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Friday, July 20, 2012
D'Var Torah

Lee I. Sherman


Last week, Penn State University issued a report on the accusations of child abuse by former Assistant Football Coach Jerry Sandusky and the knowledge and actions of university and athletic department officials. The recent trial of Sandusky proved that his sexual molestation of young boys over an extended period of time was truly horrific and he was convicted and incarcerated accordingly. But, as Penn State's report revealed, the non-action of the university and its administrators and coaches was equally horrific. Knowing what they knew when they knew it, these individuals were culpable in many more incidents of Sandusky's child abuse and in covering up the allegations in an attempt to shield the university and football team from negative publicity and to protect their friend and former colleague. Most commentators have always held this fine academic institution as a paragon of virtue in the sometimes ugly world of big-time college athletics, but that stellar reputation has now been sullied for all time.

In this week's double parashot, Mattot-Masei, Moses gives this admonition to the heads of the Israelite tribes: "If a man makes a vow to the Lord or takes an oath inspiring an obligation on himself, he shall not break his pledge; he must carry out all that has crossed his lips."  B'midbar 30:3. Almost all of the laws that Moses has transmitted have been for all people, but this one is directed expressly to the leadership of the community. Some individuals are leaders for a reason and their assumption of that mantle carries with it increased responsibilities and obligations.  

Should the leadership of Penn State be held responsible for their cover up? Of course. Moreover, because of their positions in the university community they are held to an even higher standard, thus increasing the magnitude of their culpability. They have done a disservice to the Penn State community and most of all to the young men whose lives have been forever damaged. It is not easy being a leader, but we do expect our leaders to be forthright, honest, and true to their obligations.

Shabbat Shalom.  


The Value of Face-to-Face Meetings

by Dalia Margalit-Faircloth   



On Friday, June 14th, I climbed into my car at 9am and instead of driving to my office in Toronto, I drove to the office of Hamilton Jewish Social Services in Dundas, Ontario. There's always something thrilling about a road trip, and to arrive to the warm welcome of Executive Director Carol Krames, is the cherry on top of the cake. I have always enjoyed travelling, but when there is "family" at the end of the road, it is so much more pleasurable. Carol and I looked each other up and down, and at the same time said, "Wow, you've lost a lot of weight!"  Then we sat down and talked business.  


Read more here.   



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    


Lisa BudlowA Lesson In Perspective

Comment by Lisa Budlow

As I read the article by Stephen Donshik in last week's eJewish Philanthropy entitled Confronting Issues in Large and Small Jewish Communities, I reflected back on the message in this blog post. Mr. Donshik's article points out that when Jewish communities get together to discuss current issues and strategies, they often find they have more in common than they thought. Challenges are shared among agencies of varying sizes, and innovative thinking can be found at large and small agencies alike. Leaders at small agencies who open up to the thoughts of their large agency colleagues often find solutions that can be adapted well to their work. The same holds true for large agency leaders who learn of innovative ideas taking place in smaller communities and gain insight into what might work on a larger scale. We strengthen each other by building and maintaining community. And we are smarter and better equipped to face our futures when we incorporate perspectives that may not match our own, yet complement them. 

Report on CEO Transitions Just Released
AJFCA and many of our members participated in a survey of CEOs of Jewish organizations conducted last year.  The survey results have been published in Effective CEO Transitioning/Leadership Sustainability in North American Jewish Nonprofit Organizations by Dr. Steven Noble. The report highlights the challenges organizations and their leadership face in effective succession planning and sustainability. Included are ten recommendations that address the underlying reasons for the immediate challenges, as well as suggested solutions.  AJFCA will be continuing to work with Dr. Noble as he does further work in this area.
Getting to Aha! The Nonprofit Marketer's Top Challenge
Poor Messages Hold You Back from the Change You Seek, but Survey Findings Signal Huge Opportunity to Boost Connection and Action
The overwhelmchart-7.20.12ing response to GettingAttention.org's recent Nonprofit Messages Survey highlights how vital it is for an organization's messages to connect quickly and strongly with the people whose help is wanted--and how rare that is today.
The way your nonprofit talks about its work, results and ultimate impact is a core competency critical to your success. Relevance is the heart of memorable, motivating messages--Aha! messages. If your messages are irrelevant (more than 7 of 10 nonprofits describe their messages as off target), your organization will fail to motivate the actions you need to move your mission forward-to give, volunteer, join or advocate.
The great news is that fixing the problem is highly do-able and promises vastly greater success in advancing your mission than you're experiencing now. It's incumbent upon executive directors, board members and marketing and fundraising leaders to lead the charge to make your messages relevant.

