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April 2011

In this issue:

Help Us Win $5000 

Autohaus on Edens is giving a nonprofit organization $5000 for the most people who like their video on Facebook.

All you have to do is sign on to Facebook, search for "Authohaus on Edens," then click on "like." After you "like" Authohaus on Edens, go to "videos" and click on the middle one in the first row. Watch a short video about Grandparents for Social Action and again press "like." The
organization with the most "likes" can win a 5,000 grant. Help us help grandparents strengthen a legacy for their grandchildren.

Voting ends April 15 so "like" us soon and share with your friends!

Thank you. We appreciate your support!


Book Recommendation and Reading Guide


The Little Red Hen and the Passover Matzah is very similar to the classic story of the Little Red Hen. The difference is that the hen is planting the wheat and doing all the things she is doing in order to make matzah for Passover. The other difference is that at the end of the story, instead of eating all by herself, she decides to invite her friends to her home because the Haggadah says, “Let all who are hungry come and eat." In addition, she seems to know about forgiveness and friendship.

Questions to discuss with your grandchildren:

  • Why did the Little Red Hen want help planting the grain?
  • What should the animals have said and done?
  • What would you have done because you are a kind person?
  • Can you plant some parsley seeds in your house and when the seeds turn into parsley, you and your family and friends can use it for your seder.
  • When she asked her friends to help her to harvest the wheat, the dog said, "We are your friends, but not your servants." What does that mean? What is a friend supposed to say and do?
  • What have you done for a friend?
  • What do you think the little chicks thought about the friends not helping? What would you say to your parents about someone who did not want to help?
  • When Passover came and the Little Red Hen decided to invite her friends into her home, she showed forgiveness, and taught her chicks an important lesson. Have your parents helped you to learn to forgive? Why is that important? It shows that she is kind (like you), that she likes to share (like you) and that  she ended up having a better time with her friends than being all alone. 
  • The Little Red Hen's friends then helped with the dishes. Why do you think they did that? What lesson did they learn? "Treat your neight as you would like to be treated.”

Volunteer Opportunites

About 3.5 million people experience homelessness in the United States throughout the course of a year.  Those people also have problems getting good food.

What can you do to help?

1. Have members of your family write your own “Someone else’s shoes” story. You can tailor your stories to the volunteer experiences you are interested in having. Discuss people’s feelings and challenges.

Reflect upon a time when you needed help from other people.

What did you want people to say to you? How did people help you the most? What were the positive things in others’ actions that you could imitate? (This comes from the web site volunteer

2. Keep a collection box near your bedrooms. When you decide not to keep clothes anymore, put them in the collection box and give them to a shelter.

3. Go through closets, collect and donate all old coats, scarves, hats, gloves. Whenever you see mittens selling inexpensively, buy a few for someone who has no warm gloves.
The alphaproject tells us that the most needed clothes are socks, shoes, blankets, sheets, toiletries, undergarments. These would be a blessing.

4. When there is homelessness, there is also food shortage. Ask your relatives, friends if they will donate non perishable food you can take to a shelter.

As above, keep a collection box in your kitchen. When filled take it to a shelter.

5. If you are a dog or cat lover, you can take dog or cat food to an animal shelter. Sometimes they don’t have enough for the animals.

6. Last, don’t forget to help people who ask for money. Our tradition tells us “giving tzedakah is as important as all the other commandments put together.” It also reminds us that if we shut our eyes to a request for charity, it is as if he is worshipping idols. Try to find the booklet, Brother, Can You Spare a Dime by Arthur Kurzweil, published by United Synagogue Youth (reprinted from Moment Magazine, Nov. 1981).  If you cannot find it, write to Sharon Morton, 840 Vernon, Glencoe, Illinois, 60022, and I will send you a copy. It is a jewel. 

Jewish Geneology

Have you thought about leaving a legacy for your grandchildren? Consider this article on Jewish Geneology to find out more about how to find your Jewish roots.

Read more

About Us:

Educating and engaging seniors to do social action;

Empowering grandchildren to make the world a better place;

And creating a legacy from one generation to another.

