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Friday, October 12, 2012
walking kids
D'Var Torah

Lee I. Sherman

In the past week, my morning walks have become increasingly a "walk in the dark," (not to mention quite a bit cooler). As I have been moving through the darkness, waiting to glimpse the first signs of light by the time I return home, I have had the opportunity to think about the opening verses of Torah from this week's parashah, B'reishit. From when we were children, we have seen the opening Hdvar 10.12.12ebrew words translated as "In the beginning, God ...."  In some more recent translations, the opening verse is recorded as "When God began to create heaven and earth."
This second translation, whether or not more accurate, certainly gives a different feel to the text. Instead of a clear demarcation between nothingness and the creation of the world, there is a sense of time that suggests an ongoing process. As my recent morning walks have allowed me to observe the gradual emergence of light from the dark, this image of creation as a process makes more sense.  And, when in verse three, God creates light and day emerges from the night, we know from our daily experience that this was not a sudden total illumination like turning on a lamp in a dark room, but rather a gradual dawning of the day.

When we are trying to grasp a new concept, find a solution to an existing problem, or help our clients gain some new understanding, it would be nice to think that this could happen with the proverbial light bulb going on.  But, realistically we know that it is much more like the story of creation - a gradual emergence of light from the dark. The light will come, we just need to keep moving forward for it to be fully realized.

Shabbat Shalom.
AJFCA Welcomes Sandra Rosenbaum, Administrative/Database AsSandra Rosenbaumsistant
AJFCA is pleased to announce our newest staff member, Sandra Rosenbaum, who started this week as our Administrative/Database Assistant. Sandy comes to AJFCA with two decades of solid executive assistant service, including high level work for Northern Trust in Chicago and Merrill Lynch in New York. She will manage AJFCA's data, records, invoicing and correspondence and promises excellent service to all our members.

Please join us in welcoming Sandra to the AJFCA family. 
2012 Webinar Series for AJFCA:  Ensuring the Economic Security of Older Adults
The National Council On Aging is hosting a three part webinar series exclusively for AJFCA member agencies focused on ensuring the economic security of older adults. Please email Megan for additional details including registration information.

Making Wise Decisions With Home Equity: New Tools for a New Retirement Reality
Americans are facing increasing financial challenges due to job insecurity during their working years and cutbacks in pension coverage, retiree health benefits, and public programs that help mitigate uncertainties in later life. With limited financial options, many seniors are turning to home equity as a source of extra cash in retirement. But without a financial game plan to manage this asset, older homeowners may be putting their family finances at further risk.

Understand the challenges older adults face in deciding how and when to tap home equity and discover new tools and resources that can help them make informed decisions about this valuable asset. This information is especially valuable for low- to middle-income seniors, who have traditionally been underserved by financial advisors and are often victims of predatory lending and financial abuse.
Speaker: Barbara Stucki, Ph.D., Vice President of Home Equity Initiatives, National Council on Aging

Making Wise Decisions With Home Equity: New Tools for a New Retirement Reality
Tuesday, October 30th, 3:00pm ET

Benefits Access for Older Adults: Helping Clients Find Programs to Boost Their Economic Security  
One in three older Americans is economically insecure-lacking the resources needed to meet basic food, housing, and medical needs.

For these vulnerable older adults, who may have few opportunities to increase their earnings, public and private benefits can be a critical tool to help them free up limited income. Yet millions of seniors who qualify for this help are not enrolled in programs that can help them pay for food, prescriptions, medical care, and household utilities.

Learn about these benefits and how can we increase knowledge and access to them in this webinar.
Speaker: Brandy Bauer, Communications Manager, Economic Security, National Council on Aging

Benefits Access for Older Adults: Helping Clients Find Programs to Boost Their Economic Security 
Tuesday, November 13th, 3:00pm ET

Savvy Saving Seniors - A Toolkit for Money Management from NCOA
NCOA created the Savvy Saving Seniors toolkit which provides practical, easy-to-use ways to build for good money management skills so that the 13 million older adults who live on less than $22,000 can achieve greater economic security. Learn about the key components of the toolkit that professionals can use to educate seniors on (budgeting, avoiding scams and applying for benefit programs) critical skills they need to stay secure and independent in their communities. Discover additional resources included in NCOA's Economic Security Initiative that will benefit professionals.
Speaker: Ramsey Alwin, Senior Director, Economic Security, National Council on Aging

