There was a time when interacting with parents, grandparents or friends was as regular as a weekly trip to a grocery store or restaurant. But these are different times, and nothing is normal anymore, including our ability to be with many of the people we love, particularly those who face the possibility of severe complications from the coronavirus.

Showing respect to the elders in our community is an incredibly important value in Judaism. The Torah says, “You should rise before the elderly and honor the aged.” But now, because of social distancing, interacting with and honoring our elders looks quite different from what we’re used to.

For some families, that means weekly baking for their grandparents or showing them how to order groceries online. For others, heartbreakingly, it means recording an audio track of family voices so hospitalized elders are virtually “surrounded” by their loved ones.

On this episode, you’ll hear from expert guests Kara Baskin,’s parenting writer and a feature writer for The Boston Globe, and Karen Wasserman, founding director of Your Elder Experts, a program of Jewish Family & Children’s Service. They offer insights as well as practical advice and innovative ideas to stay in touch with older people in your life.

Find more coronavirus community resources at

Edited by Jesse Ulrich, with music by Ryan J. Sullivan.