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Friday, September 7, 2012
D'Var Torah

Lee I. Sherman

Disciplining children is a complex task, seemingly fraught with danger at every turn. Do we really "spoil the child" when we "spare the rod?" Is there a foolproof way to make punishment truly instructional? Can we avoid punishment altogether by explaining potential consequences in advance, so children will make the correct decisions and not engage in the activities that may warrant punishment? And, how do we truly show that the rules we apply come from love and experience and not from anger and unrealistic expectations?

In this week's parashah, Ki Tavo, the Israelites receive a stern lecture replete with numerous examples of the consequences of sinful behavior. There is a long list of curses associated with bad behaviors, reminiscent of the early American preacher Jonathan Edwards. The Israelites are on the precipice of entering the Promised Land, and much of this parashah reads like a parent's lecture before the child goes out on the door on prom night. "You are about to have the best time of your life, but if you veer from the straight and narrow, don't expect to see the light of day until you're thirty!"  

But, does this kind of instruction by accentuating the negative work? The Israelites have spent forty years in the wilderness hearing about the positives of the commandments they receive, yet they constantly stray from the righteous path. This is reality. We can give all the warnings possible, but as humans we undoubtedly will still make mistakes. What we must emphasize, with our children, with our clients, with each other, is that as in the closing words of Ki Tavo, the goal of the instruction is always the same - success. "Therefore observe faithfully all the terms of this covenant, that you may succeed in all that you undertake."  29:8.

Shabbat Shalom.
Becoming a Networked Nonprofitbeth kanter
In Beth Kanter's recent blog post in the Stanford Social Innovation Review, she defines a networked nonprofit as one that leads through active participation, openness, decentralized decision-making and collective action.  The networked nonprofit finds the conversations happening within its network and takes part.
With the launch of our Connections Initiative, AJFCA is seeking to create opportunities for broader and deeper conversations to occur within various segments of our network.  By generating more active participation, and helping to shape the conversation, this initiative will benefit our agencies' clients and the collective Jewish family service sector.  The Connections Initiative has launched with initial conference calls for the CEO Council, Agency Board ajfca logo-resizedPresidents, the AJFCA/Repair Volunteer Initiative, the Addictions Practice Group, the Canadian Agency Group and the Legislative Affairs Task Force.  Upcoming calls include the Domestic Violence Practice Group, Fund Development Professionals and second conference calls for some of the groups listed above.  We will be expanding our initiative with additional groups and some webinars before the end of 2012.  Please visit our calendar for a listing of all calls.
Ms. Kanter's goal is that all nonprofits connect more fluidly with their own networks.  Her blog post goes on to introduce her forthcoming book, which aims to help nonprofits figure out what incremental steps they need to take to get to the next level of networked nonprofit practice. It is designed to help them understand and measure the nature of the change process as they move through it. To read more, click here
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.
Help Seniors Become Savvy Savers
For many vulnerancoa logoble older adults, the path to economic security begins with basic money management. Learning how to budget, avoid scams, and apply for benefits can help them stay secure and independent. The Savvy Saving Seniors toolkits -developed by the National Council on Aging (NCOA) with support from the Bank of America Charitable Foundation -- provide everything needed to conduct free financial education workshops for older adults. The toolkits include presentations, handouts, marketing materials, and more. Anyone interested can download the toolkits for free or order a printed copy for a small fee. Order the toolkits here
Tips for Writing frogloopAn Awesome Social Media And Communications Guide
The American Red Cross recently updated their Social Media and Online Communications Guide for their staff and it's packed with some great tips that any organization can adapt. Check out some of their great suggestions below. 
Be a Good Social and Mobile Citizen
BE ACCURATE:  "Your network depends on you to tell the truth. Have fun, but make sure any news you report has been verified. If you're retweeting, sharing, or otherwise linking to someone else's content, give him/her credit," said the Red Cross.  
BE RELEVANT:  "Post content that invites responses - then stay engaged. Find others who have shared interests, cite them and ask them questions," said the Red Cross.  
BE CONSIDERATE:  "Encourage healthy debate but don't inflame others," said the Red Cross.
BE TRANSPARENT:  "If you make a mistake, admit it. Be upfront and be quick with your correction," said the Red Cross.
BE HUMAN:  "The social web is like a dinner party. Be yourself, but with good manners," said the Red Cross.
Balancing Your Professional and Personal Life
As social media becomes increasingly part of our daily lives professionally and personally, it can be a challenge to navigate these new waters. Check out the chart blogger Allison Fine created that discusses the Old Professional (pre social media) and the New Professional (in the age of social media).
It's a Brain Thing
Tell little stories all over the place. The human mind laps that stuff up.
We're in a Golden Age for donor communications, thanks to advances in psychology and neuroscience. Many debates are over. We've never had more information to base our ideas, offers, and words on.

