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Friday, August 31, 2012
D'Var Torah

Lee I. Sherman

Our society is terrific at promulgating laws and regulations. We have local ordinances, state and federal law, and a slew of administrative regulations at every level. Sometimes, we are better at passing new laws than we are at doing away with those that are outdated and maybe, even, a bit on the absurd side.  Did you know that here in Baltimore it is illegal to mistreat oysters? (And not just if you are keeping kashrut). It is also illegal to take a lion to the movies, although this may be more a statement about the good taste of lions than anything else. Every jurisdiction has some such silliness, as well as legislative history that would now be considered ill-conceived or discriminatory.

This week's parashah, Ki Tetzei, lists more than seventy mitzvot, the most in any parashah in the Torah.  There are more than a few of these mitzvot that may appear harsh or distasteful to our modern sensibilities. Others are simply impenetrable to our 21st century eyes. But most, when taken in context and read for the broader meaning they suggest, clearly demonstrate the values upon which any valid legal system is based. One of the loveliest of the mitzvot in Ki Tetzei states:  "When a man has taken a bride, he shall not go out with the army or be assigned to it for any purpose; he shall be exempt one year for the sake of his household, to give happiness to the woman he has married."  24:5. Could there be a deeper understanding of what it takes to build a solid foundation for a successful relationship? Despite the demands of the rest of the world (using military service as the example), it is paramount for a new couple to spend their first year together to ensure a life together.

Spending the time to build the foundation of a strong relationship is relevant for all of our interpersonal relationships, whether it is family, friends, or professional colleagues. We lead busy lives with many distractions, being pulled in multiple directions at once. Sometimes we need to step back from the daily tumult and focus on the most significant of those relationships. This Shabbat, follow the teaching of Ki Tetzei and take some time to build the foundation for your special relationship.

Shabbat Shalom.  

Why Use Volunteers? I Can Do it Faster/Better Myself!    

by Jennie Gates Beckman         

jennie gates beckman

I have a confession to make. If I had my way, I would do everything myself. That's the only way I can ensure it gets done correctly, right?  By the time I explain the task at hand to someone else, I really could have already done it myself. And then it would be perfect . . . because that's how I do things - the right way! Whether it's running a report from the database, brainstorming a new project to engage younger volunteers, or just putting away the dishes at home, these thoughts regularly run through my head - even though I have been working to empower volunteers in the community professionally for 6 years now. Sound familiar? 

Read the entire blog entry 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  

Jewish Community Services of Baltimore, MD  

Jewish Family Service of Dallas, TX  

Repair the World     

2013 AJFCA Annual Conference "Call for Workshop Proposals"
Conference Theme:  "If Not Now, When?"
Conference Dates:  May 19 - 21, 2013
Location:  Arizona Biltmore Resort & Spa in Phoenix, AZ
Proposal Deadline:  October 6, 2012
Notification of Acceptance:  by December 31, 2012

The AJFCA Annual Conference is a networking and training opportunity for professional and lay leaders from AJFCA member agencies throughout North America. Attendees include CEOs; Senior Management Professionals; Board Presidents and Presidents-elect; and Volunteer Board Leaders. We encourage proposals that are interactive; results-oriented; focus on success stories and lessons learned; and/or provide strategies that show attendees how to strive for excellence in their agencies.

Presenters may put forward more than one proposal and each must be submitted separately. Presentations may not include material designed solely to promote a business product. The conference program committee consists of five task forces: Agency Operations; Leadership and Governance; Fund Development and Marketing; CEO Programming; and Agency Programming/Clinical Services. Each task force will consider those proposals received that fit within their domain.

Please email Ann Zeller, Director of Meetings and Conferences for Proposal Guidelines/Proposal Application.
Why It's Better for the Nonprofit When Consultants Work Together
Nonprofit organizations often engage more than one consultant at the same time and when this is the case, there can be an added value to their working with each other instead of separately. It is not only a matter of coordinating their effoejewish philanthropyrts to work within the framework of the organization's objectives, but rather to enable them to share their understanding of the challenges facing the agency. When consultants are encouraged to establish a strong collegial relationship it benefits them individually and strengthens their efforts on behalf of the organization.
Read the entire article to learn about the benefits of nonprofit consultants working together.
The KIDS COUNT Infographic Challenge
Find your story in the Data Center. Create an awesome infographic. Win cool stuff.

