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Jewish Grandparenting in the United States: Interview with Rela Mintz Geffen

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Publication Date: July 2009

Publisher(s): Jerusalem Center for Public Affairs

Author(s): Rela Mintz Geffen; Manfred Gerstenfeld

Special Collection: Berman Jewish Policy Archive

Topic: Culture and religion (Religion and religious groups)
Culture and religion (Cultural heritage and preservation)

Keywords: Jewish Continuity; Demography; Generational Issues; Social Patterns

Type: Other

Coverage: United States


This interview with Rela Mintz Geffen, President of Baltimore Hebrew University, discusses the role of grandparents in American Jewish family life. For the first time in American history, Geffen notes, there are many cases of three and four generations of Jewish families who are alive simultaneously. But sociological research has neglected the topic, she asserts. While a stereotype exists of Jewish grandparents as transmitters of Jewish tradition, the author contends that in many cases Jewish grandparents are afraid to fulfill this role, even when they are able.