Thanksgiving is a time to be thankful for more than just turkey. It’s a time to bridge beliefs and come together as a community.
Last year the event took place at the Hillel House, but there were so many people that showed up, a bigger location was needed. This year, the event will be held at 6 p.m. Wednesday at Everyday Joe’s
Zack Josephs, the president of Hillel, said he is working with as many volunteers as possible to put together an Interfaith Thanksgiving for the community. They are expecting even more people than last year, which is why venues were changed, he said.
Josephs said a lot of people may have a skewed perception as to what Thanksgiving is really all about.
“We are trying to re-define Thanksgiving,” Josephs said. “We believe the original intent of Thanksgiving is to bring different kinds of people together and to just be grateful and say thanks to whatever you believe in. Unfortunately, Thanksgiving is kind of a messed up holiday because it really celebrates displacement of Native Americans. Instead of acknowledging differences, we’re acknowledging similarities and respecting differences.”
There are options for everyone, including a kosher meal, Josephs said. There are five organizations involved in this dinner organizing the event, as well as planning the menu: Hillel, Lutheran Campus Ministry, the Geller Center, the United Universalist Campus Ministry and the Key Interfaith community.
This meal is not only a time to eat and meet new people, but a time to learn about other faiths and beliefs. A lot of times, people discover that they have more in common with people of different faiths than they ever thought, Josephs said.
“All of the faiths say different prayers before eating and share with one another various cultures,” Josephs said.
Service is another component Josephs said he and everyone else working on this event want to add to this celebration of diversity. This year, the event will be helping “The Gift of Life,” a bone marrow foundation. If people are interested, they can get swabbed in order to save lives.
“I don’t know all that much about different faiths. This opportunity allows me to expand my horizons personally, and I know it allows others to do the same,” Josephs said.
Josephs isn’t the only one who is appreciates diversity and thinks it’s important to learn about other cultures and faiths.
Erin Bradley is a senior studying business marketing. Bradley said she thinks this event is beneficial for the community and will educate people.
“It’s a great way to bring the community together and celebrate our similarities rather than focus on our differences.”
Collegian Reporter Pamela Shapiro can be reached online at firstname.lastname@example.org.