We now know for sure why a bunch of hoary direct mail triggers, like flattery and fear, actually work so reliably. Those emotional triggers have now been laboratory tested. We've watched the brain act in real time through MRIs. We know that flattery produces dopamine and a sense of trust for the flatterer. We know that fear tickles the amygdala, the earliest evolutionary brain bud.

We now know for sure that sad images definitely out-raise happy images, in a head to head comparison of response. That was figured out in the psychology lab. So those people who preach, "We don't want to go negative with our donors...."? They are simply wrong. Science says so.

And here's Tom's favorite thing that science says: a taste for narrative is baked into the human brain. Again, dopamine. We take pleasure in stories. Great pleasure. Stories feel good in our brains.

Everything should tell a story: every picture, every caption, every offer, every headline, every deck, every pull quote, every testimonial and, of course, every article (but don't depend on them: very few people ever read past the first or second paragraph of an article, unless it's absolutely fascinating and professionally written).
Essential Learning to Serve as the Approved Exclusive Online Training Partner for COA
Essential Learning and the Council on Accreditation Partner to Help Human Service Agencies Prepare for a Successful Accreditation Process
Essential Learning, the leading provider of e-learning solutions to the behavioral health and human service industries, and theessential learning Council on Accreditation (COA), an international accrediting body of community-based social and behavioral healthcare services, have formed a partnership to develop a series of online courses designed to assist organizations throughout the accreditation process.
As a result of the partnership:
  • Essential Learning will develop a series of self-paced, online courses which will be made available through COA  
  • COA will review and approve Essential Learning's existing crosswalk of their online content to COA's accreditation standards  
  • Essential Learning will serve as the approved exclusive online training partner for COA 
Combined, these initiatives will help meet COA's aim to provide superior training and support tools to accredited, in-process and prospective organizations.
In the coming weeks Essential Learning will be announcing more information about the partnership, including release dates of COA courses.
Learn more about the hundreds of courses Essential Learning already offers. Our ever expanding library contains thousands of hours of accredited courses that include compliance, clinical and workforce development topics.
Nonprofits and Data Summit:  Measurable Results
Useful data helps noNTENnprofits make good decisions about where to focus efforts, how to allocate resources and can also help secure funding. Part of practically every staff position in a nonprofit requires managing data these days - NTEN will show you how you can improve your efficiency and get to the data that helps you do your job better.
When: Thursday, September 13th, 9:00 am - 3:00 pm Eastern Time
Where: 40 Edwin Land Boulevard, Cambridge, MA 02142
Cost: Free! (A light lunch will be provided.)

The full agenda is available online. You should check it out - and then join NTEN on September 13th for a one-day workshop. Oh, and please feel free to forward this message to your friends. This event is free for them, too.
A Gift for Little New Yorkers (and other little Americans too)
Do you like reading books with your kids or grandkids? What about Jewish books? What about free Jewish books?

Kveller.com, MyJewishLearning.com's sister site, is now offering free PJ Library subscriptions to families in the New York Metro area.

What you'll get:
  • A free Jewish children's book or CD every month
  • Kveller's semi-weekly e-newsletter full of insights from the smartest, savviest parents around
  • Kveller's forthcoming weekly New York e-newsletter featuring local events and activities for you and your kids 
Eligibility: Families with one or more child between the ages of 6 months through 8 years are eligible to sign up.
Cost: Nothing. It's a gift!

To sign up for PJ Libramyjewishlearning.comry through Kveller.com, click here.
For those of you who don't live in New York: Check out the PJ partners in Chicago, Philadelphia, San Francisco, Atlanta, Seattle, and Dallas. For a list of all PJ communities, click here.
Young Adult Engagement
Many of us in the Jewish world - single and married, younger and older - are tasked with creating "Jewish engagement" opportunities every day. Some of us even have the actual word in our professional titles; for others, it's implied. But the one thing everyone agrees on is that no one knows what "engagement" really means.