The KIDS COUNT Infographic Challenge is an online crowd-sourced competition for young people and adults to use KIDS COUNT data to illustrate the story of America's children.
kids challenge
The Challenge is simple: tap into the powerful combination of art and data to educate, inform and engage. Great data and a fresh perspective can change how we think and inspire us to find new solutions to problems we face.
To enter:
  1. Visit the KIDS COUNT Data Center and find data that speaks to you.
  2. Design an infographic or visual image using that data. (Need help? Check out visual.ly.)
  3. Upload it to the Challenge platform and activate your social networks to get your friends to vote for your entry when the voting period opens. 
Show your creative sparks and win!
Friend-to-Friend Fundraising Works- So Why Aren't You Doing It?
Andrea Berry, Idealware's Director of Development is a pretty passionate advocate of nonprofits trying Friend-to-Friend or Social Fundraising techniques for their organizations. Having come out of the health fundraising world, she's seen the power of having supporters fundraising on your behalf. Mobilizing an army of passionate advocates for your organization can tap into thousands of dollars in unseen funds and link your organization to hundreds--if not thousands--of new supporters. So why does this technique seem to be the domain of heath organizations alone?   
  • Is it the fear of the work of putting on a massive event like a Walk-a-thon or Dance-off?  
  • Is it lack of confidence in your supporters?  
  • Is it lack of knowledge about how to motivate your supporters?  
Idealware used to offer a seminar on "Getting Started with Distributed Fundraising," but no one ever took the class. Thinking it was due to a terrible name, they changed the title and tried again. Enter "Turning Your Supporters Into Fundraisers," but still no takers. Feeling very strongly that nonprofits should know about this approach, Idealware decided to offer the session for free, and it had the lowest registration rate for any of the 11 free seminars they've offered in 2011.
So what is going on? Why don't you care? Because honestly, you should. This method works. 

Click here for answers to the bold questions above.
Claims Conference Announces 2013-2014 Kagan Fellowships
The Saul Kagan Claims Conference Fellowship for Advanced Shoah Studies aims to strengthen Shoah studies and Holocaust memory throughout the world. Their mission is to support the advanced study of the fate of Jews who were systematically targeted for destruction or persecution by the Nazis and their allies between 1933 and 1945.  Studies can include the immediate historical context in which the Holocaust took place and encompass political, economic, legal, religious and socio-cultural aspects, as well as ethical and moral implications. The Fellowship also supports awardees in learning languages of Eastern Europe and the former Soviet Union, and other geographical locations, which are necessary for the study of Holocaust related documents. Post doctoral candidates focusing on topics related to contemporary anti-semitism will also be considered and are encouraged to apply.
claims conference
Fellowships are awarded to outstanding candidates who have a strong personal commitment to Shoah memory, who have demonstrated excellence in academic achievement, and who possess the potential to provide outstanding professional leadership that will shape the future of Holocaust awareness and scholarship.
As part of the program, Kagan Fellows are invited to attend an all-expenses paid five-day summer workshop at the U.S. Holocaust Memorial Museum in Washington, D.C.  Fellows will have the opportunity to present portions of their research to and network with leaders in the field of Holocaust studies as well as peers.

For application information, please visit fellowships.claimscon.org or email Chavie.Brumer.
Cvent's Mobile App Marketing Playbook
It's time to go mobile. The conference mobile app revolution is here, spanning nearly all demographics and markets, and becoming an expectation for the coveted next generation conference participant. Is your organization taking advantage of this technology? It may be time to give your mobile app playbook a closer look.
Download this free eBook, "Mobile App Marketing Playbook: A Guide to Increasing Mobile Event App Adoption," to get a handle on the latest strategies for driving mobile app adoption. When planned and marketed well, you can expect to see more than 80% of attendees download and use your mobile app!
A few of the topics covered:
  • What Attendees Expect in a Conference App
  • Foundational Steps for Success (Spoiler alert: Adoption Drives Monetization) 
  • A Mobile App Roll-Out & Marketing Plan
  • Tactics for Changing Behaviors from Print to Digital
  • 10 Smart Moves: Your Adoption Acceleration Toolbox 
This eBook also includes a Timeline & Checklist to help you launch your first conference mobile app and deliver a valuable, memorable experience to your attendees.
Paint Your Community Teal and Pink this Fall
Partner with Sharsheret during National Ovarian Cancer Awareness Month in September and National Breast Cancer Awareness Month in October and raise awareness in your Jewish community!  Here are three easy ways you can join the fight against ovarian cancer and breast cancer and help educate your community about the increased risk for cancer in Jewish families and Sharsheret's free national programs and services:
  • Host a Teal Shabbat or Pink Shabbat
  • Coordinate The maniCURE for Sharsheret  
  • Plan a fun exercise or athletic event  sharsheret
These events are easy to plan and a great way for your organization to engage community members. For more information and to get started, e-mail Director of Community Engagement Rebecca Schwartz
AJFCA Connections Initiative
We often hear that one of the most valuable parts of our annual conferences is the opportunity for attendees to exchange information and ideas with one another. To further those opportunities, AJFCA is pleased to launch the AJFCA Connections Initiative. The goal of the initiative is to enable AJFCA member agencies to forge deeper connections with one another. We have always had some of these opportunities throughout the year, but now we will broaden this initiative by hosting conference calls and webinars connecting agency executives, board presidents, and key staff members. Some calls will be focused only on networking and others will have a specific topic or issue area, or a guest speaker. Some of the calls are already scheduled (CEO Council, Agency Board Presidents, Addictions Professionals) and others will be announced soon. Please visit AJFCA's calendar for upcoming call dates and times, which will also be featured in the weekly e-newsletter.
AJFCA Domestic Violence Group Being Formed
AJFCA is in the process of forming a Domestic Violence Group similar to the newly launched Addictions Group. A Domestic Violence Professionals Forum will be created so that group members can communicate. The addition of this group will enable professionals to discuss their current initiatives, ask questions of their colleagues and begin to form a vision of the collective work that can be done on a national level.

