Thanksgiving provides us the occasion to give thanks. While many of us think about thanking God for the bountiful harvest and the blessings that we enjoy with family and friends around us, perhaps it is time to think of other expressions of gratitude, as well. Of late, there has been a lot of conversation about how the Jewish community should be thanking those of other religious backgrounds who have cast their lot with the Jewish people and are raising Jewish children. The Jewish Outreach Institute has been at the forefront of this effort to celebrate these many unsung heroes of our generation. If you are part of an interfaith family that has chosen to raise Jewish children, we thank you for joining our community.
We have also been giving a great deal of thought to the question of why men and women of other religious backgrounds would choose to raise their children as Jews. As part of the Jewish community, we seldom think in that direction.
So at this time of giving thanks, this time of gathering with family and friends, the Jewish community may want to make sure that those parents have reason to express their thanks to the Jewish community, as well, for welcoming them in—beginning with those gathered around their own Thanksgiving tables. Consider this a prophetic directive of sorts for the community in this season. In other words, it may not yet be the case that all interfaith families have a reason to thank the Jewish community, but we envision such a day.