Now is the Time to Share Your Family History


From the days of playing on the roof of the old Jewish Educational Alliance (JEA) building to swimming in bathing caps at Camp Milldale’s pool …. From counting on the men to chauffer the women as they went door to door raising money on G-Day to the early years in the new country … these are the memories of our community, reflected in the stories of The Associated as we look back on our Centennial.

Yet we often don’t find time to pass down our own personal stories to our families. With children and grandparents quarantined at home… and looking for ways to connect, now is the perfect time to share family stories … as well as bond over some treats that have been favorites for generations.

Here’s a list of family bonding activities that are sure to create meaningful family moments across generations:

 

Bake Together 

That special mandel bread that graces every holiday table … bubbie’s cherished chocolate chip cake. Food sparks memories of special moments, of holidays eating together. Just the smell of a family dish can remind us of our childhood … of holidays spent eating and bonding together.

During these days when you are home, why not Facetime or Skype with a grandparent and bake a favorite dessert together? Or put together a recipe book, with anecdotes that tell some of the history behind that holiday kugel.

 

Laugh Over Your Old Photos

Bathing caps in the pool at camp… Sleeping in Druid Hill Park on a hot summer eve… Beehive hairdos and mini-skirts.

Over Facetime or other technology, show off those photos, tell the stories behind the images and laugh together over old memories. Then decide which photos should be part of a memory book together. 

 

Share your Oral History

Children are always fascinated by how their parents and grandparents met – what school was like and … what our values are. Our history is our legacy … it defines who we are. Now is the perfect time for children, parents and grandparents to get together over Facetime, Skype or phone and interview one another to create a family history.

Here are a few questions to get you started:

Growing up

  • What were your parents like?
  • What is your best memory of childhood?
  • How did you spend your weekend? Your summers?
  • What was going on in the outside world and how did it affect you (World War II, 60s and Vietnam, etc.)
  • Where did you go to high school? College?
  • What kind of student were you?
  • How would your classmates remember you?
  • Do you have a favorite school story?

Marriage

  • How did you meet your husband/wife?
  • How did you know he/she was “the one”?
  • What were some of the best times? The most difficult times?

Judaism

  • What was it like to be Jewish when you were growing up?
  • Were there any holiday traditions that you remember fondly?
  • What is a favorite Jewish tradition in your home?

General questions

  • As you look back over your life, do you see any “turning points”; that is, a key event or experience that changed the course of your life or set you on a different track?
  • Are there any words of wisdom you’d like to pass along?
  • What are you proudest of in your life?

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