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Friday, July 13, 2012
D'Var Torah

Lee I. Sherman



This past Tuesday evening, I had the honor of attending the Claims Conference's commemoration of the 60th anniversary of the signing of the Luxembourg Agreement with the (then) West German government. This agreement, negotiated by representatives from the newly formed Conference on Jewish Material Claims Against Germany and the recently established governments of Israel and West Germany, provided for the first payments of reparations to the Jewish surviving victims of the Nazi regime. Sixty years later, billions of dollars of funds have gone to support Holocaust survivors worldwide, as well as Holocaust education. Roman Kent, treasurer of the Claims Conference and Chairman of the American Gathering of Jewish Holocaust Survivors, emphasized in his remarks that while this funding was critical for the support of survivors, it does not mean that we can forgive or forget. We cannot speak for the six million who perished at the hands of the Nazis and their collaborators, so it is not our place to forgive on their behalf, and it is our obligation to make certain the world always remembers.
you are my witness
This week's parashah, Pinhas, includes the taking of a census of all Israelite males (except the Levites) over the age of twenty. Each tribe is mentioned with a specific count of the adult males, for a total of 601,730 Israelites. All are counted; each one matters. The descendants of the Israelites in the desert who were slaughtered in Europe in the mid-Twentieth Century also mattered. They had names. They belonged to families and communities. They must be counted.

It is not only our responsibility to remember the Six Million, but also our obligation to care for those who survived. Many of our Jewish family service agencies across North America have been providing vital services to Holocaust survivors for the past sixty years. The Claims Conference funding has been essential to allow these survivors to stay in their homes as part of the community. But, even those vast resources need to be supplemented because the needs of these aging survivors continue to increase each day. It is not our choice to support them; it is our obligation. They count, too.

Shabbat Shalom. 


Facilitating Good Ideas

by Lee I. Sherman  

The recent World Council of Jewish Communal Service (WCJCS) Quadrennial in Jerusalem was attended by professionals from 17 countries. Jewish professionals from 5 continents spent three days sharing information and learning from one another. Even with the clash of multiple languages being spoken in the same room, it was clear that we had much more in common than we had differences - both in the challenges we faced in our organizations and our dedication to improving our communities and the people we serve. 


Read more


Jewish Child & Family Services of Chicago, IL  

Jewish Family Service of Seattle, WA  

Jewish Family Services of Metropolitan Detroit, MI

Jewish Family Service of Colorado  

Jewish Family & Career Services of Atlanta, GA 

Jewish Family & Children's Service of Pittsburgh, PA  

Repair the World  

Claims Conference Approves $272 Million in New Allocations, Creates Goodwill Fund
The Claims Conference board approved $272 million in new allocations for the next two fiscal years.
The bulk of the spending approved at Wednesday's meeting in Washington will go to programs that aid survivors, including home care, soup kitchens, meals on wheels and medical assistance programs. Slightly less than $36 million will go to support Holocaust education.
claims conference
The funding comes from the Claims Conference's so-called Successor Organization, which derives from the sale of Jewish-owned properties in the former East Germany for which no heirs have come forward.
Also Wednesday, the Claims Conference voted to create a Goodwill Fund of approximately $61 million for heirs of former East German properties who missed previous deadlines for making claims on the properties.
JTA logo
This discretionary spending by the Claims Conference is in addition to the funding Germany provides to survivors via the Claims Conference in the form of pension programs, one-time payouts and home care.
On Monday, the Claims Conference announced that Germany had agreed to increase its funding to survivors by about $300 million, covering some 80,000 Nazi victims who until now have not been eligible for German funding.  


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AJFCA's 41st Annual Conference 

May 19-21, 2013 
Phoenix, Arizona 


Things are difphoenixferent in the desert. The sky is bigger. The stars are brighter. The sunsets stop you in your tracks.

 It's a feeling that can't be conjured, landscaped or kindled with twinkling bulbs. John Ford knew that. So did Frank
Lloyd Wright. Come to Greater Phoenix and you'll understand, too.   


