Thanksgiving In A Time Of Rising Antisemitism

Even as scenes of Neo-Nazis marching down the streets of Madison, Wis., where my son goes to college play over and over in my mind, on this Thanksgiving, I am full of gratitude:

I am grateful for the right of free speech and committed to calling out dangerous speech.

I am grateful for the freedom to practice my faith and that others can do the same.

I am grateful for allies who have stood with me in the face of rising antisemitism and stir me to stand with those whose voices have been silenced.

I am grateful for law enforcement officials and security personnel who make me feel safe.

I am grateful for political and civil leaders who support Israel and the Jewish community at this critical time.

I am grateful for public school teachers and administrators, who take time to learn about and respond to concerns of the Jewish community.

I am grateful for Hillel and Chabad for creating a home away from home in difficult days for our students on campus.

I am grateful for university professors who, in the best of academic excellence, teach critical thinking skills.

I am grateful for counselors and mental health professionals who invite us to express our fears and process our many mixed emotions.

I am grateful for the Jewish community where I feel at home in the fullness of my identity and where I strive to include those who have been marginalized.

I am grateful for shuls and Jewish schools that teach us what it means to be Jewish, instill in us Jewish pride and give us opportunity to celebrate our rich traditions.

I am grateful for rabbis and cantors, for lay and professional Jewish communal leaders who work night and day to lead our community and to ensure our vitality.

I am grateful to donors who give generously to support the Jewish community and Israel in our hour of need.

I am grateful for social media which keeps me informed, helps me feel less alone, and for Shabbat which invites me to turn it off.

I am grateful for Torah and Jewish tradition that grounds us, whose values humanize us, and whose lessons have made the Jewish people a light unto nations despite darkness that has surrounded us.

I am grateful for Jewish prayer and Jewish music that gives us language to grieve, to express our longings and to lift our spirits.

I am grateful for Israelis whose resilience inspires me and for the IDF which fights to guarantee the survival of the Jewish people.

I am grateful for fellow Jews who with civility, challenge my perspectives and expand my thinking on Israel.

I am grateful for our ancestors who taught us not to despair, and who with courage and optimism came to these shores to begin again.

I am grateful for tikvah, the ability to hope in the face of darkness and to work for a brighter tomorrow.

I am grateful for a holiday that asks me to pause and to acknowledge that there is an endless list of things for which I must give thanks despite how it sometimes feels.

I am grateful for the ability to give thanks that these days are filled not just with grief but with gratitude, not with bitterness but with blessings. And I am committed to sharing my blessings with others.

Above all, I am grateful to God for life, for sustaining me and for allowing me to reach this season.