Young Israel of Memphis and Local Firefighters: A Thanksgiving Tradition

25 Nov 2019

Thanksgiving is a wonderful and obvious time to stop and say “Thank You” to some very important people whom we don’t often recognize — our local firefighters. After all, rather than spending Thanksgiving at home with family and friends, those hard-working heroes spend that day on duty keeping our neighborhood safe.      

Children & parents preparing Thanksgiving pies and cards at Young Israel prior to Thanksgiving 2017

Sharing some shul-made pies and “Thank You” cards with our local firefighters on Thanksgiving is a great way to express our appreciation. In 2016, Young Israel of Memphis began this beautiful Thanksgiving tradition:

In the days leading up to the holiday, the children of our congregation — and beyond — gather to create appreciative cards, and bake mouth-watering pumpkin and sweet potato pies. We then bring together many adults and children to say “Thank You” to our local firefighters at Fire Station 21 on Thanksgiving Day.   

The children present their shul-made pies, as well as their hand-crafted Thanksgiving cards to the very appreciative — and noticeably touched — firefighters. The firefighters gladly treat our group to a tour of their fire-station, let us to take a close look at their equipment, and allow the children to climb through some of their trucks. In 2018, the firefighters even presented each of the children with a red plastic Memphis Fire Department replica helmet. (That was a huge hit!)

Visiting — and thanking — our local firefighters on Thanksgiving Day helps the children (and adults) of our community gain a

Children and adults from Young Israel visit and thank their local firefighters on Thanksgiving Day 2018.

deeper appreciation of our local heroes. It also makes Thanksgiving so much more meaningful for all parties involved.

We’re excited to continue our tradition again this year. We thank each of the participants — and the sponsors — who make this annual heart-warming program possible. We hope you’ll consider bringing this very-doable and rewarding Thanksgiving program to your shul.

The words of this author reflect his/her own opinions and do not necessarily represent the official position of the Orthodox Union.