About AJFCA | Find a Service Near You | News | Members   
Jewish Connection | Annual Conference | Job Postings    
Friday, April 6, 2012
website picture-senior female
D'Var Torah

Lee I. Sherman


Each year, in preparation for the seder I am soon to lead, I spend some time looking around for something new to bring to my family's retelling of the Passover story. This year, the publication of the New American Haggadah, edited by Jonathan Safran Foer, with translations of the Hebrew into English by Nathan Englander, and designed by Oded Ezer, made my search easy. This haggadah is visually stunning and intellectually stimulating, while presenting the traditional Hebrew text with a beautiful and direct English text. This haggadah will be a rich resource for my seder preparation for years to come.


Throughout the New American Haggadah, are scattered commentaries written by four different writers, Nathaniel Deutsch, Jeffrey Goldberg, Rebecca Newberger, and Lemony Snicket. Each writer brings his or her own perspective to a common theme or portion of the seder. I was particularly struck by a difficult dilemma presented in Goldberg's discussion of the wicked son and what this son's attitude says about the fate of the Jewish people. He sums up his commentary by saying, "There are so many challenges embedded in Judaism, but perhaps this is the greatest one of all: How do we balance our faith's demand to care especially for our fellow Jews, and care especially for the entire world, at the same time?"


While this is, indeed, a challenge, it does not need to be an either/or proposition. At AJFCA, we have partnered with Repair the World on an initiative to promote civic engagement for young adults with our member agencies. An op-ed to be published by the Jewish Telegraphic Agency, which I co-authored with Jon Rosenberg (below), makes the case that it is possible "to care especially for our fellow Jews," and also to "care especially for the entire world." This is precisely what our Jewish family service agencies have been doing for more than 150 years and which we will continue to do for many more years to come. This is our response to the wicked son who by his question divorces himself from his community. It is a message important to our retelling of the Passover story.


Shabbat Shalom and Chag Pesach Sameach.

2012 AC combined logo-3.6.12

AJFCA's 40th Annual Conference

Registration for the 40th Annual AJFCA Conference will close today. All unpaid registrations (credit card payments and checks) are due today, as well. Please contact Barbara Tapper for details. Don't forget to check the AJFCA website regarding travel, hotel, special events and guest speakers.     

On Tuesday, April 4th, eJewishPhilanthropy published an article written by AJFCA's Lee Sherman, President/CEO and Lisa Budlow, Director of Programs.  


There has been a great deal of discussion recently about Jewish Peoplehood - what it means and how we work to continue to connect the Jewish global community.  Although there has been an emphasis on education and Israel in this discussion, it is AJFCA's belief that the collective work done by Jewish family service agencies with clients both Jewish and non-Jewish is, at least, ajfca logo-resizedas strong a reason for the perpetuation of the Jewish people and Jewish values in our world today.   


We hope you enjoy the article and we welcome you to share it with your board and staff as an affirmation of the good work that they do each day.


Jewish Family Service Agencies Collectively Perpetuate the Jewish Way 

by Lee I. Sherman and Lisa K. Budlow  

Op-Ed: Jewish Groups Must Bring Young Volunteers on Board

by Jon Rosenberg & Lee I. Sherman


Like most nonprofits today, Jewish organizations struggle to fulfill all the needs of their client base with limited resources, as competition for funding dollars climbs, government support declines, and staff are stretched thin. And like most nonprofits, we are able to boost the impact of our programs through the help of volunteers. Some 62.8 million volunteers in the United States provided over 8 billion hours of their time to nonprofits in 2010, at an estimated dollar value of $160 billion. Clearly, volunteers are an important asset to any nonprofit organization.


But for Jewish organizations, engaging volunteers holds another critically important place in the fulfillment of our missions. It provides the link between the Jewish community at large and its Jewish communal organizations that is essential for the perpetuation of our people. Therefore, it is time for us to rethink the role of volunteers and rethink how we're working with them -- especially the next generation of young adult volunteers. 


Engaging young adults as volunteers with Jewish nonprofits has drawn much attention lately. There is no issue of willingness to volunteer among young Jews. According to Repair the World's 2011 Volunteering + Values report, 78% of young Jewish women and 63% of young Jewish men said they had volunteered during the 12 months prior to the survey. Their volunteerism in general now consists primarily of episodic, one-shot engagements, and most of it occurs outside of the Jewish community.