America's sixth-largest city still has real cowboys and rugged mountains and the kind of cactus most people see only in cartoons. Phoenix is the gateway to the Grand Canyon, and its history is a testament to the spirit of puebloans, ranchers, miners and visionaries.  


Projected against this rich backdrop is a panorama of urban sophistication: Resorts and spas that drop jaws and soothe souls. Stadiums and arenas worthy of the world's biggest sports spectacles. Restaurants with inspired cuisine and inspiring patio views. Golf courses that beckon players the year round. Shopping centers as stylish and eclectic as the fashions they house. 

 This is Greater Phoenix - Arizona's urban heart and America's sunniest metropolis.

volunteer initiatives
Coming Soon . . . AJFCA Volunteer Newsletter

Beginning this month AJFCA will release a volunteer newsletter, emailed to anyone on the Volunteer Initiative interest list. The volunteer newsletter will be comprised of all things volunteer including volunteer related articles, reports and surveys as well as member agency volunteer programming updates, and stories of success and lessons learned. This newsletter will be curated as part of the AJFCA and Repair the World Volunteer Initiative, encouraging increased information sharing between the newly formed AJFCA vovolunteer wordlelunteer cohort, volunteer professionals and other interested parties.

Does your agency have a particularly effective method of handling volunteer operations? Is there a program your agency offers that could be replicated by other agencies? Would you like to share a success story with your fellow volunteer managers? Please submit all entries to Jennie Gates Beckman by the 1st of each month to ensure that your post is a part of the new monthly AJFCA Volunteer Newsletter.
Jewish Women Intermnational's Clergy Task Force on Domestic Abuse
As a leader and advocate in the Jewish domestic violence movement, Jewish Women International knows that you are well aware of the important role that clergy can play in supporting women and children experiencing domestic violence. Indeed, you have likely already trained rabbis and cantors in your community on the dynamics of domestic abuse, and the ways they can be a support and a source of healing. JWI is inviting you to nominate a rabbi or cantor from your community to serve for a two-year term on JWI's Clergy Task Force on Domestic Abuse in the Jewish CommunitJWIy.

This Task Force is a multi-denominational group of Jewish clergy committed to ending the cycle of abuse by speaking out publicly about the issue, developing and disseminating resources and training, and providing guidance to colleagues working with families experiencing abuse. Over this past year the Task Force developed two text-based guides about healthy relationships, a 'mi-sheberakh' for families experiencing abuse, held two trainings, and engaged in advocacy. To learn more about the work of the task force please visit http://www.jwi.org/clergy.

The Task Force is chaired by Rabbi Richard Hirsh, executive director of the Reconstructionist Rabbinical Association, and Rabbi Marla Hornsten, Temple Israel, West Bloomfield, Michigan. It is currently composed of 16 members and with plans to expand to a group of 25 members. There is particular interest in adding rabbis and cantors who are leaders in their communities and who work in diverse settings such as college campuses, chaplaincies, summer camps, youth groups and nonprofits. The Task Force meets by teleconference, with plans for an in-person meeting in 2013.

Nominations should include the name of the rabbi or cantor, denomination or affiliation, contact information, and a brief description of why you are nominating this candidate. JWI looks forward to receiving your nomination so that they can move forward with this exciting effort. Please email nominations to Deborah Rosenbloom and contact her with any questions.
A Continued Evolution in Jewish Peoplehood
A Continued Evolution in Jewish Peoplehood, July 3, 2012, eJP, by David Cygelman
[This essay is from The Peoplehood Papers, volume 8 - Nurturing Jewish Peoplehood in the 21st Century - What Should We Do Differently? - published by the Center for Jewish Peoplehood Education.]

center for jewish peoplehood education
In thinking about Jewish peoplehood in the 21st Century and comparing it to our past, there are several trends that clearly present themselves as major shifts in our community. Globalization, and the shrinking distance between cultures and countries along with the changing demographic trends of lifespan and stages, has deeply impacted the Jewish community. Although the core values and traditions of the Jewish people have stayed fairly consistent over the past few decades, the way that we connect and relate with one another has decidedly changed. As a result of this continual global evolution, the Jewish community must also adjust its approach to serving its constituents around the world. Despite a growing global population, the world is becoming a much smaller place. Whether considering online communication or increased travel, there is a permeating interconnectedness that is rapidly increasing, not just in person but also over the web. Further, demographic trends are shifting as people live longer and marry later than in previous generations, creating entirely new phases of life that provide a rich opportunity for promoting a deep and meaningful Jewish ejp full logoimpact.

