The Tallit Project

The Jewish Grandparents Network

What is the Jewish Grandparents Network?

The Jewish Grandparents Network (JGN), founded in 2018, is a national organization that educates, connects, and supports grandparents as essential partners in enriching Jewish life. JGN creates opportunities to engage grandparents in innovative experiences that help them pursue their complex and essential roles with confidence and joy.

The Jewish Grandparents Network proudly welcomes, respects, and values the participation of all, including interfaith families, people of all abilities, religious practices, backgrounds, sexual orientation, gender identity, race, and socio-economic status. We believe that diversity in our families makes us stronger, enriches the Jewish community, and enables us to be better Jewish and world citizens.

How is the grandparent-grandchild relationship significant?

The unique relationship between grandparent and grandchild is the basis for all the Jewish Grandparent Network’s work. On a basic and visceral level, grandparents offer unconditional love to their grandchildren. The grandparent-grandchild relationship is critical to creating memories. Grandparents serve as links to Jewish traditions and values; they can infuse celebrations with an additional layer of joy and meaning. As teens get older, they can be reluctant to engage in Jewish activities with family, therefore another function of the Tallit Project is to bring excitement into B-Mitzvah preparation and strengthen family relationships. The project will spark conversations about the grandparents’ experiences, while sharing these stories will strengthen the grandparent-grandchild bond.
Grandchildren often respond “yes” to grandparents in a way they may not to their parents. Forged of love and respect, the bond between grandparent and grandchild creates the opening for what is perhaps the ultimate goal of Jewish adulthood: becoming a moral and ethical human being. This personal relationship, powered by grandparents as the keepers of wisdom, experience, Jewish tradition, and community connections, is a potent combination that can propel the B-Mitzvah into the broader context of community.

Grandparents embody both the real and symbolic connection to ancestry. When grandparents share the Jewish values and rituals that shaped their lives, they can encourage their grandchildren to add those to their toolkit to use in their own lives. The Tallit Project represents a vibrant and creative means to connect grandparents and grandchildren in the context of Jewish tradition.