The survey findings can be found here.

Nancy E. Schwartz helps nonprofits succeed through effective marketing. Nancy and her team provide marketing planning and implementation services to nonprofit organizations and foundations nationwide. She is the publisher of the Getting Attention e-update and blog. For more nonprofit marketing guidance like this, subscribe to her e-update.
10 Facebook Photo Ideas Your Fans Will Love
10 Facebook Photo Ideas Your Fans Will Love, July 16, 2012, PR Daily, by Kerry Jones
Fear not, this is not another Facebook Timeline cover-photo tutorial. While the cover photo feature is certainly cool and companies are doing very clever things with it, it's important to remember the cover photo just sits on your page. Most people will never return to your page once they "like" it. They most likely interact with your page from their news feeds, and may never even see your beautifully designed Facebook page.
What people do have the chance to see every day are the photos you post on your page. The more people like, share and comment on your photos, the better the chance your photos will appear in the news feed. This will drive more people to like, share and comment on them. In other words, photos matter a lot on Facebook. Start including more photos in your updates, and there's a good chance your engagement will soar. Below are 10 ideas for how pages can and should use photos on Facebook. Don't fret if you're not in the marketing industry. Any business can use these ideas.

1. Post images from blog posts.
2. Add images to announcements. pr daily
3. Show off your office.
4. Highlight your team.
5. Show life outside of work.
6. Create a meme.
7. Post comics.
8. Illustrate survey results.
9. Illustrate statistics.
10. Take screen shots.

Use the ideas above to better engage your audience and stand out in the news feed. Make sure the photos you post have a purpose and relate to your brand and/or industry. Aim to share photos that teach, entertain, inform or give an insider look at your company. Read about ideas for how pages can and should use photos on Facebook in more detail here,
Plan A: How Successful Nonprofits Develop Their Future Leaders
Plan A: How Successful Nonprofits Develop Their Future Leaders, June 25, 2012, The Bridgespan Group, by Kirk Kramer and Preeta Nayak 
While resource constraints are one challenge most nonprofits face, the biggest obstacle to improved leadership development may be the behavior of leaders. Many nonprofit leaders (including nonprofit boards) confront the question of leadership development only when faced with a succession crisis. And by then it may be too late.
A change of thinking is needed to overcome this obstacle. Bridgespan has created Plan A: How Successful Nonprofits Develop Their Future Leaders as a guide to help nonprofits think differently about leadership development.

Plan A treats leadership development not as an ad hoc response to crisis but as a proactive and systematic investment in building a pipeline of leaders within an organization, so that when transitions are necessary, leaders at all levels are ready to answer the call.

Click here to learn of the processes laid out in this guide designed to help nonprofits.
Flu + Youflu you
Each year in the United States, more than 9 out of 10 flu-related deaths and more than 6 out of 10 flu-related hospital stays occur in people aged 65 and older. Older adults are more vulnerable to influenza (commonly called "flu"), a serious infectious disease that can lead to hospitalization, pneumonia, and even death. Influenza immunization is the best way to avoid the flu.
Flu + You seeks to educate and empower older adults and their caregivers about the dangers of flu, the importance of annual vaccinancoa logotion, and available vaccination options. It includes a toolkit and facts to learn more about influenza in older adults and help spread the news to others.