Click here to learn about the three major components to nurturing Jewish peoplehood that we should all take into consideration when examining the current state of the Jewish community and its potential future directions.
How to Make Sure Your Logo Tells Your Story
Your organization's logo offers the world a glimpse of who you are and what you do. It should not just be instantly recognizable but also offer a clear and compelling narrative that people will remember. Too often, nonprofits attempt to do too much with a logo, or they use generic, ubiquitous, and clichéd visual motifs that ignore what makes a group special. How many times have we seen a nonprofit using a logo with people holding hands? Or maybe the ever-popular abstract human-like figure. 
chronicle philanthropy
However, if your logo looks like everyone else's logo, you stop saying anything at all. If all nonprofits see themselves as helping people and the planet, you don't really communicate anything valuable by focusing on such a generic theme.

To communicate the right message, it's important to find the right designer-someone who takes the time to understand your organization's core values and what makes you different. Then you can focus on creating a logo that truly captures your story. Here's what to keep in mind as you begin:

Overly complex logos can sometimes lead to funny misinterpretations.
Use shapes that have meaning.
Personality matters.
Simplicity is key.

To read the entire article, click here.
Board-Driven Achievements
Are you looking for inspiring new approaches to strengthening and building your organization's impact through board leadership? Then tune in to BoardSource's YouTube channel.

This year, all applicants for the 2012 Prudential Leadership Awards for Exceptional Nonprofit Bboard sourceoards, submitted a short video addressing their board-driven achievements. BoardSource has now posted 24 of the entries on our YouTube channel.
The Donor Lifecycle Map as a Useful Development Planning Tool
The Donor Lifecycdonor life cyclele Map, created by Sarah Clifton, is a terrific tool to use in creating a strategic fund raising plan. The focus of the Map is determining where a donor lies in terms of his/her lifetime giving to an organization, not on the size of any individual contribution or amount of personal assets. The Donor Lifecycle Map emphasizes relationship building as opposed to transactions and on moving a donor along from first gift to endowment. It can be used along with data about the size of any gift, but its major advantage, is that it helps to organize the strategic plan according to the "next step" for the donor or category of donors. The question for staff and volunteers then becomes what must be done or what resources should be expended on this individual or group of people depending upon where on the Lifecycle Map they lie.

Read the entire article here.

Community Outreach and Fundraising as an Integral Part of the NPO's Mission:  

Enlisting Professionals for Capacity Building

Enlisting Professionals for Capacity Building, July 10, 2012, eJP, by David B. Marcu, CEO of Israel Elwyn and past president of IAJVS 
Those who manage nonprofit organizations are frequently involved in resource development and community outreach as significant aspects of our jobs. University presidents, hospital administrators and CEO's of other non-profit organizations (NPO's) can and should devote significant portions of their professional responsibility to these c
ejewish philanthropyritical elements of capacity building. First and foremost, nonprofit professional leaders and managers must recognize that donors rightly want to invest their funds in organizations with which they have confidence and trust, beginning with an accessible and personal connection to their leaders. For this reason, leaders of NPO's need to see fundraising and community outreach as a significant part of their personal professional vision and practically, of what they do day to day.      


Read Enlisting Professionals for Capacity Building to learn why CEOs must include engaging his/her colleagues and other professionals in the mission-critical resource development process. 

7 Steps For Getting More Instagram Followers
As Instagram continues it's march to being the most popular mobile social network and most popular photo-sharing community in the world, figuring out the app can be difficult. Brands that are new to Instagram usually ask the same question: How can we get more followers?

