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Friday, June 15, 2012
Young Girls

Energizing Jewish Identity and Sustaining Communities through Service Learning, Social Services, and Civic Engagement

wcjcsThe Quadrennial Conference of the World Council of Jewish Communal Service will be held in Jerusalem, June 24th-26th. We are pleased to announce that AJFCA's President & CEO, Lee Sherman will be presenting a workshop with Dana Talmi of Yahel -Israel Service Learning, entitled "Energizing Jewish Identity and Sustaining Communities through Service Learning, Social Services, and Civic Engagement." In a recent survey, over 80% of American Jews stated that they consider social justice and caring for others as the key to their Jewish identity. This statistic illustrates the importance and timeliness of AJFCA's partnership with Repair the World which will provide the framework for the workshop.  Lee and Dana will discuss our joint effort to open doors into the Jewish community for young Jewish adults through volunteer opportunities in local Jewish social service agencies. The session will also explore the work of both organizations in Israel and North America and the great potential that such collaborations have for building a sustainable Jewish community. For further information, go to www.wcjcs.org.

Jewish American Heritage Month at the White House 
by Shelley shelley roodRood


At the end of May, I had the honor of attending the White House's 2012 Jewish American Heritage Month Reception. Several people have asked me if there were any "celebrities" in attendance, recalling that previous White House receptions had welcomed sports great Sandy Koufax and recording artist Regina Spektor, among other notable Jews. If there were celebrities this year, I didn't notice. Who I did see were lay and professional leaders of diverse Jewish communities. The room was packed with advocates who are working hard to promote Jewish life and learning, to assist vulnerable populations and to build strong, vibrant communities in the U.S. and abroad. Read more here.



Jewish Child & Family Services of Chicago, IL  

Jewish Family Service of Seattle, WA  

National Conference on Volunteering and Service 

Attending next week's National Conference on Volunteering and Service in Chicago, IL?  If so, come hear the latest buzz and research on service and volunteerism in one forum:  the Reimagining Service Forum on June 19th, at 9:30am ET. The Forum will spotlight many agents of change including:

And a research panel featuring:

Grab your breakfast and head on over to participate in this lively Forum; you'll leave with new information to support your work in the nonprofit, corporate and philanthropic sectors and run into AJFCA Manager of Civic Engagement and Repair the World Programming, Jennie Gates Beckman.  

Talent Mananational human servcies assembly logogement: Diversity & Inclusion, Mentoring, Onboarding and Succession Planning 

The National Human Services Assembly (NHSA) recently undertook a study of the practices of some of its members relating to diversity and inclusion and has produced a report entitled, Retaining and Developing High Potential Talent. The report begins by noting that having a policy that encourages diversity in hiring does not go far enough. Agencies must incorporate the value of their diverse workforce into the fabric of the organizational culture in order to show tangible results. The report offers a toolkit of five key elements for building a successful approach: 

  1. Planning: Begin with the end goals in mind so that you can demonstrate success.
  2. Set the Tone: Create a climate of respect and acceptance for all.
  3. Communicate: List diversity and inclusion in your core values, highlight progress and embed the diversity message wherever possible.
  4. Ensure Accountability: Clearly specify the responsibility of each person on every management level and tie in to performance reviews.
  5. Evaluate: Track successes and failures; benchmark using labor force statistics to compare yourself to the market standard.

The report goes on to discuss three practices that can provide the largest boost to talent management at the lowest cost:  mentoring, onboarding and succession planning. Through benefits analysis and case studies, the report illustrates the best practices in these crucial talent management tools. To read the entire report, click here.

The Meaning of FRD: Where's the Money?

