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Our Families

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.

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…

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.

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.

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…

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….

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.

Ten Minute Virtual Dayenu Seder

Passover begins on the evening of March 27, 2021 Once again, this night will truly be different from all other nights. We are pleased to offer the updated “Ten Minute Dayenu Virtual Seder” designed for multi-generational families to use on the shared video platform of…

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…

With Us Under the Huppah

My maternal grandmother, Lena Krostar Gorbach, was the only grandparent I knew. She was born around 1880 in the Pale of Settlement to parents who had an arranged marriage, as was customary for Jews at that time.  Her parents soon divorced; her mother came to…

Gram and Groucho

When I was age eight my maternal grandfather Max, passed away. My grandmother Bessie, known as “Gram”, moved into our two-bedroom apartment in a Bronx city housing authority building. She and my grandfather, immigrants from Romania and Russia, came to America in the early 1900’s seeking…

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 –…

Frog Tashlikh OR if a frog jumps into a pond…

Intro to Frog Tashlikh: We are taking a frog that grew from a tiny tadpole as part of an egg sac accidently dropped (we assume) by a bird into a container near my garden earlier this summer.  This event became part of our ongoing lesson…

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…