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

D'Var Torah


Lee I. Sherman



There are a tremendous number of books, articles, blogs, videos, etc., about what it takes to be a good leader. Entire websites are devoted to this topic. These experts discuss the necessary skills and talents that form strong leadership. Leaders bring passion to their work, demonstrate tremendous vision, and are able to communicate in a manner that can inspire others. Leaders can be found in all types of situations and circumstances, from small family groups to governments and multi-national corporations. And, leadership qualities can grow and evolve over time.


This week, we begin the reading of the second book of Torah, Exodus. It has been many generations since the death of Joseph and the Hebrews find Egypt ruled by a pharaoh that does not know of Joseph and his great deeds. The descendants of Abraham are in need of new leadership. We are introduced to Moses, who as his name suggests was "pulled from the water," so that he may lead his people and pull them out of slavery in Egypt and onto the road to founding a new nation. But, is the Moses we first meet capable of the leadership skills required for this task?


We see a Moses who is quick to anger, someone who acts before considering all of the potential consequences. Then, we see a Moses who has some doubts about his own abilities and may not have the passion needed for full investment in his job. But, we also see a Moses who is willing to consider possibility, who asks good questions, and who accepts the assistance of others. Leadership is developed over a continuum and the events of Exodus and the following books of Torah give us an opportunity to learn from perhaps the greatest leader in history. The journey has just begun.


Shabbat Shalom

Idealware's 2011 Field Guide to Software-Hard Copy Mailed 

idealware field guideAs a part of a growing partnership with Idealware, AJFCA purchased the Field Guide as a value-added benefit for member agencies.  


AJFCA sent one hard copy of Idealware's 2011 Field Guide to Software for Nonprofits to each member agency in late December. Hopefully you all received this guide and will find it useful. You are also welcome to login to the Members portion of the AJFCA website to view the guide electronically.  


If anyone did not receive a copy of the guide in the mail please contact Megan.

NPO's: Keeping it Real and on the Cutting Edge
NPO's: Keeping it Real and on the Cutting Edge, eJP, January 10, 2012, by David B. Marcu

Many nonprofit organizations (NPO's) today, particularly those working in the social services, operate, at least partially with funding from the public sector - government and quasi-governmental sources. This funding is commonly provided on a "fee for service" basis, and thus putting the NPO in the role of a "supplier" of services. In this environment, the fee basis is often set by government, based on its own set of priorities. If at one time such fees were negotiated, today, they are often dictated on a "take it or leave it" basis, meted out by a predetermined and disseminated RFP process.

ejp full logo

In this funding environment, where the prevailing economic environment is also a factor, funding is usually limited to the cost of contracted services only, with little to no consideration for other associated costs. This situation can severely impact on the "organizational capacity" of the NPO. These "collateral" administrative costs may not be of primary concern to funders and others outside the organization, but many important, even critical, costs are overlooked as well. While the profit making world has long recognized the critical value of training, NPO's are equally in need of training.

The Shoah Victims' Names Recovery Project

Over four million names and short biographies of Jews murdered in the Holocaust are recorded in Yad Vashem's Central Database of Shoah Victims' Names. The names of millions of victims remain unknown, and time is running out. We need your help to complete this historic task! Submit a Page of Testimony for each victim today.

shoah names project




How Can You Do This?


SEARCH the Database for victims you know of and check into your ownpersonal family history

SUBMIT additional (unrecorded) names by filling out a Page of Testimony for each victim online.


DOWNLOAD Pages of Testimony and fill one out for each victim.

SEND your completed Pages of Testimony directly to:  Cynthia Wroclawski, c/o Yad Vashem, Names Project

POB 3477, Jerusalem, 91034 Israel.

READ the stories of family connections and reunions thanks to the Names Database.


Contact names.outreach@yadvashem.org.il for more information.