The Meaning of FRD: Where's the Money? June 13, 2012, eJP, by Stephen G. Donshik 
During the last several years there has been a perception that nonprofit organizations have become more knowledgeable about financial resource development. Recently Stephen Donshik, nonprofit consultant had two experiences with two large well established and sophisticated organizations in Israel. Although he expected there to be an understanding that fundraising is not about collecting checks it was surprising to learn that the development professionals working in the nonprofits were far more attuned than the chief executive officers of the organizations.

ejp full logo 

It is not easy to be a CEO and responsible for the day to day operations, however it is important to not lose sight of the bigger picture and the longer view of developing an organization. There must be a focus on the importance of strategically cultivating support by developing and maintaining positive relationships with donors. The CEO has to provide support and encouragement to enable the FRD professional to be able to be effective in assuring the nonprofit's financial sustainability.


Click here to read the entire article and learn more about the tension that exists between CEOs and Fund Development professionals.

Ditch Your Board Composition Matrix
Ditch Your Board Composition Matrix, June 11, 2012, Board Cafe, by Jan Masaoka

You know the board matrix: it has a list of skills and competencies that are "supposed" to be on the board, such as legal, marketingblue avacado, HR, fundraising, finance. And typically there are also demographic qualities, such as gender, race, age. The board matrix then shows what boxes you presumably need to fill.


What's wrong here is that these board composition matrices focus our attention on what people are, rather than on what the organization needs board members to do.


Three traps of the board composition matrix

Let's look at the three failures of board matrix approaches:

  1. The skills trap.
  2. The demographic trap.
  3. The connections trap.

By focusing on what people will do rather than what people are, we accomplish three goals, which you can read more about in the entire article, as well as details surrounding the three failures of board matrix approaches.

Claims Conference Announces Kavod Volume 2 claims conference

The Claims Conference is pleased to announce the publication of Kavod Volume 2. This issue features articles on music therapy; Holocaust survivors of sexual abuse; identity and resilience among Soviet child survivors; linguistic analysis; the work of a consortium of mental health professionals with survivors in New York City; and more. To learn more about Kavod, click here.
What Millennialmillennial impact reports Want-And How They Give
What Millennials Want -
And How They Give, June 13, 2012, Katya's Nonprofit Marketing Blog, by Katya Andresen


The 2012 Millennial Impact Report - a survey of more than 6,500 people ages 20 to 35 - shows 75% of millennials donate (in small amounts), 70% have fundraised for their favorite causes and most give for reasons that span generations---they have a relationship with the cause. The survey, which was conducted by Achieve and  Johnsomillennial infographicn, Grossnickle, and Associates, yielded these additional results and implications:


  1. The majority of their donations were $100 or less per organization per year.
  2. Millennials give for emotional reasons and like to "give in the moment."
  3. 75% of respondents have a smartphone, and 7% said they had given via text message or through a mobile site. The number one reason they haven't given on mobile is they weren't asked.
  4. Most prefer to learn about nonprofits via their websites, followed by social media and e-newsletters.  Your website still matters most online, folks!
  5. About 70 percent of young donors reported that they had made a gift online in 2011.
  6. About 39 percent of those who made a gift reported that they had responded to an in-person request, and 34 percent said they had made a gift through the mail. So asking through multiple channels is wise, just as it is with all generations of donors.
  7. 67% of respondents have interacted with nonprofits on Facebook and 92% have "liked" a nonprofit's Facebook page.  Only 28% had interacted with a nonprofit on Twitter.
  8. When it comes to volunteering, 81% prefer to hear about opportunities from their peers.  63% had volunteered for a nonprofit in 2011.

You can access the full study here

The Establishment is Not an Idol

The Establishment is Not an Idol, June 8, 2012, eJP, by Liz Fisher 
At the Jewish Futures Conference, Rabbi Laura Baum led a text study on Abraham and his bravery in smashing idols. At the tables, participants were instructed to confide in each other: They were asked, "What are the idols in the Jewish community? What "idols" would you smash?" Esther Kustanowitz has already blogged some of the responses. Others can be found by searching #jewishfutures on Twitter.

ejewish philanthropy 

According to Liz Fisher, Managing Director at NEXT: A Division of Birthright Israel Foundation, as an educational exercise, the conversation was terrific. "It got people talking. It broke up the formality of the room." Rabbi Baum pushed attendees, and gave them space to vent their grievances. 


