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

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Grandparenting in the Age of Chrismukah: 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 Chrismukah, 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…

These Are Not the Families We Imagined, But…  

When I married in 1974 and started to have our children (1,2,3,4) we went down a pretty conventional and predictable  Jewish path…. one pidyon ha-ben (the ceremony welcoming a first-born son) was followed by four bar and bat mitzvahs later. And then in birth order, our children began to…

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

Sunday night dinner at a Chinese restaurant; spare-ribs, wonton soup, chicken chow mein, fortune cookies, and orange slices.  In the 1950s and 60s it was a hallowed tradition shared among Jewish families across North America.  And so, it was for my grandparents, three sisters, and…

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…

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,…

Musings from a Museum Savta

“All I really need to know I learned in Kindergarten,” continues to be a book that guides me as a grandparent. Its lessons are enduring. Don’t take things that aren’t yours. … Don’t hit people. … Hold hands, stick together. … Share. … Live a…

Illustrating the National Study

When the Jewish Grandparents Network was looking for an artist to provide illustrations for the report of the national study of Jewish Grandparents, we had the wonderful good fortune of finding Deborah Zemke.