Gratitude and Action for a Just World: a Thanksgiving Guide

Reflections for the Thanksgiving table:

Thanksgiving is a time for feeling gratitude. During this year of profound challenges, we are grateful for all the good that we have experienced, from food to family to moments of joy. We are also grateful for our strength — and the strength of our communities — that has enabled us to confront threats to health, democracy and equality in our lives, our country and around the globe.

Thanksgiving echoes the Jewish value hakarat hatov—“recognition of the good.”

This year, let our gratitude propel us to action, as we work to build a better world.

  • Let’s do our part to protect others from COVID-19
  • Let’s share our resources with those suffering from poverty, hunger and disasters
  • Let’s raise our voices to counter hate, prejudice and violence
  • Let’s celebrate difference and unite around shared values
  • Let’s welcome the stranger and open our doors to refugees
  • Let’s defend the civil and human rights that are the pillars of our nation
  • Let’s create a world of justice, equality and dignity for all

Begin your meal with a question:

  • What are you grateful for this year?
  • What has given you the strength to persevere, amidst a year of immense challenges?
  • What have you done this year to live your values?
  • Which social justice issues drive you to action?
  • What’s one way you will commit to making change in our world?

Create your own Thanksgiving ritual:

  • Create space for an important Thanksgiving conversation: We know our nation was built on land inhabited by Indigenous people. Today, where do we see Indigenous communities fighting to protect their ancestral land? How we can stand with these communities around the world?
  • If there are children at your table, ask them to draw a picture, write a song, or put on a play showing what they’re grateful for.
  • Lead a discussion about an issue close to your heart and choose a concrete way to take action together. Need ideas? Visit our blog or take action.

Click here to download a printable PDF version of this guide.