But as a metaphor, idol-smashing falls apart for Liz. The idols mentioned - JCCs, synagogues, b'nai mitzvah, Federation - fall into the general category of "the establishment." Those things are not idols. Idols are worshiped with blind devotion. Idols are shells. Idols have no meaning. Idols are empty, and always were.


There is no question that the establishment needs to evolve. Read the entire article to learn more about Liz's thoughts on alleged idols:  federations and synagogues and the battle between "us and "them".

Seeking Input on Training Strategy and Disability Programming
The Corporation for National and Community Service (CNCS) wants your input. CNCS is seeking the best thinking from the national service network and the public about two key topics:  a unified training and technical assistance strategy, and disability programming for all CNCS programs. A notice has been published in the Federal Register inviting public comment on these topics. Your feedback will be used to inform planning as CNCS transitions from a formula-based methodology to competitive processes for awarding funds.  


There are several ways you can participate. You may send your written comments to tta@cnCNCSs.gov. You may participate in a CNCS-hosted listening session at the National Conference on Volunteering and Service or conference calls later this month (see below). You can also submit your comments via  www.regulations.gov, by mail, or by fax. Details on these methods are in the Federal Register notice.


National Conference Listening Session - Tuesday, June 19th, 8:30am 

Conference Call #1: Monday, June 25th, 4:00pm ET, call-in number 888-324-4147, participant passcode: POWELL

Conference Call #2:  Thursday, June 28th, 12:30pm ET, call-in number 800-779-1632, participant passcode: 2116663


If you plan to join a conference call, please send an email with your name, title, organization, contact information, and which call you will be joining to tta@cns.gov. Transcripts will be available on the CNCS website following each call. Please check the CNCS website  for further information and updates.   

5 Website Design Mistakes That Are Killing Your Social Media

We spend all this time and capital on social media. Creating wonderful content. Producing engaging campaigns. Responding to our communities and creating a groundswell of support. But what happens after sometimes can ruin it all.  You might have an amazing social media presence, and then the customer sees your website, and all that momentum is lost.


Bad Web Design Is Killing Your Business

While there is no limit to the amount of cringe-worthy design elements you can find online, these are some of the biggest mistakes businesses make on a regular basis. What makes most of these mistakes even worse is the fact many of them can be easily avoided by planning ahead and implementing a simple design strategy.social fresh

  1. No clear call to action
  2. Confusing navigation
  3. Not testing different browsers
  4. Incorporating way too much Flash
  5. Poor readability

While this represents a small sample, all of these issues can be avoided by taking a proactive approach and carefully planning out both your web design and online marketing strategy. By utilizing some common best practices, you can increase the traffic to your website, as well as improve your chances of obtaining more online conversions.


Click here to read the entire article and learn about the five website design mistakes in more depth.

Transforming Human Services for Older Adults:  A National Aging Froum 

The Alliance for Children and Families "Transforming Human Services for Older Adults: A National Aging Forum" will take place on July 23-24, 2012 in Chicago, IL at the Crowne Plaza. Chicago O'Hare features some outstanding speakers in the field of gerontology, bringing together the best of theory and practice. Keynote speakers are Robyn Golden, LCSW, Rush University Medical Center and Past President of the American Society on Aging; Anne Montgomeralliance for children and familiesy, Senior Advisor for the United States Senate Special Committee on Aging; and Dr. E. Percil Stanford, President of Folding Voice and former Senior Vice President and Chief Diversity Officer at AARP.


The Forum will also celebrate the accomplishments and highlight lessons learned from the Alliance's New Age of Aging initiative. Participants will leave motivated to continue their work in the aging field and take home ideas for starting new programs and services. For more information and to register, please visit the Alliance website

Addictions Specialists' Group - Please Respond by June 22
At the request of our Addictions Specialists in Seattle and Chicago, AJFCA is working on creating a forum for professional staff who work with Jews in the field of Addictions.  We envision this forum as a means to share information and best practices in working with all types of addictions in the Jewish community via email/member forum and conference calls.  Other features for this group, such as speakers, webinars and in-person gatherings, will be determined by the group once it convenes. 

