Jewish Grandparenting

Creating a lasting and meaningful Jewish relationship with your grandchildren.

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Ideas for Long-Distance Grandparenting

Photo exchange--Disposable cameras make this a project anyone can do. Continuously snap photos of both formal and informal occasions, then develop two sets, send one, and save the other. Keep a scrapbook and enjoy!

GTV (Grandparent Television Videos)--Become an actor, tell a story, videotape a hallah-making production or other cooking session. Turn the camera on during conversations at the dinner table or in the living room. Take the video camera with you on a walk through the neighborhood to visit places of Jewish interest.

Audio-cassettes--Prepare a quiet-time listening tape by reading an age-appropriate Jewish book or by recording your favorite musical selections.

Progressive art projects--Start a Shabbat mural by sending everyone in the family a sheet of 8" x 10" paper. Using crayons, paints or felt markers, draw your favorite Shabbat symbol. Set a deadline and ask everyone to send their drawings back to you. Tape together and display for your next family gathering. Periodically change the theme of your family mural. Try birthday and holiday celebrations, tikkun olam or many others.

Love notes and packages--Periodically send little treats. Try home-made goodies such as mandelbread or hazenblozen and enclose your recipe on a pretty index card.

Take a photo and tape it to the center of a circle. Hole-punch the top and thread yarn through it so that it may be hung as a mobile, or on a wall hook or door-knob.

To adapt a Yiddish saying, "One who engages in parenting/grandparenting for one hundred and twenty years will live a long life!"



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Kay Kantor Pomerantz was assistant director of the department of education at the United Synagogue of Conservative Judaism.