If you are a professional working with domestic violence and are interested in networking with other member agency professionals please email Megan your name and contact information. Megan will add you to the Domestic Violence Professionals Forum and send you login instructions.

A conference call date has been set for Thursday, September 13th at 2:00pm ET. Please email Megan to RSVP and for call details.
Holocaust Study Launched in Collaboration with Alpert Jewish Family & Children's Service
Alpert Jewish Family & Children's Service in West Palm Beach and Group Project for Holocaust Survivors and their Children in New York City have launched a new study for children and grandchildren of Holocaust survivors.  Dr. Yalel Danieli, co-Founder and Director of the Group Project for Holocaust Survivors and their Children in New York City, has devealpert jfcsloped a new comprehensive questionnaire that can help to better understand how families have been affected by the Holocaust. Children and grandchildren of survivors who are at least 18-years old are invited to participate in this important study by completing the questionnaire.
Click here for more information and to participate in this ground breaking study. Alpert Jewish Family & Children's Service in West Palm Beach supports this study and has received funds through the Claims Conference and the Anti-Defamation League, as the fiscal agent for this important research.
New Partnership Offers AJFCA Member Agencies the Opportunity to Generate Revenue While Serving their Community
AJFCA is pleased tsafelinko announce that we have launched a partnership with SafeLink Wireless. SafeLink Wireless is a government supported program that provides a free cell phone and free airtime minutes each month to qualifying individuals. It costs absolutely nothing, requires no contracts or credit checks and offers modern day calling features such as voicemail, call waiting, text messaging, free 411, free 911, caller ID and more at no additional cost. Eligible individuals must be enrolled in a Federal assistance program such as TANF or food stamps, or have a household income below 135% of the federal poverty level (varies by state).
SafeLink Wireless is excited about the opportunity to work with AJFCA's member agencies. A benefit of the partnership for agencies is that any successful enrollments will be eligible for a commission payment. Learn more about the partnership between AJFCA and SafeLink Wireless and how your agency and community can benefit on Wednesday, September 12th at 2:00pm ET for a complimentary webinar, "An Introduction to SafeLink."

An Introduction to SafeLink
Wednesday, September 12th, 2:00pm ET
To register for this webinar please email Megan by Friday, September 7th.
The Last Seder
Abigail Rose Solomon, JBFCS Board Member is offering group tickets  and post-show talk backs/lobby reception for the Off-Broadway Premiere of The Last Seder by Jennifer Maisel, directed by Jessica Bauman.

Spend the holidays with the Price family. They're dysfunctional- just like yours. The Last Seder is a funny and moving play about the joys and heartbreak of family. Four sisters return home for the final Passover Seder in their childhood home, before their mother puts their father in a nursing home. the last seder
The Last Seder - $16.00
November 29th - December 23rd,Thursdays - Saturdays, 8:00pm, Sundays, 3:00pm
Theater Three, 311 West 43rd Street (between 8th & 9th Avenues)

Click here for more information. Contact Abigail Solomon at 310-422-1636 for questions or to book groups.

Going to the doctor is usually never an enjoyable experience one looks forward to.  As one grows older, one learns to fear the diagnosis or the health advice one doesn't  want to hear. Many times, however, it can be a worry just trying to remember or understand all the information the doctor imparts - in complex medical terms - and being able to follow those instructions.  Samost Jewish Family & Children's Service of Southern NJ is now offering a remedy to this very dilemma:  Patient Partners.
The Patient Partners program will pair trained volunteers with senior citizens to accompany the patient to his / her doctor appointments. The volunteer will be trained to record, relay and share the information of the visits with the patient and the patient's family, if needed.  The advocate will help decipher the medical jargon, and act as a support person to the patient.

"This program is a necessity. Many patients are lost without the advocate, and lost within all the doctor terminology. It helps them to have a supportive person by their side, to relieve the burden. The patients who use Patient Partners are more confident and empowered," says Suzi Abrams, RN, program coordinator for Patient Partners at Samost JFCS.  "When there are treatments, medications, appointments, therapy, surgeries all possibly being discussed simultaneously, it can be simply overwhelming - especially for seniors," says Abrams. 
samost jfcs
Since the program's inception, patients who have used Patient Partners are finding better outcomes from their appointments, with an increased commitment to treatment plans and medication regimens, and a much-improved understanding of their health matters. "Having a liaison available to the patient can make all the difference," says Abrams.  