If there is a professional at your agency who works in Addictions--either as his/her entire job or as a piece of it--who might be interested in joining this community of practice, please have the professional email Lisa Budlow by June 22nd. Thank you.

Foundation Directory Online Renewal

In August 2011, more than 30 of our member agencies signed on to participate in AJFCA's institution-wide subscription to the Foundation Center's Foundation Directory Online Professional Plan. Each participating agency paid a significantly-reduced subscription fee of $390 for one year's access to the online directory of more than 100,000 foundations, corporate donors and grant making public charities. Users are able to build custom searches through nine comprehensive databases. 

foundation center 

In the first ten months of our subscription, AJFCA agencies created approximately 5,600 searches. According to the Foundation Center, AJFCA has created about 7,500 searches in the past year. In other words, our agencies saw real value in this tool and have made excellent use of it for the past two years!


The second subscription year will come to a close in mid-August. All users will have to renew if they would like another year of access. Member agencies who are interested in joining for the third year (whether or not you participated in year one or two) will have that opportunity. Assuming we have approximately 30 members join, the cost again will be approximately $400 per agency. If you are interested in participating, please email Megan Manelli no later than August 3, 2012.


Community Transformation Grant - Request for Applications (RFA) cms

Title: Community Transformation Grants - Small Communities programs financed solely by 2012 Prevention and Public Health Funds 

Description: The purpose of this program is to prevent heart attack, stroke, cancer, diabetes and other leading chronic disease causes of death or disability through implementation of a variety of evidence based programs, policies, and infrastructure improvements to promote healthy lifestyles in small communities.

Eligibility: Governmental agencies and non-governmental organizations which includes but is not limited to school districts, local housing authorities, local transportation authorizes, health department, planning and economic development agencies, non-profit and community based organizations, area aging agencies, and cooperative extension agencies; Federally recognized American Indian Tribes and Alaska Native Villages, Tribal organizations, and Urban Indian Health Programs.

Funding: 25-50 awards with an estimated total funding of $70 million.

Link to Full Announcement: Link to Full Announcement

Last Day to Apply: Letter of Intent due June 18, 2012. Application due July 31, 2012.

Grant is administered by the: Centers for Disease Control and Prevention ______________________________________________________________________________

Strong Start for Mothers and Newborns

The application deadline expired, but has been extended (even if a letter of intent was not submitted) and will be announced in the near future.  

This initiative is a joint effort between the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS), the Health Resources and Services Administration (HRSA), and the Administration on Children and Families (ACF).

Overview:  The Strong Start initiative supports reducing the risk of significant complications and long-term health problems for both expectant mothers and newborns.

Strong Start includes two strategies:  Public-Private Partnership to Reduce Early Elective Deliveries and
Building on the work of the Partnership for Patients, this initiative will test ways to encourage best practices and supports providers in reducing early electives deliveries prior to 39 weeks. CMS will also team up with advocacy and professional organizations to increase current public awareness efforts and develop new ones. See what you can do to help reduce early elective deliveries.


Funding Opportunity for Testing New Approaches to Prenatal CareCMS will make funding available for providers, states and other eligible applicants to test the effectiveness of three enhanced prenatal care approaches to reduce preterm births for women covered by Medicaid who are at risk for preterm births. See the Funding Opportunity Announcement (PDF) and fill out a Letter of Intent to Apply.


On April 30, 2012, CMS released an amended Funding Opportunity Announcement. Read a summary highlighting some of these amendments (PDF). In an effort to connect applicants interested in partnering together and to address concerns from interested organizations that may not have enough pregnant women enrolled in Medicaid and CHIP to apply, CMS has created a platform for potential applicants who have submitted an LOI and want to participate. Organizations will need to grant consent through the LOI form (or by an email to StrongStart@cms.hhs.gov for those who have already submitted an LOI) to have their information accessible in the platform and to gain access to the platform. The platform will be become unavailable the day after the Strong Start application due date.