The  also will conduct regional programming for Flu + You in Arizona, Florida, and Pennsylvania to reach older adults and their caregivers. Dates, locations, and details coming soon.
Make the SMARTEST Budget Decision of 2012
Save Money with Online Staff Training from Essential Learning 
Would you like to reduce the cost of training your staff? Over 1,000 organizations in 50 states and Canada have realized significant savings in their training expenses by choosing an Essential Learning e-learning solution. E-Learning Is The Best Return On Your Investment. With an Essential Learning e-learning solution you can:
  • Cut travel expenses by shifting mandatory trainings online
  • Decrease the loss of billable hours and time away from the jobessential learning
  • Reduce the time you spend administrating your training programs
  • Keep your staff credentialed and productive
  • Retain staff and get new employees on the job faster
  • Reduce training costs by up to 70% by blending online training into your current training program 
Click here to read Essential Learning's case study on e-learning training effectiveness. Discover how Essential Learning can help you lower training costs, maintain compliance with training requirements and increase staff productivity. Request a free online tour today! View additional tips for calculating your ROI. For more information email or call 800-729-9198, ext.296.


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.

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.

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.


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.  


Last year, Cocollat jfs logollat Jewish Family Services of Birmingham had 196 volunteers work for 1392 hours helping CJFS to  serve the Birmingham community. CJFS volunteers come from all age ranges, have all sorts of talents and work a little or a lot.

CJFS new Volunteer Coordinator, Debbie Bunch, is available to discuss assembling baskets, making someone smile, serving on a committee, or developing a Mitzvah project.  

Jewish Family Service of Rochester welcomes Wendy Strauss, LMSW, as new Assistant Executive Director. Wendy will be working to enhance the services JFS offers to the Rochester community. She will be injfs rochestervolved with strategic program development as well as supervise the program management staff.


Wendy comes to us from the Jewish Federation of Greater Rochester where she spent 10 years as part of the financial resource development staff working with young adults and donors to the Foundation of the Jewish Federation of Greater Rochester. Prior to that, Wendy worked at Catholic Family Center as the Director of the Employee Assistance and Counseling Services Department.


Maximizing Your Capital Campaign:  Building a Successful Public Profile
In the third part of this three part webinar series, Maximizing Your Capital Campaign, participants will learn how to "go public" with their campaigns along with successfully managing campaigns through their close.  The session will cover:
  • Launching the Public Phasewealth engine
  • Campaign kickoffs
  • Maintaining momentum
  • Reports and analysis
  • Strategies for re-energizing a campaign
  • Celebrating campaign success
  • Completing the cycle: post-campaign wrap-up  
Please note that this session will be beneficial even if you did not attend earlier sessions on Maximizing Your Capital Campaign. Submit questions for the speakers via email to Elizabeth Burkhard.
A replay for Part 1 (Setting the Stage for Success) and Part 2 (Making Your Silent Phase Loud) are available for download.

Maximizing Your Capital Campaign:  Building a Successful Public Profile
Wednesday, July 25th, 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 Spanish) - July 24th, 2:00 pm ET - REGISTER HERE

hhs logo 

Regional Conference Calls

Region 1 (Connecticut, Maine, Massachusetts, New Hampshire, Rhode Island, Vermont) - August 8th, 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.

AJFCA Group Purchasing Program 

Join PurchasingPoint for a webinar that will provide a brief overview of the program, tour of the PurchasingPoint portal, and examples of vendor discounts and sign-up processes. Learn how to start saving money with PurchasingPoint.
purchasing point
AJFCA Group Purchasing Program
Wednesday, August 8th, 2:00pm ET - REGISTER HERE

To get a head start go to http://ajfca.purchasingpoint.org and enter the following invitation code: ajfca620. After registering you will receive a confirmation email containing information about joining the webinar.  

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