Family Relationships

Join our community of grandparents, family members and professionals by reading these stories and essays and submitting your own posts to: info@jewishgrandparentsnetwork.org

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Making Room For Each Other In Interfaith Families

“Grandpa, will you get your ice cream in a dish or in a cone?” my then-seven-year-old granddaughter, Amina, asked.  We were walking to the ice cream parlor in the little town in Connecticut where her mother was the rabbi of the local temple. I was…

Counting Latkes

There are fifty latkes on this tray,” my 95-year-old mother says. I nod and continue peeling potatoes. My sister is frying. My niece is chopping onions. My mother spreads another paper towel on a cookie sheet, and continues counting. It’s that time of year. Where…

How Do We Keep Our Families Together?

Despite its tremendous joys, being a Jewish grandparent isn’t easy. Our kids are too religious or not religious enough. In other words, they don’t do it our way. This also applies to their thoughts about Israel: they may love it more than we do or…

Interview with a Wise Woman: Jane Isay

Author of Unconditional Love: A Guide to Navigating the Joys and Challenges of Being a Grandparent Today, Jane Isay was transformed by the births of her four grandchildren and has run groups offering a warm place to discuss grandparenting in the time of Covid. Though…

A Grandparents Day Discovery Adventure

Attention and greetings grandchildren! On Grandparents Day, we recognize and thank our grandparents for all they do for our families.  But what do we really know about them? Below is a Grandparents’ Scavenger Hunt. We encourage you to annoy your parents and grandparents until, together,…

6 Ways to Celebrate Grandparents Day

We are so fortunate that Grandparents Day falls right in the middle of the ten Days of Awe. Here are six awesome ways to celebrate National Grandparents Day, September 12, 2021. In six words write what it means to you to be a grandparent. We…

Boomer Lullabies

As a child, on nights when I slept at my grandparents’ small home on Thornhill Avenue in Little Neck, New York, Nana Francis would soak me in what felt like near–boiling water and scrub me with a loofa pad until my skin shone a bright…

Tashlich for Children: A Ritual that Welcomes Creativity

Just add water: Invite your grandchildren and family members to embrace and add their own creative touches to the Rosh Hashanah ritual of Tashlich   Because the Rosh Hashanah ritual of Tashlich came late to Judaism (it dates to the 13th century), it is among…

Wonders of Taiglach: Goodness, Gracious, Great Balls of Dough

The sticky, nearly impenetrable mound of dough, nuts, and sweets that was once a fixture of our Rosh Hashanah holiday tables became a shorthand for the joys of the “High Holy Days.” What are today’s taiglach? How do we bring sweetness to our family tables…

The Afghan

It was the perfectly silly Zayde game.  I covered Bina, my 18-month-old granddaughter, up with the blanket and she’d pretend to be asleep. I pulled the blanket back and she giggled and announced “awake”.  We did this 10 or 11 times until it was time…

Recipes for Memories

Food and fun, kitchens, and dining room tables. When we grandparents cook with our children and grandchildren, we not only share our favorite foods. We share our values, our traditions, our stories, and most importantly, our love.

The COVID-19  Crisis: A Catalyst for Change

As vaccinations advance and new COVID-19 cases diminish, we can begin to look beyond the difficulties and heartbreaks of these past months to imagine brighter times ahead. Through our research and conversations with grandparenting experts, and grandparents and their family members across the country, we…

Thoughts on Grandparenting During the COVID-19 Pandemic: An Interview with Dr. Renee Cherow-O’Leary

Can you share a bit about your experience during the COVID-19 pandemic? As grandparents, my husband and I have tried to keep enthusiasm high, find new books and activities to share on Face Time, talk and listen, laugh at silly things, celebrate birthdays and Seders,…

Connecting with Your Grandchildren in Pandemic Times and Beyond

If the Corona Virus teaches us anything, it is that our relationships matter and that our relationships won’t last forever. We know this. Yet, the current pandemic has heightened our awareness of life’s preciousness in a far greater scope than most of us have ever…

Multi-Generational Families and the Covid-19 Pandemic

The Covid-19 pandemic has impacted every family, and every family differently.  So too has it affected grandparents. Since the onset of the pandemic, the Jewish Grandparents Network has gathered significant anecdotal information about how the crisis has impacted intergenerational relationships and the roles that grandparents…

The Torah of Bubbiehood

We all know that bubbies are brilliant, but this bubbie has universal wisdom that could change your approach to everyday life.  Whether or not you are a bubbie, have a bubbie, met a bubbie or adopted a bubbie, Jane’s reflections will impact your perspective –…

Emotional Challenges and Emotional Wellbeing During the Covid19 Pandemic

On September 8 and 10, 2020, the Jewish Grandparents Network and the Blue Dove Foundation hosted a two-part series focusing on the emotional challenges grandparents, parents, and children are facing during the Covid19 pandemic and approaches to promoting emotional well-being and resilience. We are please…

Influencers Are Everywhere, Not Just on Social Media

You become who you hang out with, or put more humorously, “funny how much better we understand the Jell-O when we’ve seen the mold.” To My Beloved Grandchildren, You are too young to remember the comic strip, Cathy. It was drawn by Cathy Guisewite and…

David Raphael Talks About Grandparenting Today

David Raphael, Jewish Grandparents Network Executive Director, recently appeared on the “Book of Life” Podcast.  Also appearing on the podcast is actor Ed Asner and Anne-Marie Asner, reading Anne-Marie’s new children’s book Bubbe & Zaide.  The Book of Life Podcast is Produced by Feldman Children’s Library…

For My Granddaughter who is Two and ¾’s During the Pandemic

The granddaughter to whom this poem is dedicated is my 6th grandchild and 4th granddaughter. She is my daughter’s 2ndchild. When she was born, I was the first person to hold her. Her mom had a planned C-section and for medical reasons had general anesthesia….

Interfaith Soulfulness

I sat in the Yom Kippur service listening to a baritone voice singing, “Ashamnu, Bagadnu, Gazalnu, . . .” The voice belonged to my son, Jim. Jim was leading us in confessing that we have trespassed, we have betrayed, we have stolen, we have slandered….

Fifty Ideas for Grandparenting During the COVID-19 Pandemic

Isolation does not mean being isolated from one another. We are all finding new ways to reach out and communicate with each other. Just because we’re practicing physical distancing, doesn’t mean we can’t stay connected with our loved ones. This list of resources is intended…

How Different Will This Night Be: 10 Tips for Your Virtual Seder

The greatest gathering of the Jewish year is nearly upon us and this year, the Passover Seder will be celebrated like no other. Mah Nishtanah Ha-Leila Ha-Zeh, indeed! Most translations of this famous line from the Seder portray it as a question: “Why is this night different…

Staying Connected in this Time of Social Distance

The COVID-19 virus and the social restrictions in place to mitigate its spread have impacted us all.  A friend, who is fortunate to have all of her grandchildren living nearby pines to see them – knowing she can’t. Grandparents living in New York while their…

The Plague and Promise of Darkness

A d’var Torah (Torah Discussion) Presented by David Raphael at Congregation Or Hadash, Sandy Springs, GA January 22, 2021 Then the LORD said to Moses, “Hold out your arm toward the sky that there may be darkness upon the land of Egypt, a darkness that…