I have 2 wonderful grandchildren whose other grandfather is Jewish. However he isn’t an observant Jewish person, nand nor are his kids (my daughter in law is Christian, my son is Christian Catholic). That said, I think it’s important for my grandchildren to learn about thisother part of their “family tree” and my son and daughter in law have said I am welcome to teach them about it since I find it so important. Now, I grew up in nyc and had friends from every faith tradition when I was younger, but I now live in Ohio and unfortunately my social circle is small and I don’t know any Jewish people here, so I don’t know where to start. Can you share the name of a synagogue that would be open to a non Jewish person attending and learning about the Jewish faith with my grandchildren? Thank you.

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    Welcome to Mi Yodeya. You've asked an interesting first question. In reading your question, you mentioned that your daughter-in-law is Christian. This means that your grandchildren aren't Jewish. I just wanted to clarify this, in case of doubt. You don't mention where you live in Ohio. But, nearly all the large OH cities esp. Cleveland and Cincinnati have sizable Jewish communities. You may want to start by locating a Jewish Federation or Jewish Community Center (JCC) in a large city close to you, and relay your challenges. Hopefully, they can refer you to someone or offer some ideas.
    – DanF
    Mar 25, 2018 at 23:17
  • I am an Ohioan. If it would not be uncomfortablely specific for you, it might help for you to name the city you are in.
    – Mike
    Mar 26, 2018 at 1:01
  • Welcome to Mi Yodeya. How old are your grandchildren? Do they live in the same area as you, or do they live elsewhere and you're asking about things you can do when they visit? Mar 26, 2018 at 1:02
  • Try a Chabad-house to find friendly informed Jews. Here's list of the Chabad-Lubavitch Centers in "Ohio" - chabad.org/centers/default_cdo/state/Ohio/country/USA/jewish/… Mar 26, 2018 at 13:11
  • Thank you for your responses. My grandchildren are 7 (a girl) and 5 ( a boy). I live close to Columbus. My grandchildren live in Pennsylvania so I’m looking for things to expose them to when they visit. I do understand that they aren’t Jewish. My goal is to provide them with an understanding of all facets of their family’s heritage and faith traditions. I don’t want to intrude or be disrespectful , I just want them to know all of their history. I will definitely look at the places in the link. I hope to have my grandchildren all summer. Thanks again. Mar 27, 2018 at 2:40

1 Answer 1


So from the way I understand your question, your daughter-in-law's father is Jewish. Right? Well, sadly, if your daughter-in-law's mother isn't Jewish, that mean she isn't either, which means your grandchildren are one hundred percent not Jewish. (This isn't a bad thing, necessarily, although it is sad that the Jewish grandfather chose to intermarry, which is a sin according to the Torah.)

Therefore, any education you want to give your children on Judaism should not be done with the intention of showing them at they are Jewish, because they aren't.

Taking your grandchildren to a Jewish establishment to help them learn about Judaism might give them the wrong impression that they are Jewish, and it might come as a shock (or disappointment) when they learn that they aren't considered Jewish at all.

I'd suggest finding a video or something, or teaching them what you know about Judaism yourself. They don't need to learn the ins and outs of the religion, because they aren't Jewish. You mentioned that you are Catholic, therefore you should be familiar with the story of Abraham, the Exodus, etc.

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    A caution on your last sentence: many Christians "know" Christian overlays on Tanakh and don't even realize it, just like many Jews "know" that (for example) Avraham smashing the idols is in the torah. It can be very hard for people to separate what we know from actual text and what we know from text+aggadah+interpretation if we're trying to separate it after the fact. (It's easier when learning it in the first place.) Before The Curious Catholic tries to teach these stories as Jewish to his grandchildren, he'd probably want to sort out some of that. Mar 26, 2018 at 15:10
  • @MonicaCellio And a quick look at a Wiki or other page would suffice, without going to some event or establishment.
    – ezra
    Mar 26, 2018 at 15:32

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