840 Vernon Avenue
Glencoe, Illinois 60022 
(847) 948-5556

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A Note from Bubbe Sharon

sharon2 2

In this month's issue we explore homelessness and how we can help. What are the ways, in general, that we can help ourselves and others? 

One idea comes from the movie, City Slickers
with Billy Crystal. "What is the secret of life?"
Billy Crystal's character yells to an elder cowboy. The cowboy shouts back,"'One thing." "What is it?" asks Billy Crystal. The cowboy says, "That is for you to figure out for yourself."  Thus, you and your family decide what is the one thing you can do because it changes the world, and it changes you too.

We change ourselves by caring for others, by reviewing our own blessings (100 of them a day), by keeping an attitute of courage and hopefulness. We can live in the "here and now." What can we do only in this moment? Keep a positive outlook for the future, be kind and generous and reverant to others. Be passionate about work, hobbies, family, and reconnecting with old friends.  

A John Hopkins University publication recently had an artilce about finding happiness. The article states that synonyms for finding happiness include the words: optimistic, contented,  grateful, satisfied, adventurous, positive thinking, joyous, having self respect, feeling serenity in the moment, and bringing a little understanding and compassion to the world.

We change others even without intention: by practicing mindfulness. Who needs us? How can we be kind today? We change our feelings for others when we love them as they are not trying to change them.

So, smile often, greet others with a generous smile, make today a good memory for yourself and others. Understand how lucky you are. Involve yourself in projects and activities with family, friends, or the general community  Pick an interest that you would like to learn more about, join a club focused on that particular hobby, and form connections with those involved.

We all know that we need to PAY IT FORWARD, and if we all do that, the world be be a beautiful place.

Stories to Inspire
Meet Eric Greenberg Goldy

Eric is 15 years old and a student in the 9th grade at Columbia Grammar and Preparatory School in New York City.  Since the year of his Bar Mitzvah, Eric has been working diligently on his Mitzvah project, the PCF Strike Out Pediatric Cancer Bowlathon.  Started in 2008, this project has become an annual event during which Eric's friends and family members attend, participate and support this event that raises funds for the Pediatric Cancer Foundation.  Eric is quite committed to supporting this important organization and to date he has been able to raise $80,000.  Additionally, he has been able to attain corporate sponsorships as well as get other communities involved in this program.  It is Eric's hope that in the future the PCF Bowlathon will become an Annual National Event. 
Areyvut was proud to learn of Eric's important efforts on behalf of PCF through our Bnai Mitzvah Video Essay Contest.  Eric was awarded the 2010 Grand Prize.  We have no doubt that he will go from success to success and continue to inspire teens everywhere.  View his winning video essay!  

Stories to Inspire
Writing Birthday Letters

Originally written March 11, 2011 on Mary May Larmoyeux's blog
 Grand Connection

"If you could go to lunch with anyone, who would it be?" That question was asked at a meeting I attended, and most people said their grandparents. When asked "Why?" the common response was "I never really knew them." 
Did you know all of your grandparents? I only knew two. Thinking about this has reminded me of the importance of writing our grandkids letters. 
A few of years ago Pops and I started a new tradition with the grands—writing each of them a birthday letter. I read this idea somewhere—I think in the Littauers’ book Making the Blueplate Special. I thought it was a great, very doable idea.
It’s been fun for Pops and me to share in our letters memories of the actual “birth day.” We’ve also included memories during the year and a Bible verse that reminds us of the particular child or one that we’ll be praying for that child.
Although some may want to handwrite birthday letters, I type ours on the computer. I include special pictures in the body of the letter and print the letter in color.
Pops and I not only give each grandchild his/her birthday letter, but also keep a copy into a notebook that we’ll give the grandchild when he/she is 18 or 21. (How I wish I could open up a notebook and read 18 or 21 letters from my grandparents.)
Now, I have to confess, with our upcoming move I'm a little behind on some birthday letters. I just have to remember that the letters will be special to the grands, even if they are late.
What do you do to make special memories on your grandchildren’s birthdays? How did your grandparents remember your birthday? 
Mary May Larmoyeux is the co-author of The Grand Connection: 365 Ways to Connect With Your Grandchild's Heart.

