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Rabbi's Blog

rabbi 05 smallsf badge lgRabbi Joel Landau  ( has been the Rabbi of Adath Israel since May 2013. He was ordained by the Chief Rabbinate in Jerusalem and has served previously as a congregational Rabbi in Charleston, South Carolina and Irvine, California. A full biography of Rabbi Landau is available here.

This week is Thanksgiving, the unofficial launch of the American holiday season, a time that is supposed to be about family and friends, joy and giving. And yet often it can feel like a time of craziness, shopping, and blowing budgets. Here's one way to put the meaning back into the season that will make you feel good, and it won't hurt your wallet.

In anticipation of the holiday season, a good friend of mine and a Pastor friend of his united in hopes of making the world a better place. Rabbi Daniel Cohen of Congregation Agudath Sholom in Stamford, CT and Pastor Greg Doll of Norton Presbyterian Church in Darien, CT launched the Elijah Moment Campaign. Their perspective is that Elijah, the Biblical prophet, appears through history to spread light in the midst of darkness. He is the person who comes into your life and makes your day! A seemingly minor act of generosity can change a life. Every person can be an Elijah. 

The 40-Day campaign began onSunday, November 23, 2014  and ends on January 1, 2015. Through Thanksgiving, Chanukah, Christmas, and New Year’s, they encourage everyone to discover Elijah moments.

An Elijah moment is seizing an opportunity to give.Through an act of generosity as simple as a kind word or surprising the person behind you at a local coffee shop by paying for their drink then asking them to pay it forwards by doing the same to someone else, we can transform a fleeting moment into an eternal one.

During this season of joy and giving, they encourage every person regardless of their faith to be an Elijah and make a difference now and forever. Although from different faiths, Pastor Doll and Rabbi Cohen believe in the potential of every human being to experience the Divine through acts of generosity. In a world with increasing violence, there is no better time to call on citizens to flood the world with acts of kindness. 

Watch the first Elijah moment hereDiscover and share your Elijah Moments this holiday season! Surprise someone with an act of kindness and then take a picture! Bring on the selfies. It will inspire others to share an Elijah moment. Post it on Twitter or Facebook with: #elijahmoment

Happy Thanksgiving.