Foundation Center Usage Report 

According to the Foundation Center's records there have been more than 4,000 funding searches since mid-August 2011 through the Foundation Directory by the 34 subscribed AJFCA member agencies. Our network is incredibly active compared to others. We thank and encourage you to continue using the Foundation Directory.


If you experience difficulty with the Foundation Center please contact Megan, as all member agencies signed up for the Foundation Directory are grouped under AJFCA. If we are unable to assist you, when contacting the Foundation Center's customer service, please refer to your agency as an authorized user on the AJFCA account.


The Department of Health and Human Services (HHS), Office on Women's Health (OWH) is offering a funding opportunity. If you would like to submit a proposal for the Educating Women about Programs, Benefits, and Rights under the Affordable Care Act funding opportunity, please complete the RFP forms and email them to John Snow, Inc. (JSI) by January 20, 2012 at 3:00pm EST.   

hhs logo 

Please note, proposals will not be accepted by the Office on Women's Health.    

Funding is available to support activities and events that provide awareness and education to women living in the United States and its affiliated territories on the programs, benefits, and rights under the Affordable Care Act. These activities can cover different areas of the Affordable Care Act such as preventive services, Medicare benefits, reducing health disparities, and the Pre-Existing Condition Insurance Plan. Educational sessions should target women and provide them with information that will allow them to make informed health care decisions for themselves and their families. It is important to target women because they are more likely to be the primary health care decision makers for themselves and/or their family.


For help with this RFP, please email owhapplication@jsi.comor or call 866-224-3815.

MembeProject Extremer Agency Survey Question 

Project Extreme, (an AJFCA member agency located in Lawrence, NY) provides innovative solutions for teens at risk, their families and communities by offering highly structured outdoor adventure programs consisting of rigorous wilderness training, extreme sports and active counseling. 

Project Extreme is currently surveying AJFCA member agencies to determine if there is a need for a Kosher, residential, therapeutic school.
1. Has your agency referred teens to residential therapeutic schools during this past year? If so, which ones?

2. Does your agency see a specific need for a Kosher, residential, therapeutic school? Please explain.

Please email responses to Ayalah Lebowicz. You may also respond via the All Agency CEO forum.
featured agency

Jewish Child & Family Services of Chicago announced the launch of the Access Team and 855-ASK-JCFS (855-275-5237), a one-stop, toll-free number to access all of the many programs and services offered by JCFS across all locations.

 jcfs chicago

The Access Team provides comprehensive access to services offered within JC&FS, as well as linkage and referral to other resources in the community. Any questions? Just ask JC&FS, by calling 1-855-ASK-JCFS (855-275-5237, or email ask@jcfs.org). Whether a new client needs to schedule an appointment, is looking to find upcoming community programs, or wants to find out which services will match their needs, or more, there's now just one easy number to call.


The Access Team is available from 9:00am - 5:00pm on Monday, Wednesday and Thursday, from 9:00am - 7:30pm on Tuesday, and from 9:00am - 4:00pm on Friday.  


Learn more at www.jcfs.org.


On Janujfs memphisary 1, 2012, Hirsch Serman became the new Executive Director of Jewish Family Service of Memphis. Serman comes to Jewish Family Service with a wide array of expertise. Most recently, he has been the Executive Director of the Margolin Hebrew Academy. Prior to coming to Memphis in 2008, Serman spent over 7 years at SIRVA Relocation in Cleveland, Ohio, where he held the position of Senior Vice President/General Manager as well as working at Ernst and Young. He is also President and Founder of Insightful Strategies, a consulting firm. Serman shares over 23 years of business training, management and consulting experience.


Serman is very excited and honored to be the new Executive Director of JFS. He foresees JFS growing and moving forward by building partnerships and relationships with other agencies and together enhancing and providing new services to the Memphis Jewish community.