Savvy Saving Seniors - A Toolkit for Money Management from NCOA
Tuesday, December 18th, 3:00pm ET
People with Medicare Save More Than $4.1 Billion on Prescription Drugs
Nearly 5.4 million seniors and people with disabilities have saved more than $4.1 billion on prescription drugs as a result of the Affordable Care Act, Health and Human Services (HHS) Secretary Kathleen Sebelius announced. Seniors in the Medicare prescription drug coverage gap known as the "donut hole" have saved an average of $768. During the first seven months of 2012, the new health care law has helped nearly 18 million people with original Medicare get at least one preventive service at no cost to them.
hhs logo
The health care law includes benefits to make Medicare prescription drug coverage more affordable. In 2010, anyone with Medicare who hit the prescription drug donut hole received a $250 rebate. In 2011, people with Medicare who hit the donut hole began receiving a 50 percent discount on covered brand-name drugs and a discount on generic drugs. These discounts and Medicare coverage gradually increase until 2020 when the donut hole is fully closed.

For state-by-state information on savings in the donut hole, please visit: http://www.cms.gov/apps/files/donut-hole-data-chart.pdf. For state-by-state information on utilization of free preventive services, please visit: http://www.cms.gov/apps/files/preventive-data-chart-first-seven-months-2012.pdf.
Inclusion and Access: Good Intentions, Bad Habits
A month or so ago, there was great discussion around the web about inclusion relating to an incident at Camp Ramah Canada. Nechama Cohen, founder of Makom Lekulam - A Place For All closely followed the fiejp full logorestorm, mostly in order to try and understand the way the different writers use the terms "inclusion" and "access."
As an initiator and developer of an educational program for schools in Israel, Nechama tried to teach using language that promotes an accessible society. In that language, "access" means:
  1. Viewing the world through the eyes of the other.
  2. Seeing each person as an entirety - to see past the disability, limitation or impairment, and relate to the person in front of you with all their abilities and achievements as well. 
Click here to read how Nechama learned how easy it is to forget what inclusion and access really mean.
Now, More Than Ever, Collaboration Matters
In an increasingly complex and interconnected world, solving social problems is beyond the reach of any single sector or actor. Our most complex challenges are best addressed through collaborative approaches, involving public, private and nonprofit sectors bringing together diverse knowledge, strategy and connections to turn vision into social change.
ejewish philanthropy
New technologies, new leaders and new money are changing the language and methods of philanthropy and nonprofits. This new energy and innovation are driving philanthropists to think big and invest in people and startups with similar passions and theories of change. Meanwhile, the changing roles of the public and private sectors, together with nonprofits and individual citizens' commitment to social innovation, increasingly require collaboration among diverse networks of nonprofits, foundations, businesses, social entrepreneurs and governments.
Collaborations have the potential to reach a wider range of ideas, leverage more resources, and find innovative solutions.

