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Yesterday, the Jewish Outreach Institute launched its first discussion group for grandparents looking to share their Jewish heritage with their interfaith grandchildren. The first Grandparents Circle was held at Temple Valley Beth Shalom in Encino, Calif. A second is hatching in Atlanta Jan. 25.
Modeled on JOI’s successful Mothers’ Circle program, Grandparents Circle is a five-week guided discussion course that allows grandparents to share their issues and teaches them ways to impart Judaism to their grandchildren in a non-intrusive manner.
Where Mothers’ Circle specifically deals with non-Jewish mothers raising Jewish children, Grandparents Circle addresses grandparents in all kinds of situations: those with grandchildren being raised Jewish, those whose grandchildren are being raised Christian, those whose grandchildren’s upbrining is still up in the air, widowed grandparents trying to maintain the traditions of their late spouse, etc. Because of the ambiguities and boundaries of child-rearing, it can be difficult for grandparents to figure out their appropriate role. Do you share any Jewish tradition with Christian grandchildren? If the parents aren’t imparting Judaism to their children, is it appropriate for you to do so? How do you complement and not usurp your children’s parenting objectives?
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