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Shelley Rood

AJFCA Washington Director

                           Thursday, May 31, 2012 

Teleconference: Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities


Recently, the Obama Administration submitted The Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities (CRPD), a treaty that describes the obligations of ratifying countries to promote, protect, fulfill, and ensure the rights of persons with disabilities, to the U.S. Senate for its advice and consent for ratification. 


The Association of Jewish Family & Children's Agencies and The Jewish Federations of North America are among more than 150 national organizations active in advocacy on disability issues supporting the ratification of the CRPD. This coalition of organizations, led by the United States International Council on Disabilities (USICD) and the Disability Rights Education and Defense Fund (DREDF), is inviting disability advocates across the United States to a teleconference to discuss outreach efforts to the U.S. Senate in support of ratification of the CRPD. We hope you can join this teleconference and will join us in advocating on behalf of this Convention.



  • Tomorrow, Friday, June 1, 2012
  • 2:00 to 3:00 p.m. Eastern Time


The CRPD seeks to ensure that persons with disabilities across the globe are provided with the same rights as everyone else thereby ensuring that they can live full, satisfying and productive lives.  The U.S. has made progress toward the goals of inclusion, equal opportunity, full participation, independent living, and economic self-sufficiency for Americans with disabilities through its own extensive legislation, including the Americans with Disabilities Act, passed in 1990, and the ADA Amendments Act, passed in 2008 with the support of JFNA.  The CRPD seeks similar achievements throughout the world through international cooperation and sharing of ideas and implementation methods.  By ratifying the CPRD, the U.S. can continue its global leadership in advancing disability rights.


For more information about the CRPD, please click here.  To read the actual Convention, please click here


Behavioral Health Information Technology Conference Call


The Jewish Federations of North America is hosting a conference call to discuss efforts regarding Behavioral Health Information Technology (BHIT) legislation that has already been introduced in the Senate. JFNA has strong reason to believe the legislation will be introduced in the House shortly (please see the attached memo).   


Behavioral healthcare is an umbrella term that comprises both mental health and substance abuse treatment. Many AJFCA member agencies are quite engaged in this type of service delivery. Given the impact on our system, JFNA and AJFCA have become more involved with these legislative efforts and JFNA is a leading member of the Behavioral Health Information Technology Coalition.    


The need to expand health information technology to different sectors, such as behavioral healthcare, has grown in recent years given the outpatient treatment options that are now available. JFNA hopes that your agency will be able to join us for this conference call and build on the growing number of communities that are capitalizing on behavioral health service delivery. The call will discuss this issue with noted Behavioral Health advocate Alfonso Guida (bio attached) and Ronald Soloway, Managing Director of Government & External Relations for UJA-Federation of New York. UJA-Fed has been a key leader on behavioral health issues and is quite focused on the BHIT legislation.  


Behavioral Health Information Technology 

Wednesday, June 6th, 3:00pm ET

Call-In: 877-304-2955

Conference ID:  6823774516#


Please RSVP to Allison Redisch by COB Thursday, May 31st.

Action Alert: Raoul Wallenberg Centennial Celebration Act


Last April, the United States Congress moved one step closer to bestowing the prestigious Congressional Gold Medal upon Raoul Wallenberg for his heroic mission to save the lives of nearly 100,000 Hungarian Jews during the Holocaust. Thank you for your strong support in this initiative.


The House of Representatives, due in part to your efforts to secure the cosponsorship of more than 300 representatives, unanimously approved the Raoul Wallenberg Centennial Celebration Act (H.R. 3001).  With its passage in the House, the bill moves on to the Senate, which must pass either the House bill or an identical Senate bill (S. 1591) to bestow upon Wallenberg the Congressional Gold Medal.


Through passage of this legislation, Congress can honor a true humanitarian for the sake of his family and the thousands of survivors who he saved. We ask for your assistance in thanking your Representative for their support for this effort, as well as securing the support of your Senators to cosponsor this legislation. There are currently 46 Senate cosponsors, and the bill needs 67 to bring it to a vote.  Please click here to take action!

Action Alert: Commemorate 'Munich 11' at London Olympic Games


This is not an issue that our agencies typically work on, but we thought some of you might be personally interested to know about it.


During the 1972 Olympics in Munich, members of the Black September terrorist group murdered eleven athletes and coaches from the Israeli Olympic Team. Memorials have been placed around the world in their honor, including a sculpture at the Jewish Community Center (JCC) in Rockland County, New York.  The JCC Association of North America has also included a memorial tribute to the murdered Israeli athletes and coaches at the Opening Ceremonies of every JCC Maccabi Games since 1995. Despicably, there has never been a formal acknowledgement of this tragedy at any Olympic Games, including the 1972 Munich Games, which continued uninterrupted. 


Along with our partners at the JCC Association, The Jewish Federations of North America believes that now, as we approach the 40th anniversary of this tragedy, is the time for the International Olympic Committee (IOC) to rectify its inaction by honoring the memory of the slain athletes and coaches. Unfortunately, requests for this recognition made by the Israeli government have been rejected by the IOC. In fact, similar requests by the families of the victims have been consistently rejected over the past four decades. It is in this vein that we ask for your support for efforts to bring publicity to this travesty by supporting the "Just One Minute" campaign and advocating on behalf of a resolution in the House of Representatives.


House Resolution 663, which calls upon the IOC to recognize the "Munich 11" with a minute of silence during every Olympics Opening Ceremony, was recently introduced by Reps. Eliot Engel and Nita Lowey (D-NY). Cosponsored by House Foreign Affairs Committee Chairman Ileana Ros-Lehtinen (R-FL) and Ranking Member Howard Berman (D-CA), this resolution also urges the IOC to take the opportunity afforded by the 40th anniversary of this terrorist attack to remind the world that the Olympics were established to send a message of hope and peace through sport and athletic competition. Finally, it resolves that the House of Representatives should observe a moment of silence to commemorate this terrorist attack and remember those who lost their lives.  


