Publication Date: July 2009
Publisher: Jerusalem Center for Public Affairs
Author(s): Rela Mintz Geffen; Manfred Gerstenfeld
Research Area: Culture and religion
Keywords: Jewish Continuity; Demography; Generational Issues; Social Patterns
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.