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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

Click HERE for guidelines for posts on the Jewish Grandparents Network website.

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…

Thanksgiving 2021: Finding Gratitude

How to have a meaningful and fun Thanksgiving celebration!   Thanksgiving will be here in a few weeks. This is the gratitude holiday. In times of challenge especially, reflecting on the things that ground us: our essential relationships, stories, values, and purpose fills us with…

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…

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 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 –…

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…

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….

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. …

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…

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…