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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Memories of Pancakes

Yesterday morning I got a Facetime call from my granddaughter Maya. She sat with her beautiful animated face front and center on the screen as she smiled broadly. She called to tell us that she was eating pancakes for breakfast. Maya usually eats “oaties with…

Words Create Worlds

I will never forget a story I heard from a dear friend. She recounted to me that she and her family were out for brunch with the grandparents. Halfway through the meal, her mother-in-law looked at her eight-year old granddaughter and asked her when she…

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…

Pay Attention to Your Grandchild’s Tropisms

Giving your grandchild your attention is a better gift than a trust fund. You can cheer on the toddler’s first steps, listen to a 4-year-old’s lecture about dinosaurs, or attend a 10-year-old’s piano recital. Even better, you can pay attention to your grandchild’s tropisms. If…

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…

Rosh Hashanah Books for Children and their Parents and Grandparents

The High Holy Days are upon us, and this year most of us will not be gathering with family or attending services in person. Luckily, we can still connect with loved ones by video chat to share special holiday moments on Zoom, FaceTime, Google Hangouts,…

Framing the Story

In partnership with The Museum of the Jewish People at Beit Hatfutsot, in Tel Aviv Israel, the Jewish Grandparents Network is pleased to announce a new initiative “Framing the Story” Framing the Story invites grandparents to reach into their family photo albums to find pictures…

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…

At a Good Hour: Awaiting a Grandchild in 2020

Six years ago, the blueberries were still green in New Hampshire when I was awaiting the birth of my first grandchild. I remember wondering which would pop first: the blueberries or my daughter-in-law. In Judaism, upon hearing of a pregnant woman, a traditional response is…

A Note from Lee & David

The Covid19 crisis has impacted us and everybody we know.  For grandparents, this has meant unexpected isolation from our families and the heartache that goes with it.  Grandparents have told us that being kept apart from their grandchildren has created a visceral sense of pain. …

Chesed and Gevura

26th of Nissan in the Year of the Corona Virus As a grandparent of four, I often wonder about my unique role in sharing with my grandchildren the beauty and brilliance of Judaism. What are Jewish values and why do they matter? What makes them…

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-9 Crisis

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…

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…

Grandma, Grandpa, Tell Me a Story: The Special Role of Grandparents as Storytellers in Family Life

In October 2018, David Raphael, CEO of the Jewish Grandparents Network, facilitated a conversation between Marshall Duke, Charles Howard Candler Professor of Psychology at Emory University, and Ron Wolfson, Fingerhut Professor of Education at American Jewish University. These two master educators explored the role of…

Staying Connected – Letter by Letter

Fifteen years ago, our first granddaughter was born in San Francisco. Living in Baltimore, Maryland, my husband and I wondered how we would ever establish a warm and caring relationship from so far away. Like many of today’s grandparents, our family experiences were often different. …

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…

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 –…

Facing Infertility as a Grandparent

“Who among us does not have a story of a friend, daughter, daughter-in-law, son, son-in-law, or relative, who has found themselves trapped inside the world of infertility?  They blame themselves and become subsumed in the worlds of miscarriage, IVF, hormones, frozen embryos, injections, and endless…

Becoming Jew-ish Grandparents

My wife, Jacquie, and I are not Jewish. We are Christians. In fact, I was a Christian pastor for forty-five years and Jacquie and I continue to be active church members. But, like you, we have Jewish grandchildren. Jacquie and I can identify with Lee…

Grandparenting in the Age of Chrismukkah: 2019

For an increasing number of Jewish grandparents, the traditional Chanukah they celebrated with their children won’t be the Chanukah their grandchildren celebrate next week.  Instead, many grandchildren will be celebrating Chrismukkah, a pop-culture term for holiday celebrations that include traditions from both Chanukah and Christmas….

Blessings of Grandparenting

When I was ten years old, our family saw Fiddler on the Roof on Broadway.  This was a big deal.  My grandparents, who NEVER went to the theater, came.  As immigrants from Eastern Europe, Fiddler felt like their story. The first act climaxes with a…

Grandparenting Today: Talkin’ About Our Generation

As a bonafide Baby Boomer, I like to think of myself as someone who, along with my contemporaries, is reinventing the art of grandparenting. Oh sure, my cohorts and I will bake the Cookie Monster Oreos, read Dr. Seuss and celebrate the birthdays with trips…

A Hike Between the Seams

In the seam of time at the end of the summer,  I set off on a hike with my grandson Simon. At nine years, he is a sturdy and interesting child. These days that we spend without his parents are precious to us both, time…