“In recent weeks I have often thought about how lucky I am that all four of my grandparents made it out of Eastern Europe and to the United States, all around 1907,” reflected social psychologist, author, and Jewish American Jonathan Haidt this Thanksgiving.
“Even with the rise of blatant antisemitism on college campuses and in some cities, I know that America is, overall, a philosemitic country (one in which Jews are rated very positively),” wrote Haidt for Bari Weiss’ independent media outlet, the Free Press, in an uplifting holiday mini-essay collection entitled “What We’re Grateful For.”
“I am grateful for strong shows of support for Israel and for American Jews from President Biden, Mayor Eric Adams, and many other leaders,” Haidt concluded. “I am thankful that of all the places, times, and roles one could be born into, I was born a Jewish American in 1963.”
In gratitude, prominent Jewish Americans like Haidt, Bari Weiss, and Mayim Bialik took time out of their busy schedules this Thanksgiving — during one of the most trying and fraught times for U.S. Jews in living memory — to remind a divided nation of how many good things — and good people — remain despite our differences and challenges.
“I’m thankful I was born a Jew,” reflected actress and television personality Mayim Bialik, frankly. “I’m thankful for the state of Israel. I’m thankful for America for taking in my refugee grandparents and giving them a chance to survive.”
“I am also extremely grateful for my conversion to Judaism, which has vastly deepened the beauty of life,” added author Leah McSweeny. “And right now, as we face more antisemitism than we have seen in our lifetime, I couldn’t be more grateful to stand alongside my chosen family.”
While American Jews have faced a mounting threat of anti-Semitism in recent weeks, many people in cities around the nation have rallied in support of U.S. Jewish communities, in solidarity and friendship.
Marches against anti-Semitism, in support of the state of Israel, calling for the release of hostages, and other ostensible displays of support worldwide have…