You may not think of Thanksgiving as a Jewish holiday. And while you’re not exactly wrong, what could be more Jewish than families and friends gathering for a meal and giving thanks? Exactly. So, at JewBelong, we’re all in. We hope that while you’re gearing up for the big meal you’ll take a few minutes to choose a reading or two to share during your celebration. It’ll help remind your guests that we all have a little, or maybe a lot, to be thankful for, so that they come away from the holiday with more than a turkey hangover.

Family and food. What could be more Jewish?

Thanksgiving Activity

It’s time to focus on the thanks part of Thanksgiving! Take turns sharing two (or more) things that you’re thankful for this year. Sometimes it’s easier to choose something big, e.g. your health, your new job, girlfriend or baby, and then something smaller too… like say, your sourdough starter or that season three of The Crown is finally on Netflix. Take your time when it’s your turn and don’t skimp on the details. Why are these meaningful to you? Don ’t be afraid to open your heart a little. If you do, others will too, and the connection and warmth at your table will spread faster than your cousin’s watery mashed potatoes. You can go around the table, or spice the order up a little (we like to have the person who speaks choose the next person) just to keep everyone on their toes!

Thanksgiving Readings

We Are Thankful

-Sidney Greenberg

This is a beautiful reading for when you are with a group. Like, here’s an idea… read it at Thanksgiving dinner.

First line: We are thankful for our family and friends and what we mean and bring to one another. Last line: Above all, grant us the wisdom to build a joyous and peaceful home in which the awareness of Your presence will always abide…

Thanksgiving Prayer

-Rabbi Naomi Levy

Even with the imperfections of the US right now, this reading reminds us that we are blessed to be a part of this nation.

First line: For the laughter of the children. Last line: Thank You, God, for giving us all these. Amen…

Never Let A Day Pass Without Looking For The Good

-Rhonda Byrne

A somewhat generic, but we mean that in the best way, reading about gratitude.

First line: Never let a day pass without looking for the good, feeling the good within you, praising, appreciating, blessing, and being grateful. Last line: Make it your life commitment, and you will stand in utter awe of what happens in your life…

Thanks For The Memories

-Meredith Grey

Good old Shonda Rhimes, who brought us Grey’s Anatomy and its star, Meredith Grey, that somewhat confounding character who brought us so many laughs, tears, and thoughtful moments like this one.

First line: Maybe gratitude has nothing to do with joy. Last line: At the end of the day, the fact that we have the courage to still be standing is reason enough to celebrate…

See All 10 Thanksgiving Readings

Our Thanksgiving Haggadah has answers to everything. Except what to cook for your vegan daughter.

Thanksgiving Songs

What A Wonderful World

-Robert Thiele and George David Weiss

This popular song is always a crowd hit (especially for those of us born after 1960). It’s been re-recorded many times since then. A beautiful addition for your celebration.

First line: I see trees of green, red roses too. Last line: What a wonderful world…

Star-Spangled Banner

-Francis Scott Key and John Stafford Smith‎

First line: O say can you see, by the dawn’s early light. Last line: O’er the land of the free and the home of the brave?…

Hatikvah

-Naftali Herz Imber and Samuel Cohen

First line: Kol od ba’le’vav p’nima, Nefesh yehudi ho’miyah. Last line: Eretz Tziyyon v’Yerushalayim…

This Land Is Your Land

-Woody Guthrie

First line: This land is your land, This land is my land. Last line: From the Redwood forest to the Gulf Stream waters This land was made for you and me…

See All 4 Thanksgiving Songs

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