Rick and Ronda Lepsetz from Southfield with Dylan Gabe, 2, Sammie Gabe, 5, Emma Gabe, 2, all from Montreal, Canada. “The twins are just learning to talk. Right now, Ronda and I are both called ‘Gabba’,” says Rick. In honor of Grandparents Day on Sunday, grandparents share their photos of the lights of their lives with Jewish News readers. Featured photo courtesy Rick and Ronda Lepsetz.
Grandkids and grandparents are good for each other, according to several studies. For kids, grandparents provide stability, safety, wisdom and fun. For the grandparents, caring for grandchildren can help stave off depression, boost social connections and keep them mentally sharp. This year, Grandparents Day is Sunday, Sept. 8. The holiday, established in 1978, honors the special relationship between grandparents and grandchildren. To celebrate, the JN invited readers to share favorite photos of the favorite kids in their lives.
Judy Robinson of West Bloomfield kvells about her grandchildren (TOP TO BOTTOM) Thea, 2, of Los Angeles, shown here “ready for school;” Max, 4, of San Francisco, who is “pure joy;” and Ruby, 1, also of San Francisco, who “loves to eat.” Grandparents Larry and Lisa Kaplan of Farmington Hills say of their granddaughter Sonia Devorah Avshalumov, 15 months, of Birmingham: “Our Sonia is destined to be a space planner or a moving man (woman). Invite her to your home and she will rearrange your furniture all over the house, at top speed. She’s hilarious!” “This is my grandson, Sawyer Bennett, 2½, of Huntington Woods, cruisin’ in his mini-Mini. The sweetest sound in the world is to hear him say, ‘I love you, Bubbie!’” says Yona Kahn of Huntington Woods. Janis and Steve Gorelick of Waterford are the proud Nana and Papa of Cooper Hutson, 3, of Birmingham. Eileen Polk of Huntington Woods says, “The Fourth of July is always a special time for the cousins to get together. This year they were excited to meet the newest one, Sophia Gloria!” Eileen’s grandchildren are Josie Polk, 5, from Dayton, Ohio; Jack Polk, 3, from Brookline, Mass.; Evie Polk, 8, from Dayton; Hannah Polk, 6, from Brookline; and Sophia Bobrow, 3 weeks, from Franklin. Barbara and Sanford Szirtes of Farmington Hills are proud Bubbie and Zaydie to Evelyn (Evie) Szirtes, 7, and Winifred (Winnie) Szirtes, 4, of Pleasant Ridge. They share this funny story: “When Winnie was about 2½ years old, she was wearing an amulet necklace similar to the necklace worn by Anna in the movie Frozen. It had a large stone and Winnie displayed it proudly to Bubbie and Zaydie. Then, Winnie’s older sister, Evie (5 years old at the time), spoke up and said, ‘Bubbie, you know that it’s not real’.” Lisa and Gary Shiffman of West Bloomfield are proud of Emerson Maxwell Shiffman, 16 months, of Birmingham. “He loves his Mama and Dada, Bubbie and Papa, Safta Lili and Grandpa G., uncles and aunties, dogs, music and LIFE!” Roslyn Schindler of Huntington Woods, is the proud Bubbie of Oliver Samuel Schindler, 3, from Spokane, Wash. “Oliver is the sweetest hugger, and he’s been known to hug a tree or even a special sculpture, especially if it’s an animal,” she says. Meet Ellianna Achtman, 2, of Waterford, the granddaughter of Michelle and Brad Silber, and Shellie and Steve Achtman, all from Commerce Township. “She loves going to the zoo! She is expecting a sibling this December and she says over and over while pointing to her mommy’s belly, ‘I hope it’s an otter!’ It’s the cutest thing ever!” Laila, 7, Lillian, 2, and Isaac, 4, in Traverse City, the grandchildren of Barbara and Bill Nickel of West Bloomfield, and Robert and Donna Klein of Bloomfield Hills: Isaac said, “Now I get to be the big brother.” Suretta Must of Bloomfield Hills is proud grandma to Elin Douville, 8, of West Bloomfield. “Tasting matzah when she was a little younger, Elin said ‘Mommy, why didn’t the Hebrews wait a little longer for the bread to rise so it would have been more like pita?’” Edie Rubin of West Bloomfield is grandmother of Beatrice Rubin, 2, also of West Bloomfield. Her parents, Eddie and Michelle, overheard her singing “The Wheels on the Bus” to herself, but she added her own verse: “The Saftas on the bus go ‘Ouch my back.’ I wonder where she’s heard that from?” Edie says. TOP: Here Shelly and Ed Schwartz of Ann Arbor are at Bubbie Zaydie camp with grandson Sam Levine, 5, of Denver. “Go faster, Papa!” Sam says. Shelly and Ed took their grandson Mason Siegel, 3, of Scottsdale, Ariz., to Gallup Park. “Papa, go bump bump on your tushy,” Mason said. Shelly and Ed took grandson Max Levine, 3, of Denver bowling in Ann Arbor. “Papa, I got two!” Max said proudly. Grandparents Dee Dee and Norm Lynn of West Bloomfield are proud of their gang. “All part of a great family unit that make us proud to be their grandparents,” they say. FRONT ROW: Ben Lafer, 3, of West Bloomfield; Josh Gotlieb, 11, of Atlanta, Ga.; Jacob Lafer, 5, of West Bloomfield; Zach Gotlieb, 5, of Atlanta; and Lindsay Rubinstein, 6, of West Bloomfield. BACK ROW: Brendan Lynn, 18, of West Bloomfield; Alexis Gotlieb, 13, of Atlanta; and Mari Lynn, 17, of West Bloomfield. LEFT: Judy Trepeck from West Bloomfield says her special guy is Ethan Stone Harris of Bloomfield Hills, who turns 5 on Sept. 5. “Ethan has a heart of gold and is celebrating his ‘golden’ 5th birthday on Sept. 5, 2019. He is loving, sweet and empathetic, with an imagination beyond his years. He is my BEST guy.” Andrea and Richard Ketchel of West Bloomfield are proud of grandsons Maxx, 10, and Drew, 7, Lyngaas of Birmingham. “This photo is from Camp Tamarack sibling shabbat. This is Drew’s first time at Tamarack and he had the best time. The boys were very happy to see each other on Shabbat.” Gail and Steve Elkus of Huntington Woods are grandparents to Marlee, 5, and Joshua Weinstock, 7, also of Huntington Woods. “These two light up our lives and anything they say or do is adorable! But just recently they started school together, and Joshie said he loves seeing Marlee at school because he can give her a hug so she’s not scared!” Grandparents Stan and Barbara Bershad of West Bloomfield are proud of their grandkids: Joshua Bershad, 7, and Georgette Bershad, 12, of Houston, Texas. Tori and Olan Noe of Ypsilanti are proud of their granddaughter Kaya Field, 11 months, of Adrian. “She is adjusting, like a champ, to her move to Michigan while her daddy is deployed overseas,” Tori says. Gilana Frank, 10, granddaughter of Peggy and Dennis Frank of West Bloomfield, baked an “avalanche” cake and won first prize in a 4th of July baking contest in San Francisco where she is in the fifth grade. Doug and Carol are also the proud grandparents of Sophie Feldman-Yeo, 20 months, of Winnipeg. “Sophie likes to smile, laugh and hug her family. Her favorite activity is singing and dancing to ‘Baby Shark,’” Carol says. Miles Feldman-Yeo, 6½, of Winnipeg, Canada, is the grandson of Doug and Carol Feldman of Ann Arbor. “Miles likes reading chapter books and playing tennis and soccer,” Carol says. “His favorite family activity is building houses and hotels on Boardwalk and Park Place. Lisa and Richard Rosenbaum of Bloomfield are grandparents to Pearl, 2, from Novi. “A sponge who never stops moving,” Richard says. Her brother Simon, 4, is a “very sweet child,” he adds. Frederick Swartz, a former Michigander living in Delray Beach, Fla., is proud of his 1-year-old great-grandson, Ruben Levi Feig, who lives in New York City with his mother, Ashley Levine-Feig, and her husband, Bret. Gary and BJ Berkowitz of West Bloomfield have two grandsons: Cooper Hughey, 2, of East Lansing and Cole Berkowitz, 4, of Hoboken, N.J. “Cooper is a rough-and-tumble kind of guy, but he never goes anywhere without his Lamby,” they say. “Cole is 4 years old, but at the age of 18 months, he started calling us ‘Baba (Bubbie) and Booba’ (Grandpa) and it stuck!”