Stories to Inspire

In Washington , DC, at a Metro Station on a cold January morning in 2007, this man with a violin played six Bach pieces for about 45 minutes. During that time, approximately 2,000 people went through the station, most of them on their way to work. After about 3 minutes, a middle-aged man noticed that there was a musician playing. He slowed his pace and stopped for a few seconds, and then he hurried on to meet his schedule.

About 4 minutes later: 
The violinist received his first dollar. A woman threw money in the hat and, without stopping, continued to walk.

At 6 minutes: 
A young man leaned against the wall to listen to him, then looked at his watch and started to walk again.

At 10 minutes: 
A 3-year old boy stopped, but his mother tugged him along hurriedly. The kid stopped to look at the violinist again, but the mother pushed hard and the child continued to walk, turning his head the whole time. This action was repeated by several other children, but every parent - without exception - forced their children to move on quickly.

At 45 minutes:
 The musician played continuously. Only 6 people stopped and listened for a short while. About 20 gave money but continued to walk at their normal pace. The man collected a total of $32.

After 1 hour: 

He finished playing and silence took over. No one noticed and no one applauded. There was no recognition at all.

No one knew this, but the violinist was Joshua Bell, one of the greatest musicians in the world. He played one of the most intricate pieces ever written, with a violin worth $3.5 million dollars. Two days before, Joshua Bell sold-out a theater in Boston where the seats averaged $200 each to sit and listen to him play the same music.

This is a true story. Joshua Bell, playing incognito in the D.C. Metro Station, was organized by the Washington Post as part of a social experiment about perception, taste and people's priorities. 

This experiment raised several questions: 

  • In a common-place environment, at an inappropriate hour, do we perceive beauty? 

  • If so, do we stop to appreciate it? 

  • Do we recognize talent in an unexpected context?

One possible conclusion reached from this experiment could be this: if we do not have a moment to stop and listen to one of the best musicians in the world, playing some of the finest music
ever written, with one of the most beautiful instruments ever
how many other things are we missing as we rush through life?

Help the Community
Reach Out and Read

A program that grandparents and their grandchildren can participate in to make a difference to other children

Grandparents, are your bookshelves cluttered with books that your grandchildren have outgrown? Do your grandchildren's bookshelves need clearing out to make room for new books? You can make more room on your shelves, and donate those books to families who cannot afford new books for their children.

Reach Out and Read is a program at the South Lawndale Health Clinic in Chicago. The clinic is a partnership between Saint Anthony Hospital, the Chicago Department of Public Health, and the Cook County Bureau of Health Services. The clinic serves a population of families of whom 75% are at the poverty level or below. That does not allow for non necessities like books. The goal of the program is to encourage preventive intervention and early literacy, along with a love of books and reading.

In the Reach Out and Read program, each child who comes to the clinic for his annual healthy checkup receives a new book. The siblings who come with him receive gently used books that have been donated to the clinic. The program strives to build a personal library for each child that his family's budget may not have been able to provide. The clinic also has a reading corner in the waiting room filled with used books that have been generously donated. With a comfy rug, small chairs, and colorful posters encouraging reading, in addition to the books themselves, iit makes for an inviting place to settle in and read.

You and your grandchildren can take the books to the clinic in person and visit the clinic, read in the reading corner, and meet Joan, the program coordinator, and some of the children who are there for their healthy checkups. Since 100% of the population is Spanish speaking, monetary contributions are also helpful to purchase new books written in Spanish.

If you would prefer to drop off the books in the northern suburbs or have someone pick them up, please call Laurie Levin at 847-835-1470. For more information about the clinic and to set up a visit, please call Joan Nemickas, the coordinator of the Reach Out and Read program at 312-337-9237.

Now that those bookshelves are all cleaned off, think of the wonderful NEW books that you and your grandchild can read together!

From My Desk
By Sharon Halper


It doesn’t have to be new or big or fancy or have the best view or a huge yard or the latest in everything…it just has to be ours!


On any given night in America there are 800,000 people on the street, with about 3.5 million individuals experiencing homelessness in the course of the year.

For these men, women and children, any home is indeed a dream.


 Read more


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Grandparents for Social Action
Grandparents for Social Action
840 Vernon Ave
Glencoe, Illinois 60022

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