is a huge plus, a toad ally HAWT dad (I’m fanning myself right now) and your son is SO cute. LOVE seeing your mom rocking out in the kitchen while your dad is playing the piano to the song, which YES I will be singing ALL DAY. And well, that last special finger of fate clenched it. I’m all fat-headed that you sent it. AWESOME. Pinch your dad’s rump for me ; )

  • 100%!

    Your dad definitely has “it”!

  • Sometimes I just LOOK at him and start CRACKING up.

  • Teeni

    OMG! I so want to have at least one meal with you and your family someday. You all seem to have so much fun! I flipping loved this video – the part that cracked me up the most was seeing your mom in the little window opening while your Tony Bennett stepdad was playing the keyboards. I almost hurt myself. Meleah, you are truly blessed to have a happy, supportive and close family, no matter what religions they are. 🙂 Hugs to you and thanks so much for sharing.

  • Oh! Teeni!!

    I think one day I should invite all my blogger buddies to hang with my
    family! Yes?

  • Jules

    LOL Your family looks like a lot of fun!!! I love the dancing!

  • We do like to party!

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