Yet, collaboration is not easy. Click here to read the entire article and learn more.
Medicare ncoa logoOpen Enrollment Tips for Counselors
Medicare open enrollment is just around the corner (Oct. 15th -Dec. 7th). Whether you're a person with Medicare, a caregiver, or professional helping clients to review their coverage options, NCOA has some helpful tips for you to keep in mind this season.
Tips for Counselors
  1. Remind your clients that change can be a good thing. Many clients are reluctant to switch plans, believing that if their current plan covers all of their medications, it must be good. However, a little research can equal huge savings. Such was the case with Ralph, a 75-year-old Virginian with limited income who had drug coverage through a former employer that cost him more than $300 each month. Ralph's counselor helped him to switch prescription plans and enroll in LIS, which ended up saving him $230 each month.
    Tell clients that small savings can add up, and therefore it is important that they review their coverage options annually.
  2. Use the opportunity to think holistically. If you encounter clients that are struggling to pay the costs of their health care, chances are they may also have trouble paying for food, rent, utilities, and more. Make clients aware of the range of programs that may be available to help them out. Find out who in your community can help with benefits program applications, and have referral information readily available.  You don't have to do this alone. You can also encourage clients who are comfortable with the internet to use BenefitsCheckUp to conduct a free, confidential screening.
  3. Take advantage of NCOA's resources. NCOA updates our counselor resources regularly. Some that may be particularly useful for open enrollment include: 
All of NCOA's materials are for public use, so you're welcome to copy and paste them to use with your staff, volunteers, and clients. Need a resource in a different format? Write to NCOA, and they'll be happy to send it to you.
New Flexibility in Capital Grants, But Only For a Limited Time
The Harry and Jeanette Weinberg Foundation is temporarily broadening its geographic focus for capital grants. Normally, funding nationally (beyond the Foundation's "hometowns") is restricted to grants for older adults and workforce development. Effective immediately through February  28, 2013, the Weinberg Foundation will consider capital grants throughout the United States in any of their program areas, subject to the Foundation's other grantmaking criteria. To facilitate requests fromweinberg foundation quality organizations, The Weinberg Foundation is streamlining its usual grantmaking process. The Foundation seeks to identify capital projects with:
  • Specific plans already confirmed for the project including value engineered drawings or the equivalent and including specific, confirmed, total project costs
  • At least 50% of the funds already pledged and collected (a detailed, certified list demonstrating this information will be required as part of the grant application) 
  • Projects that are "shovel ready" or well underway
  • Projects that provide services that match the grantmaking criteria outlined by the Foundation for each program area  
Again, the Weinberg Foundation will only support quality organizations that meet its priorities and follow its capital grant requirements. If you believe that you have a project which merits consideration, please contact the appropriate program director for the respective program area involved. The program director will follow-up on next steps if the request for a full proposal is approved. Please keep in mind that Weinberg Foundation support is limited to a 30% maximum of any project but there is no limit on the size of the project.
To learn more about the Weinberg Foundation's temporary broadening of geographic focus for capital grants, please click here.
Nominate board sourceYour Exceptional Board Members
BoardSource and Points of Light have launched the Board Member of the Month Award, which will honor outstanding individuals for their commitment to advancing the public good through exceptional nonprofit board leadership.
Nominees will be evaluated on:
  • their record of excellence in board leadership
  • their strong commitment to their organization
  • the positive impact their actions have had on the advancement of their organization's mission 
Award winners will:
  • receive a complimentary registration to the Points of Light National Conference on Volunteering and Service, the world's largest gathering of volunteer and service leaders from the nonprofit, corporate, and government sectors
  • receive a complimentary registration to the BoardSource Leadership Forum, the only national conference that brings together hundreds of nonprofit leaders and experts to focus on the impact of nonprofit boards and the unique role they play in advancing the public good
  • gain access to hundreds of resources on nonprofit governance and a network of more than 24,000 nonprofit leaders through a complimentary year of individual membership in BoardSource
  • become candidates for the Board Member of the Year Award, which will be presented at a jointly hosted signature event, beginning in 2013
  • be publicly recognized for their exceptional service on the Points of Light and BoardSource Web sites, in each organization's newsletters, and through various media channels 
An Introduction to WealthEngine
Identifying and cultivating the right donors and prospects is the key to driving your organization forward. But finding your top donors with significant wealth, disposable income and an inclination to give to your organization can be a challenge.
wealth engine
Whether you have a small donor database or millions of donor and prospect records, WealthEngine can screen and segment your data so you can focus on efficiency and affective communication to the right donors and prospects. For 19 years, WealthEngine has been helping nonprofit organizations of all spectrums increase their fundraising goals. More than 2,000 clients ranging in size and representing healthcare, higher education, advocacy, and other industries use WealthEngine for their prospect research and screening needs.

An Introduction to WealthEngine
Tuesday, October 16th, 2:00pm ET
To register for this webinar please email Megan by Friday, October 12th.

