converted father to be a grandfather

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October 30, 2011 at 3:29 am #6250

seagal

I have a few questions about my husband, who converted to Judaism when we got married, and whose daughter, before he converted, is having twins soon.  We want her kids to know that they have a Jewish side including an aunt and uncle and that their grandfather is Jewish.  We were thinking of sending some tzedakah boxes as baby gifts so as they get older they can learn the value of giving and that Jewish people see it as a mitzvot.  Also, what do some of the Jewish grandfathers have their non Jewish grandchildren call them?  Plus, would it be OK to send Chanukah gifts as well as Christmas gifts?  My husbands daughter as well as his own family are not very well versed in Judaism and we would like the grandchildren to understand more about it.  Thank you.

October 31, 2011 at 4:40 pm #6253

Karen Kushner

Congratulations on the impending birth of those twins. It is always a joyous event to become grandparents.

I’m glad you asked these questions and I have some suggestions but firstly I suggest you open a discussion with your daughter and her husband. You haven’t mentioned what religious path they have chosen for themselves and for their future family. You wouldn’t want them to see you as interfering in that choice any more than you would want them to try to change your choice to be Jewish. Opening up the topic will let you all know what will work. The key is mutual respect and then the children will learn to respect all relgions. You will continue to celebrate Jewish holidays and I hope you will include them in your celebrations and join your grandchildren in their holidays.  In this way you will all learn more about each other’s traditions.

I would ask the parents how they feel about tsedakah boxes. You might want to  introduce the regular giving of tsedakah at Shabbat and other occassions when you are with the twins and give them as a gift when they are older so they understand this mitzvah. I wouldn’t want the parents to see you as pushing Judaism.

I’m glad you are thinking ahead to Chanukah and Christmas as this can be a difficult time and you don’t want to set up Judaism to compete with Christmas. I think if you start talking to the new parents early on about evolving your particular family way, you will not bump into any sensitivities. Really, open communication between the generations will allow problems to be solved before they occur.

You can find more suggestions on our grandparenting page here: http://www.interfaithfamily.com/relatio … ting.shtml

Best of luck,
Karen

November 7, 2011 at 5:02 am #6268

Phx Mom

Mazel tov on the twins!

Before I give anything with any religious symbolism, I would ask how they want religion handled.  We found out the hard way.

Our Jewish son (who believes in God but doesn’t practice) eloped with a  Catholic lady with two children who has her faith’s believes but doesn’t practice either.  Our son dropped the ball on bringing this up for discussion early in the marriage, and after having a peaceful Chanukah/Xmas, everything exploded over the spring holidays.  We have a granddaughter due in a few weeks, and as much as we wanted to give her a fused glass blessing that said “God,” we decided not to do it because it might offend the mother-to-be because it wouldn’t say “Jesus.” 

They said they wanted to expose the kids to both faiths, but in reality, it’s not happening. 

Tread very, very carefully here. 

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