With Thanksgiving approaching, we often talk about being thankful with the children and families in our program.
The term “gratitude” in Hebrew (Hakarat Hatov) is translated as “recognizing the good.”
Gratitude comes so easily to us when things are going well. We often take the good for granted. With young children, we talk about the value of being happy with your lot. As adults, we often say that we should count our blessings.
As we know, the more children are exposed to, or practice, something, the more it becomes a part of who they are. It is up to us to help children practice and develop their gratitude habits by helping others. One way to help others this year is to help those impacted by the tornados in Texas and the wildfires in California.
Dallas’s Temple Emanu-El had many congregants and families in their early childhood center impacted by the storm. The temple is asking for donations of school supplies, meals, gift cards, and other items. Please visit their website to learn more.
The Jewish Federation of Greater Dallas and the Aaron Family Jewish Community Center of Dallas buildings were also impacted by the storm. The JCC “took a hard hit” and Federation building “sustained substantial damage”.
Friends in California also need our support. I have learned that members of congregation Beth Ami in Santa Rosa, Congregation Beth Shalom in Santa Clarita, and University Synagogue in Los Angeles were impacted by the wildfires. Also, two Jewish schools in Los Angeles—Milken Community School and the American Jewish University—were closed for the day, when a brush fire broke out nearby. If you know of other congregations or Jewish organizations impacted by the fires, please let me know.
In helping the temple families and important Jewish institutions in Texas and California we can teach our children how to perform acts of gratitude during this season of giving thanks.
It is my hope that in this upcoming holiday season (and of course year-round), we can perform acts of kindness for those in our community, those affected by the tornados in Texas, the wildfires in California and other natural disasters in the United States and around the world.