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.

Thanksgiving 2020: Finding Gratitude When We’re Gathering Differently

How to have a meaningful and fun COVID-19 Thanksgiving celebration!   Thanksgiving will be here in a few weeks. For many of us it will not be the Thanksgiving of years past. Even as that saddens us, we yearn for greater connection with those we…

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…

Freedom’s Feast

Thanksgiving will be here in a few weeks. For many of us it will not be the Thanksgiving of years past. Even as that saddens us, we yearn for greater connection with those we love and a more meaningful celebration of the holiday’s purpose. We…

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…

Memories of Pancakes

Yesterday morning I got a Facetime call from my granddaughter Maya. She sat with her beautiful animated face front and center on the screen as she smiled broadly. She called to tell us that she was eating pancakes for breakfast. Maya usually eats “oaties with…

Words Create Worlds

I will never forget a story I heard from a dear friend. She recounted to me that she and her family were out for brunch with the grandparents. Halfway through the meal, her mother-in-law looked at her eight-year old granddaughter and asked her when she…

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…

Pay Attention to Your Grandchild’s Tropisms

Giving your grandchild your attention is a better gift than a trust fund. You can cheer on the toddler’s first steps, listen to a 4-year-old’s lecture about dinosaurs, or attend a 10-year-old’s piano recital. Even better, you can pay attention to your grandchild’s tropisms. If…

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…

Family Is a Safety Net

When I was a child I had a plan in place “should anything happen to my mom and dad.” It was simple; I’d just go live with my Aunt Betty, my mom’s sister. Clueless as to what plans my folks might have made in that…

Rosh Hashanah Books for Children and their Parents and Grandparents

The High Holy Days are upon us, and this year most of us will not be gathering with family or attending services in person. Luckily, we can still connect with loved ones by video chat to share special holiday moments on Zoom, FaceTime, Google Hangouts,…

Framing the Story

In partnership with The Museum of the Jewish People at Beit Hatfutsot, in Tel Aviv Israel, the Jewish Grandparents Network is pleased to announce a new initiative “Framing the Story” Framing the Story invites grandparents to reach into their family photo albums to find pictures…

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…

At a Good Hour: Awaiting a Grandchild in 2020

Six years ago, the blueberries were still green in New Hampshire when I was awaiting the birth of my first grandchild. I remember wondering which would pop first: the blueberries or my daughter-in-law. In Judaism, upon hearing of a pregnant woman, a traditional response is…

When the World Is Too Much with Us

My father-in-law, called “GaGa” by his grandchildren, was a well-to-do man by any measure but refused to eat potatoes for his entire adult life—not even a french fry could cross his lips. To him, potatoes tasted like poverty because, during his childhood, potatoes were often…

A Note from Lee & David

The Covid19 crisis has impacted us and everybody we know.  For grandparents, this has meant unexpected isolation from our families and the heartache that goes with it.  Grandparents have told us that being kept apart from their grandchildren has created a visceral sense of pain. …

Uncle Myron, the Orioles and a Hot Dog

When my Uncle Myron, known to most as Rabbi Myron M. Fenster, was to visit Baltimore for the annual gathering of the Rabbinical Assembly asked for a favor, I couldn’t say no.  He wanted to go to an Orioles game at Camden Yards.  What was…

No Son of Mine Is Going to Grow Up in a Place Like This

My maternal great uncle Earl was conceived by my grandmother during the Spanish Flu epidemic when my grandmother became sick with the flu. Like many other infants carried to term under those conditions, Earl was born with significant developmental disabilities. Unlike many others, however, my maternal…

Chesed and Gevura

26th of Nissan in the Year of the Corona Virus As a grandparent of four, I often wonder about my unique role in sharing with my grandchildren the beauty and brilliance of Judaism. What are Jewish values and why do they matter? What makes them…

For My Granddaughter who is Two and ¾’s During the Pandemic

The granddaughter to whom this poem is dedicated is my 6th grandchild and 4th granddaughter. She is my daughter’s 2ndchild. When she was born, I was the first person to hold her. Her mom had a planned C-section and for medical reasons had general anesthesia….

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….

Fifty Ideas for Grandparenting During the Covid-9 Crisis

Isolation does not mean being isolated from one another. We are all finding new ways to reach out and communicate with each other. Just because we’re practicing physical distancing, doesn’t mean we can’t stay connected with our loved ones. This list of resources is intended…

Ten Minute Virtual Dayenu Seder

Passover begins on the evening of April 8, 2020. Truly this night will be different from all other nights. We are all struggling with our changed lives. We need to give ourselves permission to do what we can. In that spirit, the Jewish Grandparents Network…

Passover 2020: Planning Your Online Seder

The Jewish Grandparents Network, Seder2020 & Haggadot.com partner to support families and friends to organize online Seders.   Step One: Choose a Video Conferencing Site by clicking HERE Need More Help? Facetime Skype WhatsApp WebEx Zoom Step Two: Plan Your Online Seder Click HERE to access the Seder 2020.org…

Online Resources for Passover 2020

We are pleased to share these Passover 2020 online resources.  Our thanks to the wonderful organizations who provide richness and meaning to our holidays.  We invite you to share additional resources either by responding to this post or by emailing info@jewishgrandparents.org. What is Passover? 18…

How Different Will This Night Be: 10 Tips for Your Virtual Seder

The greatest gathering of the Jewish year is nearly upon us and this year, the Passover Seder will be celebrated like no other. Mah Nishtanah Ha-Leila Ha-Zeh, indeed! Most translations of this famous line from the Seder portray it as a question: “Why is this night different…

Staying Connected in this Time of Social Distance

The COVID-19 virus and the social restrictions in place to mitigate its spread have impacted us all.  A friend, who is fortunate to have all of her grandchildren living nearby pines to see them – knowing she can’t. Grandparents living in New York while their…

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. …