On Sunday, nearly 100 people gathered at Tikvat Israel for a Thanksgiving celebration held by Makom (formerly the Jewish Foundation for Group Homes). Iris Aharonovich, Makom’s Director of Fun, Faith, and Experience, shared some pictures and her thoughts from the event:
Yesterday was an incredible celebration at Tikvat Israel Congregation, where the doors were opened to celebrate Thanksgiving. Rabbi Marc Israel and Pastor Endurance stood together on the Bima, speaking about God, being thankful and together. Their beautiful message resonated with us all. We listened to the Rabbi’s Torah portion, followed by the Pastor’s service. We sang in English and Hebrew and then enjoyed delicious and unique Jollof Nigerian rice, thanks to Godwin, Catherine, Marlo, and Mama Christine. It was a great dinner!
We ended the celebration by writing what we are grateful for in our lives, and our gratitude post-it notes were overflowing. Thank you to everyone who joined us to celebrate.
Shimon the Righteous once said, “The world stands upon three things: The Torah, The Temple Service, and the Practice of acts of Piety” (Pirkei Avot 1:2). Yesterday, I saw this in action with my own two eyes.
The Torah teaches us to behave and welcome strangers. The congregation, led by Rabbi Israel, welcomed everyone without asking about their faith or beliefs.
The Temple Service reminds us to remember God, and yesterday, we remembered and were grateful to Him for allowing us to celebrate life, ourselves, and the people we love.
The Practice of Acts of Piety is precisely what we did yesterday. We cherished what we had and gave each other strength, joy, and support. Giving can take many forms, material and spiritual. We need to recognize it and be aware.