Jewish Family & Children's Service of Minneapolis is recognizing February as Jewish Disability Awareness Month (JDAM) and is pleased to provide you with the discussion guide for the inaugural JDAM Reads! selection, The Story of Beautiful Girl, by Rachel Simon. 

jfcs minneapolis story of a beautiful girl

Click to download your free copy of the JDAM Reads! discussion guide. Developed specifically to encourage readers to explore the presence of Jewish values and concepts in Simon's novel, the discussion guide will enhance the conversations that we hope will take place in your organization, with your family, and in your book club. 


JDAM challenges us to think about why it is so important to understand that all people have something to contribute to their communities. The act of reading allows adults and children to think critically, to develop attitudes of awareness and empathy, and to embrace Jewish values.


Join the discussion on the JDAM Reads! Facebook page.


Jewish Family Service of Somerset, Hunterdon and Warren Counties is holding their 4th Annual Special Needs Educational Conference  for parents, caregivers and professionals. This year's conference will focus on "The Student Solution:  Answers and Solutions When Students Struggle with ADHD and Asperger's." Presenters include: Pam Milazo, JD, (BS in Education, ACG Founder, SAIL Institute, Educator, Lawyer, Academic and Executive Coach, National Speaker). Registration is $10 per person and scholarships are available upon request. Checks, made payable to JFS should be sent to 150-A West High Street, Somerville, NJ 08876.
JFS Somerset (NJ) logo 
4th Annual Special Needs Educational Conference
"The Student Solution:  Answers and Solutions When Students Struggle with ADHA and Asperger's"
Sunday, January 29th, 10:00am-12:00pm
Shimon & Sara Birnbaum Jewish Community Center (775 Talamini Road, Bridgewater)
To register or for more information contact JFS 908-725-7799 or Admin@JewishFamilySvc.Org.
The Jewish Communal Service Association is hosting a webinar in commemoration of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.'s birthday.  mlk

Join JCSA f
or "Change Agents:  Advocates for Social Justice," featuring representatives from the Jewish Council for Public Affairs, the National Jewish Council of Women and the American Jewish World Service. Leaders in the Jewish community's work on behalf of social justice will discuss the legacy for Martin Luther King Jr., Jewish values and social justice, current service and advocacy initiatives and action steps and resources.

Change Agents:  Advocates for Social Justice - FREE Webinar
Wednesday, January 18th, 4:00pm EST
 REGISTER HERE  _____________________________________________________________________________________________
Thejfna logo Jewish Federations of North America (JFNA) will host a call highlighting 2012 Health and Long Term Care priorities and strategy. Member agencies are encouraged to join the call and to contribute to this dialogue.

Supporting materials will be sent prior to the call. Please register by emailing Allison Redisch by Thursday, January 19th if you are planning to join the JFNA call.   

2012 Health and Long Term Care Priorities & Strategy

Tuesday, January 24th, 3:00pm EST

Participant Dial-In Number: (877) 559-2802
Conference ID:   41598460

The Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services is holding a free webinar surrounding the National Medicare Education Program. The National Medicare Education Program (NMEP) Partnership Alliance bega n as an educational effort because of the Balanced Budget Act of 1997, which expanded Medicare's cmshealth plan options by creating the Medicare+Choice program. A partnership soon developed between public and private organizations and CMS around a common goal: educating people with Medicare to make informed choices about their health care. NMEP continues its work under the Medicare Modernization Act of 2003 and the Affordable Care Act of 2010.


Why Should You Participate?

*           To receive information on current CMS initiatives directly from CMS experts

*           To network and develop relationships with other Medicare partners

*           To learn about successful outreach strategies other organizations have used to reach seniors


This webinar will be held as a virtual meeting. Attendees will need a computer, Internet access, and a phone line to participate. To ensure your participation, please register no later than Wednesday, January 18th. Instructions explaining how to access the webinar will be emailed directly to you. If you have questions please contact Carol Blue at 301-657-4254, ext. 333 or cblue@betah.com.


National Medicare Education Program (NMEP) - FREE Webinar

Wednesday, January 25th, 1:00pm-2:30pm EST


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