Click here for more information.


Jewish Family and Children's Service of Boston announced that they are further expanding and enhancing the scope of services available to the community through their affiliation with Jewish Family Service of Worcester. JFS Worcester's flagship clinical programs will be integrated with a wide variety of JFCS programs to expand their services throughout Central Massachusetts.
jfcs boston
In 2011, JFCS merged with JFS of the North Shore; through their recent affiliation with JFS Worcester, they are continuing to enhance the impact of their many services through the combined resources of the organizations.

As one of the country's largest nonprofits, with almost 150 years of service to Greater Boston, JFCS will leverage their extensive resources to programs where they are most needed in Central Massachusetts. The two organizations will build on each other's areas of strength, while continuing to offer existing services and introduce new ones. With a similar mission and many complimentary programs, there is a strong synergy between the two organizations.  
Bringing together the two organizations will allow the agency to serve even more individuals and families in need. As their footprint continues to grow, they remain steadfast in their commitment to the community, clients, and friends and supporters. JFCS appreciates the support of the Jewish Federation of Central Massachusetts, which was instrumental in facilitating the affiliation.

Please join JFCS in welcoming JFS Worcester to the JFCS family.     


Congratulations to Scott Rogoff, Board President of Jewish Family Service of Rochester, on receiving the 2012 Benjamin Goldstein Young Leadership Award from the Jewish Federation of Greater Rochester.  


Scott received this prjfs rochesterestigious award on June 12th at the Jewish Federation of Greater Rochster Annual Meeting. Scott is a graduate of the Federation's Ramim program, serves on the Federation's board of directors (since 2011) and has been a leader in organizing activities for young adults. Scott is currently board president of Jewish Family Service of Rochester, where he has served on the board of directors since 2009, and the executive committee and board governance committee since 2010. At Temple Beth El, he serves on the strategic planning committee.  


Navigating the Road Toward Accreditation

Essential Learning and Accreditation Guru, Inc. have partnered to present an educational series of accreditation webinars. The essential learningfirst session was a great success.


If you missed "Session One: Understanding the Accreditation Process", you can access a recording of the presentation here.


Session Two: Self-Study and Site Visit Phase

Tuesday, June 12th, 1:00pm ET - Recording available soon

The second session focuses on the critical phases of developing a self-study and preparing for the site visit. After attending this session, you will be able to identify who should be involved in the process and how to best prepare your staff in a way that gains buy-in and reduces pre-site visit stress across your organization. E-learning tools can assist with this process.


Session Three: Achieving and Maintaining Accreditation

Thursday, June 28th, 1:00pm ET - REGISTER HERE

In this third and final session, attention will be focused on an accrediting body's decision making process. The maintenance of accreditation includes the implementation of your quality improvement program, staff training, risk management, etc., all of which will be reviewed. You have worked hard to become (re)accredited and now it is time to learn to reap the benefits of all of your hard work.


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 law, the Affordable Care Act. 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 encouraged to submit questions to have answered on the calls to  ACA101@hhs.gov.


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

hhs logo 

The Health Care Law 101 - June 14th, 3:30pm ET

A presentation on the main provisions of the Affordable Care Act and how to access care.


The Health Care Law 101 (in Spanish) - June 19th, 2:00pm ET

A presentation on the main provisions in the Affordable Care Act and how to access care in Spanish.


Tour of www.HealthCare.gov - June 21st, 4:00pm

A tour of the  www.HealthCare.gov website, including how to access private and public insurance in your community, when parts of the law are going into effect, and how to access care if you don't have insurance.


Taking Your Medicines Safely

Taking Your Medicines Safely (TYMS), is a train-the-trainer program to educate older adults about medication safety and the toll-free Poison Help line (1-800-222-1222). Poisoning can happen to anyone; in fact, older adults are especially at risk for poisonings involvinncoa logog medications. Each year, there are nearly 100,000 emergency hospitalizations in the U.S among adults aged 65 years  or older due to adverse drug events.


