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 children and grandchildren live in San Francisco fear for the welfare of their loved ones and the uncertainty of what will happen next. Another friend provides regular childcare support for her nearby daughter.  She, her daughter and her grandchildren are all suffering from her absence. We want to be helpful with our families but are also conscious that, those of us 65 years and above are most at risk to the dangers of the virus.

We cannot help but think of the quotation from Rav Nachman: “The entire world is a very narrow bridge and the main thing is not to fear.” It is a lovely quotation and song, but it is difficult not to fear for the wellbeing of our families, our friends and ourselves.

Conversely, each day as we check our email inbox we are reminded of another quote: “All Israel is Responsible for One Another” (Babylonian Talmud, Tractate Shavuot 39a). Each day another organization steps up and reminds us that we are at our best when we reach out to one another. We are pleased to share these resources that Jewish organizations are making available during these trying times:

Jewish Learning and Spirituality

The Institute for Jewish Spirituality: Daily online meditation and weekly Torah Study.

The Pardes Institute for Jewish Studies: Resources for those impacted by the Covid-19 virus

Limmud North America: A Virtual Learning festival

Shalom Learning: Distance Jewish learning alternatives for children and guidance for Jewish educators on maximizing distance learning programs.

The Florence Melton School for Adult Jewish Learning: New online Jewish learning opportunities.

Resources for Quarantined Families

PJ Library: Resources for Quarantined Families

Beit Hatfutsot, the Museum of the Jewish People: An array of on-line resources

In the Secular Sphere

Center for Puppetry Arts: Virtual workshops, museum tours and puppet shows

Google Arts and Culture:  Take a tour of some of the world’s greatest museums and cultural sites

In addition, we invite you to view the following videos available on the Jewish Grandparents Network Website

“Grandma, Grandpa, Tell Me a Story: The Special Role of Grandparents as Storytellers in Family Life: A delightful conversation with Ron Wolfson and Marshall Duke

“The Torah of Bubbiehood”: Jane Shapiro’s masterful Eli Talk on becoming a grandmother.

Finally, we are delighted to pass on a wonderful list of resources created by Dr. Ruth Nemzoff, Member of the Jewish Grandparent Network National Advisory Committee.  Please click HERE to access the list.

Please share with us other resources that can bring all of us together virtually. And please be well and be safe.

All our best regards

Lee M. Hendler and David Raphael,
Co-Founders, Jewish Grandparents Network