Are Grandparents the Key to the Jewish Future?

From eJewish Philanthopy

February 13, 2018 By eJP

“Grandparents are a pivotal and untapped resource in transmitting to younger generations the value of a committed Jewish life” says Rabbi Jay Weinstein, director of The Jewish Agency’s G2: Global Intergenerational Initiative.

Amplifying the Impact of Jewish Grandparents to Connect Jews Around the Globe
By Jay Weinstein

Today’s grandparents are heavily involved in their grandchildren’s lives and have incredible potential in passing down Jewish values to the next generation. That’s the concept that guides one of The Jewish Agency for Israel’s newest programs – G2: Global Intergenerational Initiative. The program uses grandparent-grandchild relationships as a vehicle for strengthening Jewish identity in fun and meaningful ways, and creates an opportunity for valuable intergenerational communication.

G2 is the newest program to help further The Jewish Agency’s goal to connect Jewish people around the world to each other and to Israel. The year-long experience helps participants explore meaningful connections, family narratives and legacies around Jewish experiences. It includes monthly sessions in which grandparents and grandchildren come together locally for sets of innovative programming. At the end of the year, participants go on a week-long trip to Israel with fellow participants from around the globe. G2 uses cutting-edge technological tools, giving grandparents the opportunity to connect with each other as well as with other participants.

As part of The Jewish Agency’s Partnership2Gether platform, G2 works not only to strengthen the connections between grandparents and their grandchildren, but also the ties between partnership communities.

The first implementation of the program began in mid-December in Cincinnati.

“We’re excited to be part of the first ever G2 initiative,” said Barb Miller, Director of Community Building at the Jewish Federation of Cincinnati. “Our vision for an engaged and empowered Cincinnati Jewish community by the year 2020 includes 75% of all households feeling connected to Israel. This innovative program supports that vision.”

“We are proud to launch this unique initiative that focuses on intergenerational experiences and brings together cohorts from Israel and Jewish communities around the globe,” said Andrea Arbel, Director of the Partnership Unit at The Jewish Agency. “Grandparents have been identified as a leading influence in creating a Jewish identity in their grandchildren, which is why G2 has the power to impact the next generation.”

In addition to Cincinnati, the first G2 cohort includes communities in Miami, FL; Greater Metro West, NJ; Cape Town, South Africa; Yerucham, Netanya; and Arad and Beit Shemesh-Mateh Yehuda, Israel.

For more information on G2: Global Intergenerational Initiative, visit www.g2family.org.

Rabbi Jay Weinstein is the director of G2: Global Intergenerational Initiative, a new program of the Jewish Agency for Israel’s Partnership2Gether platform. He recently moved to Israel with his wife and four children after serving as the rabbi of Young Israel of East Brunswick, New Jersey.

Kim Goldberg