After over a year managing one of the most active Instagram communities and starting a company based on Instagram, Brian DiFeo has learned some key strategies and best practices for a new brand interested in connecting with people on Instagram. For added inspiration, check out this list of brands on Instagram from Social Fresh.

  1. Jumpstart with Existing Audiences
  2. Content + Engagement
  3. Have a Content Plan
  4. Utilize Relevant Hashtags
  5. Consider Running a Contest
  6. Partner with Instagram Influencers
  7. Use Third Party Websites 
Overall, if you work for a brand that sees value in Instagram, don't just close the app after you post a photo. The Instagram community is passionate about photography and social networking. It is in your best interest to interact with your followers and engage with them much like you would on other popular sites.

To read about the 7 Steps in more detail, click here.
A Look at How the Environment Impacts Healthy Aging
In June, NCOA co-sponsored Healthy Environments Across Generations, an event organized by the Collaborative on Health and the Environment (CHE) to explore scientific evidence confirming that certain early life experiences can influence health later in life.
ncoa logo
Medical research reveals that environmental factors play a major role in the majority of cases of Alzheimer's and Parkinson's diseases. Diet, exercise, exposure to toxic chemicals and other environmental pollutants, and socioeconomic stress can alter biochemical pathways influencing the risk of these diseases and other chronic illnesses such as diabetes, obesity, cardiovascular disease, and metabolic syndrome.

Click here to learn more about chronic diseases driven by dramatic alterations over the past 50-100 years in the U.S. food supply and environment.
10 Things Your Home Page Absolutely Must Have
What belongskatya nonprofit marketing blog on your home page?

One definite must is an impossible-to-miss Donate button.
The "Donate Now" button should immediately take the user to the donation form, with no intermediate steps.
network for good
Another must is a way to capture information from people not ready to give. It takes time to cultivate supporters, so include an email sign-up so that you can build a relationship with visitors and turn them into donors in the future. Think beyond "join our mailing list".

So what are the other eight things? Click here-Network for Good has the rest of answers. 

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.


Strong Start Amended Funding Opportunity Announcement

We encourage potential applicants to review the amended FOA.

As part of the Strong Start for Mothers and Newborns initiative, ("Strong Start") CMS has released a funding opportunity for providers, states, managed care organizations, and conveners to test the effectiveness of specific enhanced prenatal care approaches to reduce preterm births in women enrolled in Medicaid. The goal of the initiative is to determine if these approaches to care can reduce the rate of preterm births, improve the health outcomes of pregnant women and newborns and decrease the anticipated total cost of medical care over the first year of life for children born to mothers enrolled in Medicaid and/or CHIP.


CMS received a high level of interest in the Strong Start Funding Opportunity Announcement ("FOA"), and also received numerous questions and suggestions about this initiative from organizations throughout the country interested in testing new models of prenatal care. In order to address concerns about the requirements for a successful application, CMS has revised the Strong Start FOA.


The key changes to the FOA are as follows:


CMS revised the FOA to remove the requirement for States to link vital records and Medicaid claims data in the Strong Start funding opportunity. Instead, applicants must be able to provide gestational age and birthweight data on births of intervention infants and from a baseline period that spans at least 2 years prior to the start of the intervention; thereby, removing the requirement to supply a Letter of Agreement from the applicant's state(s).

CMS is committed to a rigorous model evaluation and, therefore, will pursue linked State vital records and Medicaid claims and encounter data through a parallel effort to the Strong Start funding opportunity.


In order to make these program changes, CMS has extended the program timelines and eliminated the Letter of Intent (LOI) requirement in order to allow potential applicants the opportunity to modify or develop applications that are consistent with the new information. The new application deadline for the Strong Start funding opportunity is August 9, 2012 with optional LOIs due August 8, 2012. The anticipated award date is October 5, 2012.


More information about the Strong Start initiative is available here.  


