David Kay, a Jewish kid growing up in a Roman Catholic neighborhood on Chicago’s southwest side, was always the student chosen to educate his Christian classmates on the meaning of Hanukkah.

“David will now explain the Jewish Christmas,” his teacher would say.

It has always been the misfortune of Hanukkah — a lesser Jewish holiday — to fall in close proximity to Christmas, the Christian holiday.

While Christmas stays stationary on Dec. 25, Hanukkah floats from year to year based on the Jewish lunar calendar. About every three years, the two holidays intersect.

This year, the two holidays coincide,with Christmas Day falling on the fifth day of Hanukkah, which started at sundown Tuesday. For some Jewish and Christian leaders, the intersection of the two holidays provides a chance to emphasize what the two religions hold in common.

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