H. Res. 663 needs as many cosponsors as possible in order to come to the floor of the House of Representatives for a vote prior to the opening of the London Olympic Games. Therefore, we ask for your assistance with contacting your Representative to urge them to cosponsor this resolution. Please click here to take action.

Grants Bulletin

Below is the latest edition of JFNA's Grants Bulletin. In the coming months, the Health and Human Services Partnership Center and the Administration for Children and Families (ACF) will co-host a conference call for faith and community leaders on ACF's new Guide to Resources and Funding for Community and Faith-based Organizations. JFNA will notify you when more details become available. You can access the ACF Guide to Resources and Funding for Community and Faith-based Organizations here. If you intend on applying for any of the grants below, please let Shelley  or Karen know.


Additionally, on May 15, 2012, the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) published a Notice of Funding Availability (NOFA) for the new Section 811 Supportive Housing for Persons with Disabilities Project Rental Assistance Demonstration program (PRA Demo).  The PRA Demo is authorized by the Frank Melville Supportive Housing Investment Act of 2010, which reformed and revitalized this HUD supportive housing program. 


The Technical Assistance Collaborative (TAC) and Consortium for Citizens with Disabilities (CCD) Housing Task Force are developing technical assistance materials which are being made available on TAC's 811 Resource Center website.  TAC and CCD are also sponsoring a webinar for CCD member organizations and their affiliates on Wednesday, June 13, 2012 from 12:30-2:00pm EST.  The presentation will focus on highlights of the PRA Demo NOFA including the role of State Human Services and Medicaid Agencies, followed by a brief Q&A session.  Materials and audio recordings including the Q&A portion of both sessions will be made available on TAC's 811 Resource Center website following the webinars. Registration information will be made available in the upcoming week.   



  • Discretionary Grant Funds for Projects to Establish Individual Development Account (IDA) Programs for Refugees

    DEADLINE: June 18th 

    DESCRIPTION:  This grant provides for projects that establish, support and manage Individual Development Accounts (matched savings accounts) for eligible low-income refugees. These accounts help them achieve economic self-sufficiency through meeting savings goals to acquire an asset, including a home, small business, vehicle professional recertification or post secondary education. Proposed projects should be designed to meet the following objectives: encourage regular saving   habits among refugees; promote their participation in the financial institutions of this country; promote refugee acquisition of assets to build individual, family and community    resources; increase refugee knowledge of financial and monetary topics; assist refugees in advancing their education; increase homeownership among refugees; and assist         refugees in gaining access to capital.

    ELIGIBILITY Nonprofits and faith-based community organizations

    CONTACT:   http://tinyurl.com/7fqard4 

  • Services to Older Refugees

    DEADLINE:  June 25th  

    DESCRIPTION Grantees will ensure older refugees (age 60 or above) receive appropriate social and supportive services. The services include: senior community centers; congregate nutrition services; meals delivered to homebound client residences; home care; adult day care; elder abuse prevention; and respite care. In addition, the grantee will provide naturalization services to help older refugees who have lost, or are at risk of losing, eligibility for Supplemental Security Income or other federal benefits. Approximately $3.5 million is available for 20 awards averaging $175,000 each.
    ELIGIBILITY:  States and nonprofit organizations
    CONTACT:   http://tinyurl.com/72j9g7a
                         Email:   Kate.Shoemaker@acf.hhs.gov
                         Phone:  (202) 401-5803 



  •  Finish Line Youth Foundation

    DEADLINE:  June 30th, September 30th, and December 31st

    DESCRIPTION:  The Finish Line Youth Foundation strives to make a difference in the lives of youth in the communities where company employees and customers live by supporting programs that focus on youth development and an active lifestyle. The Foundation primarily offers grants to nonprofit organizations that provide community-based access to athletics and other active lifestyle activities for youth under the age of 18. An additional focus is on camps that give kids the chance to be active, with emphasis on those that provide services to disadvantaged or special-needs children.

    ELIGIBILITY:   Nonprofit organizations that provide community-based access to athletics and other active lifestyle activities for youth underthe age of 18. Visit the company's website to take the online. Eligibility Quiz.

    CONTACT:   http://tinyurl.com/7fsjax7   



  • CVS Caremark Community Grants

    DEADLINE October 31st   

  • DESCRIPTION:  Purpose: Grants are for programs that help children (under the age of 21) with disabilities lead full and independent lives, as well as those that improve access to quality healthcare for the uninsured and underserved. There is no age limit for programs that create greater access to healthcare services. Awards up to $5,000 each.                        

    ELIGIBILITY:  Nonprofits and schools (A CVS/pharmacy store must be located within the state where applicant resides). For eligible states and contact information, please visit  http://tinyurl.com/73nmfam.

    CONTACT:   http://tinyurl.com/6dvm8sq



  • Kendal Charitable Funds

    DEADLINE:  June 15th (Letters of Intent)

    DESCRIPTION:  The program supports new projects to enhance the lives of older adults. The program is looking for pilot projects that address one or more of the following criteria: services; research; or developing new understandings and awareness of the potential for aging well. Priority will be given to opportunities that have the greatest potential for change and replication in order to impact the greatest number of individuals. Initial contact should be made via a brief, three-page letter of intent. Grants will not normally exceed a maximum of $25,000.

    ELIGIBILITY:  Nonprofit 501(c)(3) organizations

    CONTACT http://tinyurl.com/7ww5s3b                            
     Cheryl H. Wade, cwade@kendalcharitablefunds.org