Justin and Cari Levy recently established the Dorinda Levy Thanksgiving Fund at Jewish Family Service of Colorado, in memory of Justin's mother, to ensure that people who might otherwise not be able to celebrate the holiday can have everything they need for a complete Thanksgiving meal. This fund will allow JFS to provide Thanksgiving food to more of its clients during this holiday.
jfs colorado
JFS is seeking additional contributions to the Dorinda Levy Thanksgiving Fund as well as donations of frozen turkeys, disposable aluminum foil roasting pans, canned yams or sweet potatoes, instant mashed potatoes, stuffing, canned pumpkin pie mix, evaporated milk, canned cranberry sauce or jelly, canned beans, turkey gravy mix, fresh apples, canned fruit, and grocery store gift certificates.

Monetary contributions can be made online at www.jewishfamilyservice.org/donate. Choose "The Dorinda Levy Thanksgiving Fund" from the drop-down menu. Food donations can be dropped off at Jewish Family Service, 3201 South Tamarac Drive, Denver, CO 80231, by Wednesday, November 14th.
With more than half a century experience in the field of childhood mental health, Jewish Child & Family Services of Chicago's Virginia Frank Child Development Center is perfectly poised to "develop the exjcfs chicagopertise of more teaching professionals who do the extraordinary work of serving the emotional and developmental needs of the children who need them," said Associate Director Kathy Ham. VFCDC will add 18 new Head Start consulting locations to its roster, thanks in large part to a newly awarded contract with Easter Seals.
Click here to read the full story.
After spending several days visiting the Jewish Child Care Association's Bukharian Teen Lounge and interviewing many of its staff and residents, Jewish Week writer Steve Lipman wrote this terrific article on the program.
"For Bukharian Teens, Shelter From The Storm," in the October 10th edition of The Jewish Week, discusses how Bukharian Jewish youth struggle with acculturation issues and the ways in which the Teen Lounge offers them a place to socialize with peers and receive counseling and support. Many of them talk of how the Lounge "saved" them from a life of drugs and other at-risk behavior, and encouraged them to finish high school and go to college.

Please read this wonderful article here.
Idealware, an AJFCA partner organization is offering member agencies a discount on two toolkits. Just in time for your year-end fundraising appeal, The Email Fundraiser's Toolkit gives you the opportunity to work through your own email campaign from start to finish. And for organizations already using Facebook, Twitter or other social networks, The Advanced Social Media Decision Maker's Toolkit, which starts October 17th, will introduce you to your next steps, including measuring your social media impact, defining your organization's brand and creating a social media policy. Email Megan for the AJFCA discount code.
The Email Fundraiser's Toolkit - $175 for AJFCA member agencies

October 10th - November 7th, 11:30am-1:00pm ET - REGISTER HERE
Email campaigns are a fundraising tool within the reach of even the smallest organizations. An effective way to communicate with donors and raise money without much expense, they're an opportunity to provide reasons and reminders for constituents to give. This five-week series of classes will walk nonprofits through the soup-to-nuts process of creating such campaigns, just in time for year-end appeals.
The Advanced Social Media Decision Maker's Toolkit - $175 for AJFCA member agencies
October 17th-November 14th, 2:00pm-3:30pm ET - REGISTER HERE
Step beyond social media basics with this 5-session course. We'll delve into advanced social media strategy and discuss how to use your social media for branding, deeper engagement, and integrated campaigns while exploring how to measure your social media impact and creating a social media policy. Offered in partnership with Third Sector New England. 
B2B Marketing Series: Search, Social, Mobile
On the days October 16th, 17th and 18th, top thought leaders from various B2B circles will share their insights on the Search, Social and Mobile industries. Engage with this online summit to learn the golden rules and best tools available to achieve success in growing brand awareness, generating leads and boosting ROI.
Engagement: How to Build it Using Search, Social and Mobile
Global PPC Campaigns: Challenges and Opportunities in a B2B Tech Environment
Social and Mobile - Engagement Marketing Not a Reach Replacement
Mobile Revenue Performance Management
How to Create a Mobile App for your Business
October 16th-18th - REGISTER HERE
You 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. If you are unable to attend the webinars live, you can view them afterward on demand.
Save While You Train
Wouldn't you like to reduce staff training costs and meet training requirements? In this co-hosted webinar you'll discover easy, low-cost options to manage behavioral health staff training requirements.You'll learn about Elevate™, the organizational Learning Management System (LMS) from Essential Learning, the National Council's exclusive eLearning partner.
essential learning  
You'll see how, with Elevate™, you can:
  • Access a library of 800+ online courses on clinical, recovery, and compliance topics
  • Manage, track and assign organization-wide training - online, live and external - with ease
  • Support national and state training requirements, including OSHA, HIPAA, Joint Commission, COA, CARF, URAC, NCQA and EAGLE
  • Expand training opportunities - provide staff with access to hundreds of accredited CE courses and workforce development training 
Discover how other behavioral health organizations have leveraged Elevate™ to cut staff training time and costs, and reduced the time spent on managing training programs and reporting requirements.
National Council members receive discounts on Essential Learning services. For more information or questions, please contact us Essential Learning at 800-729-9198 ext 266.

