Submitted by the Katz JCC Adult/Cultural and Judaic Department
Every day at the JCC we honor all the grandmas and grandpas that participate in our programming, from swimming to attending classes. We have a menu of activities that enables hundreds of grandparents to live a healthy and fulfilling life. Similar to Mother’s and Father’s Day, a day has been set aside, the first Sunday after Labor Day, to celebrate Grandparents. Grandparents are the transmitters of family history, of traditions and of the wisdom they have accumulated throughout a lifetime of living.
“It was my paternal grandfather who inspired me to enter the field of Geriatric Social Work” says Marcy Weiner Lahav, the JCC Adult, Cultural & Judaic Director. Lahav continues, “At the turn of the century he escaped persecution and conscription into the Russian Army by finding his way to America to better his life and that of the family he would have one day.” This story is a variation on a theme experienced by many grandparents from many cultures and countries throughout the history of America.
This September 8, celebrate all grandparents, those who have passed, those who are still with us and those who acted as grandparents in our lives. In this day and age, due to medical advancements and programs offered by the Katz JCC, where older adults can live their lives to the fullest, we are experiencing a growth in individuals living long enough to become great-grandparents. When you pass by, or meet an older adult, take the time to recognize or even engage with them in appreciation for what they have given to their families’ and their country.
Due to the Boomer demographic becoming grandparents, the number of grandparents in America will reach record highs. They are an untapped resource harnessing a wealth of information. It is special to set aside one day to celebrate grandparents, but we should recognize and celebrate our bubbes and zaydas, our mom moms and pop pops, our sabas and savtas, every day. So, the next time you are walking in the lobby, the gym, the hallway at the JCC, introduce yourself and get to know these wonderful men and women, some who have built this community and others who help to sustain it