Which Jewish festival was that, Succot? The connection doesn't seem all that close, although they're both versions of the harvest festival that Nonie notes is found in many cultures. And what's the evidence that Thanksgiving is based on Succot? Did Miles Standish write, "Let vs then make merrie and feste like untoe ye feaste of Tabernacles"? Or did some author think, "Thanksgiving's a lot like Succot, so I figure it must be based on Succot, and I'll write that in my book as fact"?
Judy, maybe I should have mentioned that the junior high I went to was private (and non-sectarian though with an Episcopalian tradition), so they could get away with things that public schools already had trouble with--and perhaps it's good that they have trouble.