Our Legacy

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.

The Blessing of Making Aliyah at Age 79

David Raphael Note: I wrote this essay in 2010 and it was published in The Forward   Two years ago, at age 79, my mother became an olah hadashah, a new immigrant to Israel. We moved her to live in the small apartment above my…

You are Descended from Leaders

You are descended from leaders, whose faith propelled them to “do the right thing” and raise up others, as they themselves rose to success. Your great-great-great-grandparents brought others from the jaws of the Czarist army and the winds of war to safety in the United States.

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.

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…

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…

The Torah of Bubbiehood

This bubbie has universal wisdom that could change your approach to everyday life. We invite you to watch this wonderful Eli Talk by Jane Shapiro. Discover a personal account of Jane’s three Jewish values of Bubbiehood and their impact on family life: Tzimtzum (contraction): The overpowering…

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.”

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 stories in framing our lives and strengthening our families and the essential role that grandparents play in sharing these stories.

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. …

The Gift of Trees

The well-being of the world depends on our generation. How will we respond? Once upon a time, about this time every year, our Hebrew school teachers would tell us the story of Honi Ha’ma’agal – Honi the circle-maker. The story was part of our annual…

Won Ton Soup, Egg Rolls, Spare Ribs…..Wait!!!

Like many people, I had two grandfathers. My father’s father, Pop Jacob, was stern and dour. I’m sure I must have seen him smile once during our shared time on earth, but I have no recollection of such. Every Sunday morning, we would make the…