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Jewish Life

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.

Tu BiSh’vat and Martin Luther King Jr. Day

This year, Tu BiSh’vat and Martin Luther King Jr. Day fall on the same day — January 17, 2022. The convergence of these two seemingly unrelated holidays gives us an opportunity to explore two important issues of our time: climate justice and social justice. 

JGN Facebook Group Recommends Best Hanukkah Books for Kids

In mid-November 2021 a member of the Jewish Grandparents Network Facebook Group asked this question in the group and got the MOST helpful responses. My 7-year-old grandson wants to share a Hanukkah book with his public school class. The group is very diverse (think Palestinian,...

Together, Let’s Save Precious Resources

As grandparents, we think about the world we are leaving our grandchildren and great-grandchildren. We face the challenges of climate change and the dwindling of precious natural resources. How can we impart to our grandchildren a commitment to repairing the world even as we spin the dreidel, light the menorah, and perhaps exchange modest gifts?

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…

Growing the Moral Imagination

It goes without saying that we love our grandkids. And we want them to grow up to be good people, open to others, accepting of differences, wise, and brave. I call this the moral imagination, and when we just hang out, love them, play cards, and schmooze—that is when we help build their character.

Our Favorite Rosh Hashanah Recipes

With rich flavors from pomegranate to saffron, these Tori Avey recipes with videos offer tasty turns on traditional favorites. A memorable tzimmes has never been easier, a Persian Jewish side dish is a fragrant and savory complement, and the challah is a sweet surprise.  Every...

Tzedek Box: Repairing the World, One Righteous Act at a Time

Learn how to keep a family journal of righteous acts with the Tzedek Box. As Andrew Mandel explains, it’s a way of passing along Jewish values and commitments with a ritual that sparks introspection and bonding.  The dog days of summer mean that our Hebrew month…

How the High Holy Days Sounded 100 Years Ago

Curated by Hankus Netsky Ever wonder whether your high holiday experience sounds like the one your grandparents had? Courtesy of the internet, we can revisit some of the great High Holiday moments of the twentieth century, experiencing the passion and urgency of the classic Eastern European Jewish prayer tradition.   …

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…

Chai Mitzvah Tikkun Leil Shavuot 

Shavuot, which begins at sundown on May 16, 2021 and ends at sunset on May 18, is a major Jewish holiday celebrated forty-nine days after the second day of Passover. It was originally a harvest festival, but now also commemorates the giving of the Torah….