The Daily Practice of Being Thankful
It’s very American to be thankful once a year around Thanksgiving. But, it’s profoundly Jewish to be thankful daily. Being gracious and thankful brings me such joy…not happiness…joy (which is different), and it enables me to reflect on the preciousness of my life right now, how beautiful and special my family is and how lucky I am to be mentally and spiritually fulfilled.
I was a very young mom when my oldest child started at the Florence Heller JCC in Lakeview. I didn’t have mom friends and I wasn’t involved in the Jewish community. Yet, from the minute I walked into the doors of that JCC, I knew I had found my new Jewish home.
Since that first day at the J so many years ago, my family has grown. We are family of 6 now and our oldest child is almost 12. I am proud of the Jewish home we’ve created and so thankful that the JCC has been with us to feed their little Jewish souls with love, friendships, Jewish knowledge, curiosity and play—indoors and outside.
Recently, I saw a tremendous need for my daughter’s playground to be brought into this century. Early Childhood education has evolved in the last 15 years and outdoor play is more important than ever. I wanted to create a space where kids for years to come will laugh, imagine, play make believe, run, fall down, dust off, and do it all again. We are thrilled to be working the JCC leadership team to transform the playground at “Z” Frank Apachi and grateful to give back to our community. (more on that this Spring).
The J IS our community—the perfect reflection of who we are and who we want to be. It’s camping, preschool, music, health and wellness, ideas, Shabbat and it’s all there to be enjoyed. It’s the place we literally can turn to from birth to old age and that is incredibly special. I feel that we have a unique opportunity right now to make the “J” into the community center we want it to be, and that in this crazy, fast-paced, complicated world it’s exactly what our community needs. I feel so grateful to be just a small part of it.
Happy Thanksgiving to you and your families!