By Lee M. Hendler and David Raphael
It was a year ago, almost to the day, that a nationally recognized Jewish educator turned to us at the Covenant Award Dinner and, referencing the remarkable interest in the Jewish Grandparents Network said; “You’ve got a tiger by the tail.” In the next weeks, close to 8,000 individuals across the United States participated in the first national study of Jewish grandparents. The announcement of the launch became one of the most highly read eJP articles of 2018.
Over the months since we first began to share the study’s findings, we have presented at over 20 national and international conventions, professional development workshops, and meetings. We participated in dozens of briefings and conversations with national and local organizations to elevate their interest in engaging Jewish grandparents. These presentations provided us with invaluable feedback that deepened our understanding of the study’s findings. The exchanges also challenged us to present the findings in a way that would provide significant insights into the demographics, attitudes, and aspirations of grandparents and their families, and also help communities and organizations to begin to work with the findings. We wanted these materials to be accessible and inspiring to grandparents and the organizations and professionals that will support and partner with them.
Today, A Report on the Findings of the National Study of Jewish Grandparents is available for review on the Jewish Grandparents Network’s new website, https://www.jewishgrandparentsnetwork.org.
In addition to the primary report, an array of supportive material, found on the website, will support use of the findings in multiple settings.
We hope you will enjoy the delightful illustrations by Deborah Zemke featured in the study material. We wanted these documents to reflect the joy and complexity of grandparenting.
In closing, we also recognize the remarkable efforts of the study researcher Karen Radkowsky, Founder and CEO of Impact:NPO. Karen’s research has dramatically propelled our efforts forward and we are grateful for her wisdom along with her commitment to Jewish life and Jewish community.
We welcome your thoughts and feedback at [email protected].
Lee M. Hendler and David Raphael are Co-Founders of the Jewish Grandparents Network.