Children and adults can now write handwritten letters (or emails) to a pair of loving Jewish grandparents called Bubbie and Zadie, who exist only in the imagination of their creator, children’s book author Daniel Halevi Bloom.
Bloom, 61, has been running the free letter-writing program for almost 30 years, beginning in 1981. In 1985, he published a book about the two grandparents, whose names mean grandma and grandpa in Yiddish, and over the years he has received letters and emails from kids and adults around the country. In fact, you don’t even have to be Jewish to write to Bubbie and Zadie, if you want to learn more about Hanukkah traditions.
Bloom’s ultimate goal?
“I hope to see Bubbie and Zadie appear in a holiday TV special someday, in an ecumenical holiday show,” he says. “It’s funny, I’ve been doing this for almost 30 years and not one Jewish producer has given me a call or shown any interest in my story. And people say Hollywood is run by Jews? Then where are they on this Bubbie and Zadie storyline, which is a natural for a holiday season children’s show?”
What to tell Bubbie and Zadie when you write to them by letter or email? It’s not about presents, Bloom says. It’s above love, feelings, memories. Tradition. Roots.
He created Bubbie and Zadie, he says, in memory of his own grandparents, Bella and Max Epstein from Boston, and the letters are just a way for kids and adults to re-connect with “Bubbie and Zadie” as a warm feeling of Hanukkah happiness.
In return, Bloom (writing in the voice of Bubbie and Zadie) writes back to all children and adults who write to the grandparently pair. He has never charged a dime for his services and never will. The book royalties, modest as they have been over the years, he says, cover all his mailing expenses.
To contact Bubbie and Zadie this December, adults and children may write to them by letter or email before and during and even after the holidays at firstname.lastname@example.org
Bubbie and Zadie
115 Herrick Road
Garden City, New York 11040