Jewish grandparents and their legacies

Jewish grandparents and their legacies

The first-ever national study of Jewish grandparents has shined light on their attitudes and beliefs, behaviors and needs in relation to grandparenting, including their desire to share their legacies in an age of complexity and change.

In the research commissioned by the Jewish Grandparents Network in partnership with 17 national organizations and Jewish federations, nearly 8,000 individuals revealed that:

  • Most grandparents are committed to transmitting of Jewish values.
  • Nearly half of the grandparents in the national representative sample have a child married to a non-Jewish partner.
  • While the vast majority of Jewish grandparents find their role to be a joyful experience, grandparenting can have its difficulties.
  • Most frequently, interactions between grandparents and their grandchildren take place in their homes and their grandchildren’s homes around birthdays and national holidays.

Some of the grandparents don’t model Jewish involvement for their grandkids, or have no interest in passing on Jewish practices to the youngsters.

David Raphael co-founder of the Jewish Grandparents Network, said the “challenge” for the Jewish community is “to pivot towards the wonderful opportunity to engage grandparents in ways that ultimately bring the entire family together in meaningful Jewish experiences. Grandparents really can be partners in the Jewish-engagement work that so many communities look to do.”