Read Getting Engaged: Part I and Getting Engaged: Part II-Courting Engagement to delve into why the Jewish community has so deeply embraced the term "engagement," particularly those who work with NextGen. Perhaps there may be something deeply resonant about the choice of this word to describe Jewish connection.

Continue to explore the world of volunteerism with AJFCA's monthly Volunteer newsletter filled with articles about volunteer trends, breaking news and resources.
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
2013 AJFCA Annual Conference "Call for Workshop Proposals"2013 AJFCA AC logo
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.
featured agency
jfcs san francisco
was recently profiled by Stanford University. On August 27th Stanford Social Innovation Review published, "Elderly Care and the Future of Social Innovation."
A case study in innovation: Jewish Family and Children Services
Curtis Chang, founder and CEO of Consulting Within Reach (CWR) recently spent some time with JFCS San Francisco. JFCS is the oldest public charity west of the Mississippi and serves the elderly from the entire community, not just the Jewish one. In the 1980s, it began to struggle financially. Amid this fiscal crisis, Anita Friedman took over as the executive director and vowed to reinvent the agency's business model or go out of business trying. Over the next twenty years, she radically reshaped JFCS into a thriving $30 million organization that enters the new era of fiscal scarcity far stronger than typical social services agencies.

Her reinvention included several components, but one particular idea was especially worthy of contemplation: the adoption of universal versus targeted services.

Universal versus targeted services
Perhaps the most radical move JFCS made was to shed the typical nonprofit model of providing services targeted for low-income seniors. Instead, it aimed to help all seniors, including those with significant financial resources. The financially able group generated JFCS's core financial base, and today, 65 percent of the organization's revenue comes from earned income. This financial strength allows JFCS to forego aggressive fundraising to cover core operating costs and instead to focus on raised funds to subsidize low-income clients.

Read Elderly Care and the Future of Social Innovation to learn more about successful new models for senior care.

A Washington coalition has deemed Raquel Woodard an "Angel,'' but a Framingham family sees her in slightly different terms. "We always think of her as our fairy godmother,'' said Gail Gregory. "But angel works, too.''
The Gregorys' daughter is one of about 1,000 children Woodard has helped place with adoptive families, both in her years working in California and the 20 she has spent with the Framingham-based Jewish Family Service of MetroWest's Adoption Choices, a nonprofit, non-sectarian agency that serves families statewide.
jfs metrowest, ma
"Raquel is a tireless supporter of everyone participating in an adoption - child, birth parents, adoptive parents,'' Gregory said. Which is exactly what Woodard's colleague, Dale Eldridge, coordinator of adoptive parent services at Adoption Choices, said in her letter nominating Woodard for the Congressional Coalition on Adoption Institute's "Angels in Adoption Award for 2012,'' an annual recognition of those "who have demonstrated a commitment to improving the lives of children in need of a permanent, loving home.''

"It is her absolutely unfailing commitment to children,'' for more than 45 years as a clinical social worker in the field, that is "truly unparalleled,'' said Eldridge, who has worked with Woodard for 20 years at the JFS site. Eldridge's nomination was sent to the Massachusetts delegation on Capitol Hill and sponsored by Sen. Scott Brown.
"Raquel's selection as an Angel in Adoption is a well-deserved honor and recognition of her invaluable service to our community,'' Brown said in a statement this week. "Her dedication to the field of adoption and advocacy for children and families has changed many lives for the better.''

But Woodard's work as coordinator of services to birth parents and children at Adoption Choices is unique. She was at the forefront of adding educational components, support groups and workshops for parents to the adoption process. "That was her baby,'' said Eldridge. She's "a longtime unsung hero in the adoption field, as well as being an adoptive mom herself,'' said Marc Jacobs, chief executive officer of JFS.