Ruth Rales Jewish Family Service west of Boca Raton has trained its first parenting coordinator, psychologist Jill Schwartzberg. The organization joins a growing number of social service agencies and family court judges who believe bitter divorced parents need an arbiter outside the courthouse to make sure they stick to their agreements.

ruth rales jfs
The state Legislature created a legal role for parenting coordinators in 2009 as part of a law designed to assist parents in resolving their disputes. If the parents agree, judges can appoint coordinators to sit the parents down and develop a detailed plan for splitting responsibilities, such as pickup times and places, summer camp payment plans and the role of grandparents.

"These are very high conflict families," said Schwartzberg, who has worked with families for more than 20 years. "You're like a referee. It's really about conflict resolution and trying to protect the children."

Read about parent coordinators and Jill's new role in the July 6th South Florida Sun-Sentinel article, After divorce, parent coordinators mediate for children.

Paul Levine has announced that he plans to step down as Executive Vice President and CEO of JBFCS on June 30, 2013. David Rivel, Chief Administrative Officer/Associate Executive Vice President, is named his successor. Levine has been with JBFCS for 30 years and without question has strengthened and broadened this large multi-service agency serving New Yorkers in need.


His contributions to the success of his agency and the entire New York City metropolitan area have been considerable.  Although his leadership and passion for the work of JBFCS will be missed, his legacy will continue because of the strong organizational foundation he has built.


Paul will also be missed by his colleagues and friends all across the AJFCA network.  He has been an exceptional board member, but, more importantly, a mentor and teacher for many across the system.  Paul's work with AJFCA is not yet done, as he still has his board term to complete and he has agreed to serve as Program Co-Chair for the 2013 AJFCA Annual Conference. AJFCA knows each of you will join us over the next year in wishing Paul well and thanks for all of his contributions.
Recently Jewish Family & Children's Service of Pittsburgh welcomed Anne Richard, Assistant Secretary of State for the U.S. Bureau of Population, Refugees and Migration to Pittsburgh and to their office. This was Assistant Secretary Richard's first visit to Pittsburgh, and JFCS was one of the agencies selected to meet with her about their important work welcoming, transitioning and resettling refugees in Pittsburgh.
jfcs pittsburgh
While in Pittsburgh, Assistant Secretary Richard met with JFCS staff and refugee clients. During her visit, she also spoke with additional refugee service providers, agencies and members of the community.
Following her visit to JFCS Pittsburg, Assistant Secretary Richard praised JFCS for their work meeting refugees' needs in the Essential Public Radio article


Stop Chasing Numbers and Start Celebrating Them   

If you spend too much time chasing numbers and responding to fire drills, then you need to know The Financial Edge nonprofit accounting software will manage budgeting, forecasting, spending activity, and reporting, helping you vastly improve overall efficiency. So don't waste another minute in the office putting out fires - use your time helping someone blow out the flames that really matter.

Stop Chasing Numbers and Start Celebrating Them
Thursday, July 19th, 1:00pm ET - REGISTER HERE

Webinars on the Health Care Law Hosted by the HHS Center for Faith-Based and Neighborhood Partnerships

National Conference Calls

The Health Care Law 101 (in English) - July 19, 12:30 pm ET - REGISTER HERE

The Health Care Law 101 (in Spanish) - July 24, 2:00 pm ET - REGISTER HERE

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Regional Conference Calls

Region 3 (Delaware, District of Columbia, Maryland, Pennsylvania, Virginia, West Virginia) - July 12, 3:00 pm ET - REGISTER HERE

Region 8 (Colorado, Montana, North Dakota, South Dakota, Utah, Wyoming) - July 12, 3:00 pm MT/4:00 pm CT - REGISTER HERE  

Region 7 (Iowa, Kansas, Missouri, Nebraska) - July 17, 10:30 am CT - REGISTER HERE

Region 1 (Connecticut, Maine, Massachusetts, New Hampshire, Rhode Island, Vermont) - August 8, 11:00 am ET - REGISTER HERE


To participate in one of the webinars, please select your preferred date from the list above and submit the necessary information. Please email any questions to ACA101@hhs.gov. For more information, go to www.hhs.gov/partnerships.

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