A Time for Thanks

Do not miss the Federation Gala on Thursday, November 30 for Belly Laughs with comedian Joel Chasnoff and Chef Einat Admony. It will be a celebratory and fun evening filled with comedy, stories, and inspiration. There will be great food and a cooking demonstration! This event will sell out.  Register today!

We still have a few spaces available for #Doing Tuesday on November 28 at the Oregon Food Bank. This is an evening of service, gratitude, and tzedakah as volunteers (ages 6 years old and up) will prepare food to be distributed to hungry families in the Portland area. Join us – RSVP here.

"Thanksgiving is a very important holiday. Ours was the first country in the world to make a national holiday to give thanks." – Linus from Peanuts

In keeping with the tradition of giving thanks on Thanksgiving Day, I am thankful for all the wonderful people who allow me to share my life with them: my family, my friends, my colleagues and people like you. I am extremely thankful for the privilege of doing what I do and for having so many thoughtful and caring people in my life.

Albert Einstein once said: “There are only two ways to live your life, one is as though nothing is a miracle, the other is as if everything is.” Einstein expressed so eloquently a life philosophy predicated upon gratitude and thankfulness.

The Los Angeles Times had an article on Saturday, The key to a happy life? Gratitude that goes beyond Thanksgiving that talked about the importance and benefits of gratitude. Here is an abbreviated list of why it is beneficial to cultivate an attitude of gratitude year-round, not just at Thanksgiving:

1. Gratitude empowers you -- Gratefulness is a source of activism. It is really powerful to steep ourselves in what we are grateful for and then act to defend, protect and advance that in the world.

2. Combats the social media blues -- In a consumer culture, we are driven to see what we do not have, and social media is only making it worse. It can feel like we are all living in some kind of substandard world, that something should be different. Rather than being resentful and worrying about what we do not have (or what we think we should have more of) let us focus on all the wonderful things we do have — especially our relationships with the people who enrich our lives every day!

3. Boosts self-control -- Gratitude makes people more patient. Future rewards are generally less attractive, but if you are in a grateful mood you are more able to wait. 

4. Helps you sleep better -- Instead of counting sheep, try counting your blessings. There are multiple studies showing that gratitude facilitates better sleep.

5. Fosters a sense of community -- So much of life is about giving, receiving, repaying benefits; that is why gratitude is so foundational and fundamental to human beings and to social life. … It is a cycle of reciprocity.

6. Helps fend off depression -- Practicing gratitude is linked to more resilience and optimism.

7. Makes you a better spouse/partner/friend -- Rather than focusing on “negative attributions” or what you do not like about the other person, focus on what they are good at. That praise and affirmation might inspire him or her to improve other aspects of the relationship.

8. Makes you a better boss and manager -- Managers who express gratitude have more productive employees. In turn, research shows grateful employees are more engaged and more efficient.

9. Increases life satisfaction for kids -- Children should be focused on the good. Research shows kids who are grateful have better relationships growing up, increased happiness and life satisfaction, more emotional and social support, get higher grades, do better in school, are less envious and less materialistic.

President John F. Kennedy said, "As we express our gratitude, we must never forget that the highest appreciation is not to utter words, but to live by them."

Once again, I am extremely grateful for the incredible people and experiences that touch my life. I am thankful for the wonderful life this Jewish community and city affords my family and me. I must remind myself to never take that for granted. 

As we continue with the hustle and bustle of our busy lives, remember to express your thanks and gratitude to those with whom you share your life!

Best wishes to you and your family for a wonderful Thanksgiving holiday and an early Shabbat shalom.


PS -- Please note that our office will be closed on Thursday and Friday so our professional team can enjoy the long Thanksgiving weekend.


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