This year as a Shlicha in Howard County I celebrated Thanksgiving for the first time. It was an amazing experience that I am so happy I got to have. When I first arrived here in August, one of the first dinners that I was invited to in the community was the dinner of thanksgiving.
I, as an Israeli, couldn't understand what all the excitement was around this day. About a month ahead of the holiday, almost every person that I met asked me if I had somewhere to be on that day. I still didn’t understand what was going on. Looking back now, I can tell that I already felt the holiday magic because of the fact that everyone who met me cared about where am I going to be on that day and was making sure that I would not be alone. It made me feel so loved.
By the time it was a few days away, everyone was talking about Thanksgiving. They were saying that all their family is coming from far away, and about what they are going to cook. It made me feel so excited and I really wanted that day to arrive so I can have my first Thanksgiving.
And then, the day arrived, I was so excited. I dressed nicely and went to the family that invited me. When I entered the house there were so many family members and food everywhere. It was a real family time. Before we started eating everybody was asked to say what they are thankful for. That made think about how lucky I am to be here in Howard County, to work for the Jewish Federation of Howard County, and to be the first Shlicha here in this amazing community.
It made me think about how thankful I am for my family and friends back home, who are incredibly supportive of me during this great adventure, and who show me endless love and affection. The dinner was amazing and everyone made me feel like home. I am so glad I got to celebrate Thanksgiving and have the opportunity to be thankful for everything that I have.