Jerry Witkovsky is an amazing Deerfield resident who has brought thousands of grandparents and grandchildren closer together and enriched their lives through his tireless passion behind his Grandparent Connection School Program.
ABOUT JERRY WITKOVSKY
Lifelong Chicagoan Jerry Witkovsky (MSW, University of Illinois) has been a beloved mentor to thousands of individuals and generations of families, thanks to 47 years of professional leadership – 18 of them, as General Director – of Chicago’s Jewish Community Centers.
MOST EFFECTIVE NONPROFIT CEO
In 1995, Jerry was named one of the city’s “Most Effective Nonprofit CEOs” by Crain’s Chicago Business Magazine.
AUTHOR AND GRANDPARENTING ACTIVIST
Since retiring in 1997, Jerry has focused his considerable energies on grandparenting – helping multigenerational families work (and play) together to create a rich family life.
At 88, Jerry is a force of nature. His wife’s passing from cancer in 2003 was very difficult. But, he realized he could wallow or could keep on living. He has since authored a book, The Grandest Love: Inspiring the Grandparent-Grandchild Connection, recognized in Grand Magazine’s 2016 list of 13 Best Books for New Grandparents.
Jerry’s joyful commitment to his six grandchildren (ages 14-34) and to their parents, and his passionate belief in the transformative power of becoming a “Teaching-and-Learning” family, is at the heart of his book and the Grandparent Connection School Kit which he produced in 2016.
GRANDPARENTS IN THE SCHOOLS
He has spearheaded annual orientation programs for grandparents in a growing roster of Chicago public and private high schools, designed to keep grandparents engaged with their grandchildren as they become adolescents, teens and young adults. Schools with Grandparent Programs in Deerfield include Deerfield High School (300 grandparents attended the November Grandparents Day for Seniors!) and Shepard and Caruso Middle Schools.
VISION FOR THE FUTURE
Jerry now has launched an evaluation process to learn from the current programs and to see how the program could be built into a business model and scaled to set up Grandparent Connection school programs across the country. He continues as a tireless advocate for the power of grandparents to transform families and communities and to help pass values from generation to generation.
Please learn more on Jerry’s active engagement Online.