Adding the “J” in Gratitude

by Avital Kadosh, Director of Jewish Experience and Innovation

Now, you might be wondering, what is the J doing sending out information about Jews and Thanksgiving? Well, according to the Jewish Virtual Library, “unlike other celebrations, such as Halloween, halacha (Jewish law) does not prohibit Jewish participation in Thanksgiving because the holiday has secular, not religious origins and undertones. Jews are forbidden by the Torah to partake in “gentile customs,” a prohibition derived from Leviticus 18:3, but most do not consider Thanksgiving to fall into this category. So great, we aren’t forbidden, but how do we add some Jewish flair to this seemingly secular holiday? You will find below a variety of resources geared toward adults, families, and even the littlest of family members. There are videos, playlists, activities, and so much more. Happy clicking.

I also want to invite you to join our tribe as we continue our initiative with Tzedek Box, which supports Jews and their allies by connecting them to social justice opportunities in their local community and nationwide.

See our collection of resources below to add some “J” to your Thanksgiving season:

Adult & Family Resources (games, recipes, blessings, etc.)

An Extremely Fabulous and Mildly Jewish Thanksgiving | Thanksgiving Family Community Gratitude  | Spotify gratitude playlist | Attitude of Gratitude with Irwin Kula |

Jewish reflections on Thanksgiving | More information on Tzedek Box | Resources for your littles at home | The Jewish Gratitude Practice So Easy a 2-Year-Old Can Do It | PJ Library gratitude resources

Gratitude in Action

As many great stories begin, this one began early one weekday morning in response to reading the local morning news. In this case, the news was about an amendment to Missouri’s Senate Bill 775. What is the response to a lengthy list of banned books? I’m so glad you asked! It’s creating our very own lending library here at the J. In partnership with the Anti-Defamation League, we are building a library several copies of each of the 257 unique titles on this list. See this local coverage in the Jewish Light.

We ask that while you prepare to gather with your family and friends and express your gratitude and eventual generosity around gift-giving you think about this local Missouri issue. We are creating this library with the hopes of gathering donations from people like you. Visit our Amazon Wish List and make a donation if you feel inclined. These titles range from Holocaust books, helpful books on puberty and the human body, and many art books. Prepare to be surprised by some of these titles. And if you happen to have an extra copy or two on your shelves, feel free to send them our way at the attention of Hannah Dinkel, our Director of Literary Arts. You may direct your Amazon purchases to Hannah’s attention at the J’s address, 2 Millstone Campus Dr. St. Louis, MO 63146.