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8 Ways To Lift Your Spirits on Thanksgiving


Thanksgiving is not a Jewish holiday, but Jews are thankful for any opportunity to gather around a table, overeat, and share our blessings.

8 Ways To Celebrate Thanksgiving “Jewishly”

  1. Encourage your family to tell each other what they’re thankful for—this might take some practice—and write their responses on a piece of paper to display them on a Thanksgiving centerpiece. Share their notes at the table while your stomach digests mashed potatoes.
  2. Autumn is a favorite season in the St. Louis, so get plenty of fresh air, enjoy a brisk walk on a nature trail, take in the scenery, and burn some calories.
  3. Share your bounty with others less fortunate. Donate canned goods to your local food bank, such as the Jewish Family & Children’s Service Harvey Kornblum Jewish Food Pantry. You also can join your temple to adopt a family and provide Thanksgiving dinner or serve a meal at a shelter.
  4. Try a new recipe or activity this year and start a new tradition. St. Louis offers plenty of family friendly holiday events--FREE!
  5. If your children are lucky enough to have living grandparents, give the older generation an opportunity to reminisce and talk about their childhoods.  Learn your own family’s pilgrimage about how they came to America or St. Louis.
  6. No one should feel alone on the holidays, so make room at the table and incorporate the Jewish value of welcoming strangers, Hachnasat Orchim, into your home.
  7. Say a Jewish prayer of gratitude. The Hebrew blessing before a meal is Baruch atah adonai eloheinu melech ha’olam, hamotzi lechem min ha’aretz. Thank You, God, for the blessing of bread and for the meal we will now enjoy together.
  8. On holidays and to celebrate special occasions, we say  the Shehecheyanu.Baruch atah adonai eloheinu melech ha’olam shecheyanu v’kiy’manu v’higyanu lazman hazeh. Blessed are You, our God, Creator of time and space, who has supported us, protected us, and brought us to this moment.

Happy Turkey Day everyone!