Repair the World

Read the entire article about the importance of bringing young volunteers on board from partner organization Repair the World's CEO, Jon Rosenberg and AJFCA's President/CEO, Lee Sherman.


ajfca logo-resizedAJFCA and Repair the World are currently launching a volunteer initiative involving civic engagement. Several 2012 Annual Conference sessions will be focused on volunteerism and the national service movement. Learn more by visiting AJFCA's website.  

Modern Day Haggadah Heroes: Moses
Modern Day Haggadah Heroes: Moses, April 3, 2012, Repair the World, by Leah Koenig

Each year during the Ppassoverassover seders, we recite the ages-old story of the Jews' exodus from ancient Egypt - a tale which can seem far removed from our lives today. But each year, we also have the opportunity to breathe new life into the story as we join together to put ourselves in our ancestors' shoes, and make connections that help bring the story closer to our own reality.

Repair the World  

In recent years, modern adaptations of the Ten Plagues have been created, additions (like oranges and olives) have been added to the seder plate and tons of versions of the classic Maxwell House Haggadah have been written. The Exodus story has provided endless inspiration. But what about the story's main characters?


Some serious game changers starred in the epic story of Passover, and we think they deserve some attention. So this year, Repair the World decided to have a little fun and explore modern day heroes - today's leaders who work tirelessly on behalf of others and tikkun olam - and see how they remind us of Moses, Miriam, and Aaron.


Read the remainder of the article to learn about our modern day Moses and Miriams.  

2012 Jewish Organization Equality Index - Survey Deadline Extended JOEI logo

AJFCA has partnered with the  Human Rights Campaign Foundation to promote their important initiative:  The 2012 Jewish Organization Equality Index (JOEI). ApprHRC logooximately 200 organizations have logged into the survey since its launch last fall, including AJFCA and some of our member agencies.


The 2012 Jewish Organization Equality Index was created in the pursuit of education, dialogue and continual improvement. The more organizations that partake, the more we will be able to learn from one another. This is an opportunity for all of us to take an impartial inventory of our internal policies and practices in line with the Jewish traditions of b'tzelem elohim, derech eretz and tikkun olam.  


If you would like to complete the survey please click on this link:  http://www.hrc.org/joei/pages/request-joei-survey-login prior to the April 6th deadline. If you would like to learn more, you can visit JOEI's website at www.hrc.org/joei or email questions to JewishEquality@hrc.org

7 Tips and Cheat Sheets to Help You Implement the New Timeline

7 Tips and Cheat Sheets to Help You Implement the New Timeline, March 30, 2012, eJP, by Beth Kanter 

facebook logo 

If you are an administrator for your organization's Facebook page, you've no doubt noticed that Facebook switched over all nonprofit and business pages to the new Timeline format.

Some nonprofits were early adopters while others are exploring and testing and fixing glitches or simply checking out the new features, like the administrator's dashboard.


Recommendations on optimizing your new Timeline:ejewish philanthropy

1. Strategy and work flow. 

2. Take the tour. 

3. Bye bye default landing tabs.

4. Profile and cover images.

5. Administrative dashboard.

6. Private messaging to administrators.

7. Prepare for your launch.


Read 7 Tips and Cheat Sheets to Help You Implement the New Timeline for more detailed recommendations on optimizing your new Timeline.

DocuSign and E-Signatures 

Did you know 8 out of 10 documents are now signed in the cloud with DocuSign? E-signatures are changing the way we do business, giving us the freedom to finish business anytime, anywhere and from any device.

docu sign logo 

As you evaluate providers, perhaps you will find this recent Forrester whitepaper, What To Look for in E-Signature Providers, interesting.

Finding the right e-signature provider can be difficult.  If you would like additional information about how DocuSign can help you gain the freedom to do business anywhere, contact Rebecca McKee, DocuSign Account Representative, 206-876-6749.

When should brands tweet for the greatest reach?

We want pr daily logopeople to notice our tweets-to read and retweet them-whether they come from a personal Twitter account or that of a brand. The subject and wording of a tweet is often (though not always) less important than its timing. Of course, there's no one-size-fits-all answer for when to tweet, but there's plenty of research and tools to help you make the most of the Twitter account you manage.