Learn how to implement the TYMS program for older adults in your senior center, library, community center, or church. Medication safety topics include:  

  1. Potential problems with taking prescription medicines or over-the-counter products.
  2. Ways to keep track of medicines and prevent medication mistakes.
  3. Questions older adults should ask about their medicine.
  4. The free and confidential services provided by the nation's poison centers.

The TYMS program was developed by the Health Resources and Services Administration in partnership with the Administration on Aging and the Public Education Committee of the American Association of Poison Control Centers.


Participants are encouraged to visit the Poison Help website and download the TYMS participant guide.


Taking Your Medicines Safely

Monday, June 18th, 3:00pm ET - REGISTER HERE


Guide to Resources and Funding for Community and Faith-based Organizations
The Health and Human Services Partnership Center and the Administration for Children and Families will co-host a webinar/conference
administration for children and families call for faith and community leaders on ACF's new Guide to Resources and Funding for Community and Faith-based Organizations.The guide offers an overview of the wide range of programs and resources provided by ACF, the many resources and toolkits available for any community or faith-based organization, basic information about finding and applying for federal funds, and specific information about ACF's competitive grant opportunities for nonprofits.


Guide to Resources and Funding for Community and Faith-based Organizations

Thursday, June 21st, 1:00pm ET


To participate via webinar, click here. To participate via conference call, please RSVP here, and dial 1-877-568-4108 with Access Code 338-508-387 to join.

Using PerformWell to Improve Sex Education Programs  

How can sex education programs for youth measure outcomes and continuously improve their effectiveness? Join
Social Solutions for a webinar during which you'll learn how practitioners can take advantage of new PerformWell content - including surveys/assessments - relevant to sex education. With the launch of PerformWell earlier this year, ChildTrends, the Urban Institute and Social Solutions made available more than one hundred surveys/assessments, along with information to help nonprofits measure outcomes and improve service delivery. This webinar marks the publication of new content in the program area of sex education.

social solutions logo


Using PerformWell to Improve Sex Education Programs

Thursday, June 21st, 3:00pm ET - REGISTER HERE


Benefits Counseling 101: The Five Phases of Benefits Access

Benefits counselors play a critical role in helping clients learn about and apply for various public benefit programs. But what's really involved in helping your clients "get" public benefits? Is it screening their income and resources for eligibility or helping them complete an application? The answer is yes, but there is so much more!

   ncoa logo

NCOA's June webinar will walk through the full spectrum of benefits assistance:

  • Outreach and education
  • Screening
  • Application assistance
  • Understanding how to use the benefit, and
  • Retention/recertification.

These stages are vital for ensuring that clients receive, use, and keep the benefits they are eligible for. NCOA will share examples from a variety of states and local organizations to discuss creative and effective ways of accomplishing these phases. They'll also talk about opportunities to enhance benefits access work through stronger partnerships.


This training is geared toward those who are new to benefits counseling, and to those who want to learn more about the full continuum of benefits access. This training will be offered at two different times.


Benefits Counseling 101: The Five Phases of Benefits Access

Tuesday, June 26th, 2:00pm ET - REGISTER HERE

Wednesday, June 27th, 2:00pm ET - REGISTER HERE


Find more information about NCOA webinars, and download the slides prior to the webinar here.


Health Care Symposia: Issues Unique to Younger Jewish Women - Free National Teleconference and Webinar 

Join Sharsheret for a free symposium, "New Advances in Gynecological Health Before and After Cancer." This symposium will focus on the most current research regarding gynecological concerns before and after a breast cancer or ovarian cancer diagnosis. Panelists include Dr. Tessa Cigler, Dr. Elizabeth Poynor, Clinical Supervisor Shera Dubitsky, and a Sharsheret Peer Supporter. For more information and to register, email teleconference@sharsheret.org .sharsheret


"New Advances in Gynecological Health Before and After Cancer"

Wednesday, July 11th, 8:00pm ET

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