Grandparents for Social Action – A guest commentary from Sharon Morton

Several things happened to me concurrently.  First, I was about to retire from a wonderful 32 Year career as Director of Religious Education from Am Shalom, a great congregation in Glencoe, IL. Second, I went to a funeral where an adult grandchild said,  “I will never forget my grandma’s chocolate cookies.”  I never bake and wonderful what my grandchildren would remember about me.  Third, I had two grandchildren who were being raised as fine Christian boys, and I sought something where I could connect both deeply and respectfully to them.

I knew that Baby Boomers were retiring at the rate of 10,000 a day and becoming grandparents, and I believe that they too want to leave an important legacy, and develop a deep relationship to their grandchildren.  Thus, was born.

The mission of the organization is in short “To educate and activate seniors/grandparents to do social action, to empower their grandchildren to become philanthropists and social action activists, and to leave a legacy to the next generation.”

To support our mission, does the following:

  1. We send out a free monthly enewsletter with book reviews, ideas for social action, quotes to inspire us, volunteer ideas, suggestions regarding helping your grandchildren to become philanthropists (people to donate money, give service, and lend their voice to important issues), suggestions on writing a legacy statement to your children, emphasizing that individual people can truly change the world.  People write in to tell us the projects they start with their own grandchildren.  Those ideas are put into the newsletter, and hopefully other people do them too.
  2. I lead seminars throughout the U.S. to dialogue with grandparents about values that are important to them, and how they transmit those values to their grandchildren.  And I explain how philanthropy clubs for young people work well, regardless of the amount of money that is involved.
  3.  I consult with individuals and with Religious School educators to discuss how they might work with grandchildren.

If you are interested, please go to and sign up to receive a free monthly enewsletter.

 About Sharon Morton

Sharon Morton
Sharon Morton
  • Worked for 32 years as Director of Religious Education at Am Shalom with a specialty in social action work
  • Grandmother of 5 grandchildren, ages 8-19 years.
  • Founder of Grandparents for Social Action, SoJuRRN, Social Action Religious Resource Network, and Co-founder of “gifts”-(teaching generosity-inspiration, family, tzedakah and service to grandchildren- a curriculum of the Jewish Federation of Metropolitan Chicago, Interfaith Family and
  • Participated in social action trips to Poland, Israel, Cuba, Russia, El Salvador, New Orleans.
  • Served on boards of midwest Avenue of Righteous, American Jewish Committee Interfaith Education, National Commission on Social Action.
  • Was President of the National Association of Temple Educators, and is President of Retired Temple Educators “Ziknay Nate.”
  • She has been invited to speak at conferences and in congregations locally, nationally and internationally
  • Her congregation was a two-time winner of the National Fain award for Congregational Social Action Programming.
  • She has just been engaged to work at the Jewish Federation of Metropolitan Chicago as the Program Director of the “Gifts” initiative.
  • Email her at

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