The results of a first-ever study of Jewish grandparents were recently released.
The study, which was conducted by Karen Radkowsky of Impact:NPO through the Jewish Grandparents Network, found that close to half of Jewish grandparents (47%) live an hour or less from their grandchildren. It also found that nearly half of the grandparents (46%) have a child married to a non-Jewish partner.
The study worked to develop five segments or groupings of Jewish grandparents, based on their shared values and beliefs. These include:
Joyful Transmitters (20%) – love being grandparents and feel it’s important to transmit Jewish values and beliefs.
Faithful Transmitters (16%) – want their grandchildren to have a strong connection to Judaism and to marry Jews.
Engaged Secularists (23%) – engaged grandparents, but don’t model Jewish involvement for their grandchildren.
Wistful Outsiders (20%) – want to be more involved with their grandchildren, but family dynamics get in the way.
Non–Transmitters (20%) – not Jewishly-engaged nor interested in passing on Jewish practices to their grandchildren.
The groupings are meant to help the Jewish American community understand the differing commitments grandparents have in transmitting Jewish values, traditions and practices.
Nearly 8,000 Jewish grandparents participated in the study, which launched late last fall and was conducted online. The survey was funded by JGN, with additional support from the Jim Joseph foundation, the Covenant Foundation, Lee M. Hendler and Mike Leven.