About AJFCA | Find a Service Near You | News | Members   
Jewish Connection | Annual Conference | Job Postings    
walking kids

D'Var Torah


Lee I. Sherman



When I am reading a really good work of fiction, I find myself conflicted as I reach the final chapters. On the one hand, I want to race to the end so I can discover how the issues are resolved and what will be the final fates of the characters. On the other hand, I feel the need to slow my reading so I do not have to abandon the characters with whom I have been spending time, and the enjoyment of the writer's words. There is a hint of sadness in knowing the end is near, balanced by the satisfaction of participating in the author's accomplishment and the anticipation of what may come next for the characters.


This week's parashah, Va-y'hi, is the conclusion of Genesis. We read of the death of Jacob and his burial, and later, the death of Joseph and his instructions for carrying his bones back to Canaan so he can join his ancestors. In Jacob's blessings (and curses) of his sons, we revisit many of the incidents of the previous chapters and set the stage for the eventual resettlement of the Jewish people in their homeland. And so, simultaneously there is a look back and a look forward, a time to reflect and a time to anticipate.


At the time of Joseph's death at the very end of Genesis, we know that hard times are ahead for the Israelites. But, we also know that the suffering of those difficult years in Egypt will lay the foundation for a Jewish people that will understand the importance of social justice and will infuse our work of assisting the vulnerable and less fortunate in our communities. Like any good book, we don't forget the stories and values we read in Genesis, we carry them with us as we move forward.


Have a peaceful Shabbat.

Canada to Chair Holocaust Task Force in 2013

TORONTO - Canada will assume the chairmanship of the Task Force for International Co-operation on Holocaust Education, ITFRemembrance and Research in 2013.


Former Davenport Liberal MP Mario Silva will chair the organization for that year. Chair countries hold the position for 12 months, during which time it hosts meetings for member states.


Jason Kenney, minister of citizenship, immigration and multiculturalism, made the announcement Dec. 15. "I am proud of the leadership role that Canada is taking to further Holocaust education and combat anti-Semitism together with all forms of racism and xenophobia," Kenney said in a statement.


To learn more about the task force and Canadian chairmanship read the entire article here.

Four Reasons Why NOT to Use Social Media . . . and Why to Use It Anyway  

These days, a nonprofit communicator must be quick. Quick to learn new tools, new technologies-and how to appropriately apply them to his or her organization. But, according to Christine Durand and Kristen Cici, over the past eight years, we've seen the rise and fall of social media giants like MySpace, Google Buzz, and Delicious. Those that invested their own and their organization's time and resources into these tools may have felt burned by the social media bandwagon.


Social media can be confusing and overwhelming. At the same time, there is a lot of pressure for nonprofits to embrace social media and engage with donors, volunteers, and supporters using tools like Facebook, Google +, and Twitter. In this article, "Four Reasons Why NOT to Use Social Media . . . and Why to Use It Anyway," The Nonprofit Quarterly explores why, why not, and how to use social media to the best advantage of your organization.

Extreme Makeover: Nonprofit Board Edition

By Sue Dahling Sullivan. Reprinted by BridgeStar with permission from the July 2011 GuideStar newsletter.guidestar
Times are challenging for both families and nonprofits. The new IRS Form 990 calls for increased transparency and accountability from bridgestarnonprofits, requesting additional information on board composition, governance practices, programs and accomplishments, compensation, and other items. There are nonprofits that need more than just a modest renovation to satisfy these new IRS requirements. They need a demolition, a rebuild, and a new foundation so that they can weather any storm. And often that foundation building needs to start with the board.  


Engaging Jewish Teens

Engaging Jewish Teens, January 3, 2012, by eJP, by Leonard Saxe

Over the last two decades a host of commissions and task forces have assessed how the Jewish community can reach out to post-bnai mitzvah teens. The Reform movement, in their just concluded Biennial meeting, declared "Youth Engagement" as their number one priority. They, along with other non-Orthodox movements, recognize that the bar and bat mitzejp full logovah ceremony is an inflection point in the lives of American Jews. The question that has bedeviled adults has been how to engage teens once they step off the bimah at age 12 or 13.


In a new report , commissioned by UJA-Federation of New York and The Jewish Education Project, Amy Sales and colleagues at Brandeis University's Cohen Center for Modern Jewish Studies studied New York-area parents, teenagers, and youth workers to understand how teenagers think about their Jewish lives. 


Jewish Family Service of Metropolitan Detroit has been selected as a January Finalist for The Home Depot Foundation's Aprons in Action Program. Throughout January, the public can vote for JFS' Project Build!, on Facebook at www.facebook.com/homedepotfoundation, to win $25,000 in Home Depot gift cards for future projects. Each person may vote one time per 24 hour period.jfs detroit

project build 

In March 2012 one of the 11 monthly winners will be awarded the $250,000 grand prize. The organization that receives the second and third most votes will receive $150,000 and $100,000 from The Home Depot, respectively.


Project Build! is a JFS program that began in 2010 in partnership with the Building Industry Association of Southeastern Michigan (BIA), which helps older adults, people with disabilities, and low-income individuals and families to live in safe, functional and barrier-free homes.  To learn more about Project Build! click here.    


How Can Monitoring Your Organization's Performance Lead to Fundraising Success? 

The Social Impact Exchange & Social Solutions invite you to join an informative discussion: How Can Monitoring Your Organization's Performance Lead to Fundraising Success. Hear from two grantmakers, a nonprofit CEO, and a research director abousocial solutions logot the value of monitoring the effectiveness of your efforts and using this information to continuously improve. Learn about new research currently underway indicating how performance management leads to fundraising success!


How Can Monitoring Your Organization's Performance Lead to Fundraising Success?

Tuesday, January 17th, 3:00pm-4:00pm EST



Building Partnerships to Promote Elder Well-Being  

Building Partnerships to Promote Elder Well-Being, NCOA, January 3, 2012

Everyone agrees that physical and social activity is key to quality of life for older adults. But how can health care systems, government agencies, research groups, and community organizations work tncoa logoogether to bring proven programs to seniors nationwide?


Join the National Council on Again for a free webinar on January 26th to hear Chris Fordyce, MD, medical director of the Healthy Aging Program at Group Health in Seattle discuss barriers to community partnerships and understand federal efforts to redesign Medicare financing to maximize overall health and quality of life at lower costs.


Building Partnerships to Promote Elder Well-Being - FREE Webinar

Thursday, January 26th, 1:30pm EST


Donate SponsorsSupport AJFCA :: JFNA :: Accreditations
Contact Us :: Transparency :: Privacy Policy
Join Our Mailing List