Time of day
According to data compiled by the marketing firm Lemon.ly , the most traffic on Twitter occurs from 9am-11am ET and 1pm-3pm ET. Research from HubSpot's Dan Zarrella found that the best time to tweet is 5pm ET.
The takeaway: Spread your tweets out throughout the day with an emphasis on late afternoon.

KISSMetrics pulled data compiled by Zarrella to show the breakdown of tweets in the United States:

* 48% of tweets are from the East Coast;
* 33% of tweets are from the Central time zone; twitter
* 14% are from the West Coast.
* Nearly 80% of the U.S. population is located in the Central and Eastern Time zones.

The takeaway: Think East Coast time.

Day of the week
According to Zarrella's report "How to Get More Clicks on Twitter," your Twitter links will get the most attention from your followers toward the end of the week and on weekends.
The takeaway: Don't forget Friday, Saturday, and Sunday.   

Read the entire article to learn about timing and tailoring your tweeting schedule to reach the greatest number of followers.    

8 Best Conference Practices

8 Best Conference Practices, June 10, 2011, EpicLaunch, by Lauren K. Gray

Attending conferences is one of blogger, Lauren Gray's favorite things to do. Think that sounds lame? It isn't! She loves being surrounded by people who are just as passionate about their field and their work as her. Below she share her tips on how to prepare for a conference, the best practices while you are at a conference and what to do after a conference.


1. Network before the conference

2. Bring your business cards

3. Know where you are going, research!

4. Get to know other people, not your friends.

5. Take advantage of your time there.

6. Attend different types of sessions.

7. Follow up!

8. Put what you learned into practice.


Read the entire article to learn about the 8 best conference practices in more detail.


Friday Morning Collaborative Webinar Series: Managed Long-Term Services and Supports

States are increasingly expressing interest in Medicaid managed long-term services and supports (LTSS).

Currently, 12 states operate such programs, serving only a small fraction of individuals and seniors needing LTSS. However, at least 11 additional states have indicated plans to implement managed LTSS programs in 2012-2013.


Drawing upon the experiences of states with existing programs, this webinar will provide an overview of key issues and guiding principles to assist state aging and disability advocates.


  • Laura Summer, Georgetown University Health Policy Institutencoa logo
  • Sarah Barth, Center for Health Care Strategies
  • Ari Neeman, National Council on Disability
The webinar will be recorded and posted online.


Managed Long-Term Services and Supports

Friday, April 13th, 2:00pm ET




Health Care Conference Calls

The Health and Human Services Partnership Center continues to host a series of interactive conference calls discussing the benefits and provisions of the health care reform law, the Affordable Care Act.

hhs logo 

All calls are open to the public and include a question and answer session where you can ask HHS staff any questions you may have about the health care reform law. You are also encouraged you to submit questions you would like to have answered on the calls to  ACA101@hhs.gov.


To participate in one of the conference calls, please select your preferred date from the list below and submit the necessary information. Call-in information and Power Point slides will be made available 24 hours in advance.


PowerPoint slides for the Health Care Law 101 calls can be found by clicking here.


Tour of www.healthcare.gov 

Tuesday, April 17th, 2:00pm ET 



Health Care Law and Health Care Disparities (in Spanish)

Tuesday, April 24th, 2:00pm ET



Benchmarking & Best Practices in Association Social Media Use:
How Does Your Association Measure Up?

Associations understand that social media can play a vital role in growing their membership base, non-dues revenue and "voice."  But achieving actual results takes more than just having a Facebook page, Twitter account and YouTube video.


This audioconference on expanding and enhancing your social media programs offers practical guidance for personnel involved in strategic planning, marketing and communications, fundraising, membership development and social media policy.


Benchmarking & Best Practices in Association Social Media Use:

How Does Your Association Measure Up?
Thursday, April 26th, 2pm ET 



Nonprofit Sustainability: Understanding and Changing Your Business Model in 90 Minutes

Too often program goals are discussed separately from financial means, although we all know that both must be discussed together. Jan Masaoka and Steve Zimmerman will present the methodology for doing so from the book they recently co-authored (with Jeanne Bell): Nonprofit Sustainability: Making Strategic Decisions for Financial Viability. This free webinar will present a fresh look at choosing the mix of programs, earned income, and donations that will be sustainable for your organization.


Nonprofit Sustainability: Understanding and Changing Your Business Model in 90 Minutes

Wednesday, May 3rd, 11:00am PT


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