The program was conceived in Ann Arbor, Michigan, and Samost JFCS is one of the first agencies in the area to launch it in the Northeast. The Patient Partners program is now accepting and training volunteer advocates to accompany patients to medical appointments. Training covers common health issues, medical terminology, honing listening and communication skills with medical personnel, and confidentiality and ethics.
On August 10th, Jewish Child Care Association's Compass Project, a program for high school, college-aged students, and young adults with special needs, celebrated their accomplishments at an Intern Appreciation and Recognition Reception. The Compass Project placed 35 interns in a wide range of employment situations throughout Long Island and Queens. Internships varied from working at a print shop and assisting groomers and vets to working with kidjccas at a children's museum. The room was bursting with the tremendous joy and pride felt by the interns, their partners in business, and parents. Compass youth spoke of how this internship program has given them direction, new skills, and an opportunity to explore fields they are passionate about. 
Regional Stakeholder Engagement Teleconference with CMS on Health Insurance Marketplace & Expanded Insurance Options
The Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) invite you to a regional teleconference with CMS staff to:
  • Update you on the latest information regarding implementation of the Health Insurance Marketplace (Exchanges), part of the Affordable Care Act.
  • Start discussing strategies to educate the uninsured, under-insured, and small businesses about expanded insurance coverage options.  cms
Registration is required. Phone lines are limited. See the teleconference schedule for call details and registration information. If you are unavailable on the date for your region, you may attend any of the other regional sessions. Please forward this invitation to any partners and stakeholders who may want to participate.
CMS values the work you do to ensure that every American is aware of and enrolled in health insurance. For more information on the Affordable Care Act and the Health Insurance Marketplace, visit  www.healthcare.gov/exchanges or www.cms.gov/Outreach-and-Education/Outreach/HIMarketplace.
Save MORE Money For Your Nonprofit 

Executive Directors, HR Directors, and CFOs are invited to join 501(c) Agencies Trust for a webinar. Learn:  

  • Why nonprofit employers are paying more for their unemployment taxes--and what it costs you.
  • Understanding the legal option for nonprofits to leave the unemployment tax system and just reimburse the state for claims.                 
  • How your nonprofit can potentially save thousands of dollars annually with this reimbursing option.       
  • Learn about the advantages and disadvantages and whether it's right for your nonprofit. (Best for nonprofits with over $1 million in payroll.)    
  • How 501(c) Agencies Trust helps nonprofits reimburse, safely and securely, with services to reduce your costs.  

Please contact Geri Lesko at 800-442-4867 x132 with questions.

501c for newsletter 

Save More Money For Your Nonprofit 

Wednesday, September 5th, 2:00-2:30pm ET - REGISTER HERE 


Interactive Webinars on the Health Care Law
The Health & Human Services Partnership Center continues to host a series of interactive webinars discussing the benehhs logofits and provisions of the health care law, the Affordable Care Act.


All webinars are open to the public and include a question and answer session where you can ask HHS staff any question you may have about the health care law. Please submit questions you would like to have answered on the webinar to ACA101@hhs.gov. To participate in one of the webinars, please select your preferred dates from the list below and submit the necessary information.
National Webinars
The Health Care Law 101 (in English)
Thursday, September 13th, 12:30pm ET - REGISTER HERE

The Health Care Law 101 (in Spanish)
Tuesday, September 25th, 2:00pm ET - REGISTER HERE

Reaching and Engaging Older Adults in Behavioral Health
Leaders from research and community organizations will present promising approaches to reach and engage older adults in prevention and early intervention for depression, and alcohol and medication misuse. Presenters will discuss successful strategies to engage different racial and ethnic minority elders, immigrants, LGBT seniors, men and women. Participants will learn how to enlist consumers as partners in program outreach and peer education. 

The purpose of this webinar is:
  • To enhance the attendees' understanding of substance abuse and mental health issues affecting older adults.
  • To share knowledge about evidence-based programs and associated implementation strategies targeting older adults at risk for substance abuse and mental health problems and EBP implementation strategies. 
This webinar is a pncoa logoart of a Older Americans Behavioral Health Technical Assistance Center webinar series that provides a special opportunity to learn about critical behavioral health conditions and problems affecting older adults, including alcohol and prescription medication misuse and abuse, suicide, depression, and anxiety as well as evidence-based prevention and treatment programs to address these problems.
Reaching and Engaging Older Adults in Behavioral Health

Wednesday, September 19th, 2:30pm ET - REGISTER HERE

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