Read more about Raquel Woodard in the Metrowest Daily News.
Jewish Social Service Agency's Employment and Career Services department has worked to forge new relationships with prospective employers and created numerous, growth oriented employment opportunities for JSSA's developmentally disabled clients. JSSA's supported employment services, which include vocational training, work adjustment training, job development, career coaching and social engagement are custom tailored to individuals with an emphasis on the dignity of occupations and enhancing the client's sense of self-worth and self-sustainability. Despite JSSA's best efforts, unfortunately, stereotypical thinking and assumptions, combined with lack of exposure to people with developmental disabilities, is often as big a hurdle as the disability itself. While JSSA has had great success working with employers they feel that developing programs that will allow themJSSA logo to help remove these stereotypes and assumptions, programs that "introduce" their clients to the prospective employer will help their success rate improve dramatically. 
To support one such initiative, JSSA has received funding for the purchase of equipment needed to start the agency's new iPAD Interview Program. Equipment will be used to bring the faces and abilities of individuals with disabilities to life with the help of high definition digitally recorded interview presentations which can then be presented to the prospective employer thus removing the mystery of the disability. With this program, JSSA can greatly improve prospective employers' knowledge and then acceptance of their clients. To learn more about JSSA's Supported Employment Services click here.

Jewish Family Service of Colorado will honor Elaine and Max Appel, and Betsy Mordecai Heyman and Gareth Heyman at its 17th annual benefit film screening, Reel Hope, on December 10. Reel Hope supports all programs of JFS, incljfs coloradouding mental health counseling, senior and adult in-home care, disability and employment services, and family safety net services. Community members are invited to pay tribute to the Appels as they receive the 2012 Jack Shapiro Community Service Award, and the Heymans who will accept the 2012 Kal Zeff Business Leader of the Year Award.
For more information and to purchase tickets visit www.jewishfamilyservice.org/ReelHope or contact Lisa Mehl at 720.248.4633. 
Jewish Family Service of Tidewater has been nominated for Hampton Roads Magazine's "Giving Back Awards." These awards aim to recognize the often unrecognized groups living among us who address the many needs of the community. The winners - as determined by reader votes - will be revealed in the magazine's November/December 2012 issue.
The first voting round began September 3 and runs through Friday, September 7th at 3:00pm. The 50 non-profit organizations receiving the greatest number of votes will advance to the next round!  Each of the five finalists will be featured with editorial profiles in the November/December 2012 issue of Hampton Roads Magazine, with their rankings revealed and the non-profit of the year receiving top billing. Click here to vote for JFS!
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  
Customer Insight Summit
Unprecedented access to development tools and platforms has enabled B2B marketers to improve their performance by focusing on customer feedback. Analyzing marketing strategy results against Revenue Performance brighttalkManagement (RPM) can help companies successfully optimize follow up campaigns. What are the most effective ways to anaylze qualitative and quantitative customer data? What are the bests ways to respond? Attend this summit to discover best practices in social CRM, email, mobile marketing, SEO and web 2.0 approaches, all with examples on how to best utilize customer insight.
Revenue Performance Management and Email - a Powerful Duo
Social CRM: How to use it to Connect, Engage and Increase you Sales
The ROI of Buyer Personas
Delivering a Loyal Experience
What Best-In-Class Marketers Do to Improve Revenue Performance
Thursday, September 13th - REGISTER HERE

One can attend any or all of the 45-minute webinars at this summit at no cost, submit real-time questions to presenters and vote in audience polls during the live online event. Webinars can be viewed afterward on demand.
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 


Strategies to Improve Consumer Economic Outcomes
Join the NCOA and the National Foundation for Credit Counseling (NFCC) for an informative webinar about tools and strategies to improve consumer economic outcomes.

Older adults with limited resources are facing increasingly daunting and complex financial challenges. While they grapple for assistance, many community organizations find themselves stretched to help clients with hard to solve financial problems, such as threats of foreclosure or eviction, high credit card debt, leveraging home equity, and a pervasive and growing sense of economic insecurity.

NCOA and the NFCC are hosting a webinar to share concrete tools and strategies for providers to use, like BenefitsCheckUp, to help these older adults.
In this interactive webinar, you'll:

  • Learn more about the issues facing older Americans and what you can do to help them access benefits and services to help increase their economic security.
  • Hear firsthand from leaders in the field of aging and consumer credit counseling assisting with debt management, leveraging home equity, foreclosure mitigation, and property tax/insurance mitigation.
Strategies to Improve Consumer Economic Outcomes
Friday, September 21st, 2:00pm ET - REGISTER HERE
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