Grandparenting: Joy and Challenge


While the official Grandparents’ Day is Past, it’s always appropriate to celebrate grandparents.

I hope everyone has as fond memories as I do of their grandparents. I was fortunate enough to live in the same community of both sets of grandparents. In fact, we lived right next door to my mother’s parents and easy walking distance to my father’s parents. I still treasure the after dinner visits I made to my mother’s mother where we talked about almost everything and the drop-in visits after school to my father’s parents where there was always a cookie or legendary sponge cake.

I know that it was not always easy for my parents to be so physically close to competing sets of grandparents, but they did one very wise thing. We, the three children, never knew that there were conflict, jealousy , hurt feelings, or competing views. We just knew that they loved us and we loved them and that after school, Shabbat or holiday visits were special and something we wanted to do.

My husband and I, despite living far from our own parents tried to raise our kids in that same model although we did not always agree with our parents.

I can see that MY daughter-living even further away- is following in our footsteps and not sharing with her children any disagreements she has with us or her husband’s parents. And we in turn respect their opinions and requests.

In a nutshell, keeping your mouth shut is frequently a good way to ensure a good relationship between the grands…and you.

Grandparents are to love and be loved. Adulthood will come soon enough and with adulthood comes more critical judgment of parents and grandparents. That pure love will be gone before you know it.

There are many books in the library that feature grandparents as either main or supporting characters.

Here’s a cross section. Check the library catalog for more (



Aylesworth, My Grandfather’s Coat. A classic story about grandfather’s ingenuity. (J398.2)

Bennett, Your Mommy Was Just Like You. Grandma tells her granddaughter about Mommy as a girl. (PRE JE)

Boyd, I Love Grandpa. A day with Grandpa. (JE)

Boyd, I Love Grandma. A day with Grandma. (JE)

Dewdney, Llama Llama Gran and Grandpa. Beloved Llama Llama goes on his first overnight. (PRE JE)

grandgoldsack1Goldsack, My Grandma is Great. Grandma is lots of everything. (PRE JE)

Karkowsky, Grandma’s Soup. Everthing changes when Grandma begins to forget how to make chicken soup. (JE)

Kosman, Red, Blue and Yellow Yarn: a tale of forgiveness (JE)

Marshall, Grandma Rose’s Magic. The magic is kindness. (JE)

Michelson, Grandpa’s Gamble. Grandpa Sam’s life was not quite so boring as his grandchildren thought. (JE).

Milstein, Miami-Nanny Stories. Sophie and Joey love listening to their grandmother’s family stories. (JE)

Oberman, The Always Prayer Shawl. Keeping family memories and traditions. (JE)

Pinson, Bubbe’s Belated Bat Mitzvah. (JE)grandbubbes2

Plourde, Bella’s Fall Coat. Grandma and Bella solve the problem of a beloved coat outgrown. (PRE JE)

Polacco, The Trees of the Dancing Goats. Trisha’s grandparents lead the way to celebrating friendship. (JE)

Rosenbaum, A Grandma Like Yours/ A Grandpa Like Yours. All the things grandparents can do. (JE)

Rothenberg, Inside-out Grandma. Why does Grandma wear her clothes that silly way? (J244.1)

Salzberg, Tea With Grandpa. A visit with a surprise ending. (PRE JE)

grandsparks3Schwartz, Gathering Sparks. A grandfather introduces his grandchild to the concept of Tikkun Olam.( J398.2)





Rosenberg, This is Just a Test. It’s 1983, and David has a lot to worry about, including his grandmothers. (JFIC)grandtest4

Littman, Confessions of a Closet Catholic. The death of Justine’s grandmother changes her feelings about Judaism. (YAFIC)

Orlev, The Song of the Whales. Michael develops a deep relationship with his grandfather. (JFIC)

Schnur, The Return of Morris Schumsky. How Grandpa”s disappearance changes the family. (JFIC)



The Observant Life :the wisdom of Conservative Judaism for Contemporary Jews. Contains a chapter on grandparenting (274)

Apple, Roommates: my grandfather’s story. (BIOG)

Beckerman, The Smartest Woman I Know. A homage to her grandmother, Ettie Goldberg. (304.1)

grandlove5Isay, Unconditional Love: a guide to navigating the joys and challenges of being a grandparent today (304.5)

Levin, Mingled Roots: a guide for Jewish grandparents of interfaith children (304.4)

Newman, Bubbe Meisehs by Shayneh Maidelehs: an anthology of poetry by Jewish granddaughters about their grandmothers. (811)

Olitzky, Twenty things for Grandparents of Interfaith Children to Do (and what not to do)….(303)

Shalev, My Russian Grandmother and Her American Vacuum Cleaner: a family memoir. (BIOG)

Techner, A Candle for Grandpa: a guide to the Jewish funeral for children and parents. (J246.5)


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Aileen Grossberg

Aileen Grossberg

Aileen Grossberg, a professional librarian, is a long-time congregant and serves as volunteer librarian for Shomrei's Lampert Library. The library, one of the best-kept secrets at Shomrei is used by the Rabbi, congregants, students and teachers of the JLC (Hebrew School) and Preschool. It's a tremendous resource completely supported by your donations and gifts. Aileen also heads the Shomrei Caterers, the in-house food preparation group. Can there be any better combination…good food and good books!
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