Being Thankful


It’s that time of year again. Time to spend time with family. My mom commented the other day that I am a traditionalist. I’m that person who needs to cook the full turkey dinner with all of the fixings and apple pie and chocolate pie and spiced cider…it’s true. To be honest, it’s not because I love turkey. Quite the contrary, I find Thanksgiving meals to be heavy and I rarely eat very much at them. For me, it’s the smells and the warmth and the feeling of a house full of family and love. It’s the smiles and the giggles, the snores after dinner. All of that makes for a complete Thanksgiving for me.

Now, I don’t live near my parents, my brother and his family, or my sister. They are all on the East Coast. My Thanksgiving world has gotten a lot smaller. I was holding a bit of a pity party last night, being sad that I can’t have that big family experience. Then I came to work at TOR. As I’ve gone through my day, checking things off of my list, I realized that this holiday is much more than the material. It is about a bigger idea of Thankfulness. I am so very Thankful. Here are ten things I am thankful for.

  1. My Family – both those that are biological and those that are chosen
  2. My home – the house I dwell in and the people who make this place feel like home
  3. The ability to Skype and Call and Fly to visit my parents
  4. My Temple Or Rishon Family – the kids and the teens especially. I am so very proud of all of them and the ruach they bring to this wonderful place.
  5. You Tube Karaoke – always makes me smile
  6. Redwood Trees – majestic and beautiful, what a testament to the WOW of God’s creations
  1. Music – it speaks to my soul and helps me express my spirituality
  2. Forgiveness – the ability to ask for it and give it and the healing that it brings
  3. My Life – may it be a blessing to those around me
  4. Learning – that there are so many opportunities to learn and grow each and every day

This is just the beginning of the list. I could go on and on. I encourage you to reflect on what you are thankful for. I’d love to hear parts of your list!

May you have a wonderful Thanksgiving. I hope that all of you have a place to enjoy family and friends. If, by chance, you do not have a home for Thanksgiving, I hope you will contact me. I’d love to share with you!

+++++++++ Announcements +++++++++

Giving Tuesday, November 29th – The TOR Religious School has a project that is being featured by NewCAJE (a Jewish education organization) for the “Giving Tuesday” fundraiser program. Our project is called Israel: a 4D Experience. We are raising money to create a program to connect the kids from our school to a school in Israel. We would love everyone’s support. Look for another email from me before Tuesday, with the Web address to give.

*** DATE CHANGE *** – The Shirts won’t be in on time so, our Tie Dye event is being rescheduled to December 11th. Please adjust your calendars! For those who ordered shirts, we will tie-dye on December 11th starting at 11:30. Plan to stay until about 12:30 on that day.

Pasta and Paint – The Annual School Fundraiser – December 10th from 5 to 8pm. Join us for a fun filled evening and help us raise much need funds for our school. We’ll enjoy dinner then receive a professional painting lesson! Before you leave, you’ll have painted a beautiful scene with acrylic on canvas! We need you to RSVP and send in your payments to reserve your spot. Cost is $40 per participant 10 and over; $25 per participant 9 and younger; $15 for dinner only. There will be havdalah and raffles. All the ingredients for a fun evening! Invite your friends, anyone from the community (TOR and beyond) is welcome.

Annual Hanukkah Happening – December 18th from 1oam to 12pm Join us for a morning Hanukkah party. Sleep in a little later and come at 10am for a morning of games, prizes, and the Men’s Club’s legendary latkes! Cost is $5 per child. (HELP NEEDED – Help is need to plan this event. If you are able to help with the planning, please join us for a meeting on December 4th at 10am in the Library)

TASTY Stock on Sale – Support our teens as they travel to Chicago for the bi-annual NFTY Convention. Stocks are $20 per share. Each stock holder will receive a fancy stock certificate and will be invited to a special havdalah celebration when the teens return from convention. Contact TASTY at or Eden Friedman (youth director) at


I’m off to cook some Thanksgiving food. I’ll update you on school later in the week!

Have a fabulous Thanksgiving!