In 1940, Congregation Kehilath Jeshurun in New York, like many synagogues, held a special service for Thanksgiving. It included traditional Hebrew prayers, the singing of the national anthem, and a speech by the lieutenant governor of the state. The congregation’s rabbi, Joseph Lookstein also composed a special prayer (in English) for the occasion:
We pray sincerely for America and the ideals of democracy and freedom that are here enshrined. May she be strong to withstand all the currents that assail her and all the forces of evil that would invade her sacred precincts. A tower of light to her own citizenry, may she cast a steady beam and light up all the dark areas of the world and show to a perplexed and straying humanity the path of freedom, of life, and of peace.