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April 2010 Edition



In this issue



Grandparents and Grandkids, Walking Together for Israel


Israel Solidarity Day is a celebration marking Yom Ha’atzmaut, Israel’s Independence Day. This community-wide, family-friendly event features the Walk with Israel (a 3 mile walkathon to raise funds for Israeli children), plus food and festivities for all ages. Israel Solidarity Day brings together Jews from across the Chicago area to stand with their community and support their Jewish homeland.

  • Skokie/Lincolnwood/Rogers Park/ Peterson Park
    Bernard Horwich JCC
    Chicago, Ill.

  • South Walk
    Anita M. Stone Community Center
    Flossmoor, Ill.

  • West Walk
    Congregation Beth Shalom   Naperville, Ill.

Sponsored by the Jewish United Fund/Jewish Federation of Metropolitan Chicago.

Earth Day Celebration at Lincoln Park Zoo!

April 17, April 18, 10 am & 10 am

Want to make your life a little greener? Want your family to learn more about recycling, energy efficiency and organic foods? Join ChicaGO Green at Lincoln Park Zoo to celebrate the 40th anniversary of Earth Day. This free event will feature fun activities for kids and information for everyone about carbon footprints and solar power. See a fashion show featuring recycled garments. For more information, call 312-245-1259.

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

Tomorrow morning, my grandson Matthew will become a Bar Mitzvah.  His theme (as all kids have themes, it seems) is “Making the World Better, One Mitzvah at a Time”.  Although for many reasons some of the ideas had to be changed, the following were some of the proposals:

  • Table centerpieces and name cards would be based on various charitable organizations; thus you would be sitting at the ARK Table, or the Orphans of the Storm Table or the Magen David Adom Table.
  • The centerpieces would be donated to the various organizations that they honored. 
  • A large tzedakah box would sit at a front table so people could donate loose change for all of the organizations.
  • There would be a looped video displaying information about the organizations in the lobby of the congregation.
  • There are pictures of the B’nai Mitzvah students doing the acts of Mitzvot.
  • Promotional items from some of the organizations would be used as prizes for games and for handouts so that people will go home with information and ways to contact various organizations.
  • A refrigerator magnet listing all the organizations would be given out so that people will know to contact the organizations.
  • The Bar Mitzvah montage will include acts of Mitzvot, not simply friends, sports, and family.

In Matthew's Bar Mitzvah drash, he will tell about his experience of serving the homeless in Chicago at Uptown Café.  He sat with the men at the Café after serving them dinner, and had a wonderful conversation. After this experience, Matt felt a fire welling up inside to do more things like this.  Matthew will conclude his talk with a challenge to each person in the room to do at least one Mitzvah before we meet again.  It could be something big or small-- but something.

I share all of this for two reasons.  First, because I am a VERY proud grandparent. And secondly, because I want you to think about the occasions in the lives of your grandchildren. It can be a holiday. It can be any special birthday. It can be a confirmation. It can be the first day of spring—anything that sparks a conversation and an action.   What is the conversation you can have?  What are your mutual goals?  How can you do something together with them?  Good luck with this endeavor!!


Mazel tov to Matthew on such a wonderful occasion and for such a wonderful cause!

  Grandparents Nurture Imagination… Imagination Shapes Reality… Give it a 15-Minute Workout!

By Sharon Halper

A child’s imagination allows him or her to be whatever he or she wants to be … from a ballerina to a dragon slayer. That same play allows him or her to learn from the imagined situations. The child plays the life of the fireman, or the chef, or the mommy, and gains skills appropriate to his or her age and experience.

Our moral imagination is developed in much the same way. Children can learn what it means to live in the world and how we can be powerful in the lives of others through the exercise of our imagination.  Grandparents have the unique opportunity to be the personal trainer of moral muscles by modeling what is important to them and taking brief opportunities during grand-visits to create meaningful activities for grandparents and grandchildren together.  Grandchildren of a wide variety of ages can participate in the following projects. While a 3-year-old might glue or color a childlike design, an older child might take the lead in designing a project and determining your role!  Allow your interests and skills to determine your project. Just make certain that it is fun and not frustrating and that it can be worked on in small time blocks, as your time together permits:

In small and creative steps, we can help our grandchildren to learn who they want to be when they grow up!

Luggage for Freedom

Luggage for Freedom provides gently used luggage packed with essentials (towels, sheets, blankets and new toiletries) to women leaving local domestic violence shelters in search of a fresh start in life.  Italso provides backpacks filled with books and stuffed animals for the women’s children.   The goal of the program is to provide a sense of dignity to women and their children who are staying at and transitioning out of domestic violence shelters.

Volunteers gather twice a year to pack the suitcases and deliver them directly to the shelters. . The next collection day will be on April 25, 2010at the Extra Space Storage Locker on Old Deerfield Road in Deerfield from 2-4pm. Call for more information.

Donations Accepted:

  • New or gently used:
  • Towels
  • Women’s Purses
  • Backpacks
  • Children’s books
  • New Toiletries, sheets & stuffed animals
  • (cannot accept any luggage at this time)

MITZVAH MAGIC by Danny Siegel with Naomi Eisenberger

An excerpt.  To order the book, visit

Young people amaze me.  If we could track the number of children’s books that are donated, stuffed animals collected, and pounds of food gathered by children, we would be astounded.  This book tells stories of dozens of young people who have done incredible things.  They are regular people, but they have decided they have the power to repair the world.

To help your grandchild/grandfriend get started, ask this set of questions.

  • What bothers me about the world so much I really need to change it?
  • What do I really like to do?
  • What am I really good at doing?
  • Who do I know?  You may have special connections with friends or family or a synagogue or school that can make it easier to do these deeds.
  • Why not?

And remember: 

  • You have awesome power in your hands.  You don’t have to wait until you are 26, 45, or 61 to make sad people happy, sick people better, or hungry people satisfied with healthy meals.  Every age has a unique advantage in the way a person responds to them.
  • Fixing the world often works better when people join together in their efforts.
  • I wish all of you lots of energy to change the world.

Drive: The Surprising Truth About What Motivates Us

An excerpt from Daniel Pink's new book.

"We know—if we’ve spent time with young children or remember ourselves at our best—that we’re not designed to be passive and compliant. We’re designed to be active and engaged. And we know that the richest experiences in our lives aren’t when we’re clamoring for validation from others, but when we’re listening to our own voice—doing something that matters, doing it well, and doing it in the service of a cause bigger than ourselves."

Find out more about this topic by signing on to Dr. Robert Brooks Monthly articles at  It is invaluable for you, your children and your grandchildren.  He gives us such great insights.  Good luck to you in your search to provide a wonderful legacy for your grandchildren.

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

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