Be Thankful

We are now at Day 73 into our 100 Days of Impact and our community’s campaign now stands at $2,365,480, which represents a 9% increase over the same donations last year. Our pace continues to push forward. Thank you to everyone who has already made their gift to our campaign. Our goal, more than dollars, is to have everyone in our community participate as we all benefit from the work of the Jewish Federation.

Next Tuesday, December 2 is #GivingTuesday, a global day dedicated to giving back. Next Tuesday, charities, families, businesses, community centers, and students around the world will come together for one common purpose – to celebrate generosity and to give.

Partner with the Jewish Federation on #GivingTuesday. I am excited to announce that every gift made that day, up to $60,000, will be matched dollar for dollar. What a wonderful way to give doubly back to our community and others.

Yesterday, our community learned of the passing of Cantor David Rosenberg. David was a community leader and magnificent cantor at Congregation Shaarie Torah for many years. I never knew David when he was at “full strength,” but he was a source of inspiration for many, including me.

David and I had a different relationship, one outside the Jewish world. David loved ice hockey and his two wonderful sons both played youth hockey at a very high level. I fondly recall a conversation he and I had in the synagogue parking lot about my son’s interest and involvement in ice hockey. David encouraged me to allow him to try out and play for the “travel team” (play in tournaments all over the Pacific Northwest and beyond). He told me stories of how quickly my son would improve and his love for the game would increase. Most importantly he said, the bonding between parent and child grows exponentially when traveling to various cities to play. And he was right on all accounts. David will always be my “hockey dad mentor.”

May his memory be for a blessing and his beautiful family, Kim, Sammy, Noah, Esther, and Carol all be comforted by the mourners of Zion.

Tomorrow, you, like so many others, may be sitting with family and friends to celebrate Thanksgiving. This is a time for each of us to be thankful for the blessings in our life. Too often, we get caught up in our daily minutiae and miss out on the big picture – the beauty around us and those who provide so much meaning and joy in our lives. Instead, this is a day when we should sit back and be thankful. I know I will. 

Tomorrow is not only Thanksgiving, but also my 20th wedding anniversary. What an amazing feeling to love and be loved by such a beautiful and supportive person. 

On a lighter note, here are some fun facts you may find of interest and wish to share at your Thanksgiving table. Enjoy! 

  • Jingle Bells was originally written as a Thanksgiving song.  It was composed in 1857 by James Pierpont for his Sunday school class' Thanksgiving performance.  The song was so well received at the Thanksgiving concert, the children sang it again at Christmas and that is how it became associated with that holiday rather than Thanksgiving.
  • The Friday after Thanksgiving is called Black Friday because stores hope the busy shopping day will take them out of the red and into positive profits. Black Friday is also, according to Roto-Rooter, the busiest day of the year for plumbers.
  • My children said I would be remiss if I did not remind everyone that if Benjamin Franklin had his way, the turkey would have been America’s national bird, not the bald eagle. 
  • The first Swanson frozen TV dinner (remember those?) consisted of a Thanksgiving meal of turkey, cornbread stuffing, frozen peas and sweet potatoes packaged in a tray like those used for airline meals.
  • The average Turkey Day reveler consumes up to 4,500 calories throughout the day.
  • We have all heard of tryptophan, the “ingredient” in turkey that makes you sleepy other foods high in tryptophan include: spinach, soy milk, yogurt, liver, halibut, and tofu.

From my family to yours – have a wonderful Thanksgiving holiday and Shabbat shalom.



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