Save While You Train: The New Way to Manage Staff Training and Compliance
Wednesday, October 17th, 2:00pm ET - REGISTER HERE
Financing and Sustaining Behavioral Health Interventions

Join the Subncoa logostance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration, Administration on Aging, and NCOA for a webinar on opportunities to support older adult behavioral health programs in the Affordable Care Act, Older Americans Act, Medicaid, and more.

Financing and Sustaining Behavioral Health Interventions

Wednesday, October 17th, 2:30pm ET - REGISTER HERE

Winning the Story Wars
Are you looking for a better way to tell your organization's story? Tired of watching your cause drown in the flood of marketing messages that surround us? Ready to get people to listen to what you have to say and - even better - become evangelists for your cause?
In this webinar you will learn:
  • What the story wars are and why you need to join the fray!
  • The 5 deadly sins of marketing and how to avoid them
  • 3 steps for engaging in "empowerment marketing," including identifying your organizational values, telling the truth and being interesting
  • How to create your own Story Strategy Map 
Winning the Story Wars
Thursday, October 18th, 2:00pm ET - REGISTER HERE
Save More Money for your Jewish Family & Children's Services Agency  
You ar501c for newslettere invited to attend a webinar on how to Save More Money for your Jewish Family & Children's Services Agency. This webinar is designed for CEOs, Executive Directors, HR Directors, and CFOs in AJFCA's network.

At this webinar you will 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 AJFCA member agencies reimburse, safely and securely, with services to reduce your costs. 
Save MORE Money for your Jewish Family & Children's Services Agency
Thursday, October 18th, 3:00pm ET or Wednesday, October 24th, 1:00pm ET
Please contact Heidi Posada, 800-442-4867 x142 with questions.
Better Nonprofit Storytelling
Learn about better nonprofit storytelling with the Nonprofit Marketing Guide. Here are the three kinds of stories you'll learn how to tell if you participate: nonprofit marketing guide
  1. The Challenge Plot - The challenge plot is your basic, three-act structure that practically every Hollywood movie is based on. These are your classic underdog, against-all-odds stories. One common mistake nonprofits use when telling Challenge stories is making themselves the hero. These stories work best when the main character is a client, volunteer, donor or someone else involved in or affected by your work, but not the nonprofit itself. 
  2. The Creativity Plot - Creativity stories create those big "Aha!" moments and tell those "what if we ... " stories that work out in the end, even though the idea may seem a little too crazy or bold at the start. For a good creativity plot, you need a well-understood problem and a standard response that just doesn't work. Again, use the people around you - clients, volunteers, donors - to explain the problem and inadequate solution. Then introduce the new approach that your nonprofit or someone affiliated with your nonprofit is trying.
  3. The Connection Plot - Of the three different story plots, this one is the hardest to pull off. If you don't get it right, your story will sound sappy or manipulative. But like the others, if you can identify the different parts and find the right way to string them together, you'll have a very powerful story. These stories usually have a little surprise or epiphany in them that really drives the point home. It's a nice little story, but the meaning doesn't become really profound until you add in those last few surprising details or revelations. 
Wednesday, October 24th, 1:00pm ET - REGISTER HERE
Community Wellness Curricula: NIH's We Can! and Bodyworks
Learn about the National Institutes of Health's wellness curricula We Can! and Bohhs logodyWorks, and how communities are using these curricula to encourage healthy lifestyles. 
As trusted community leaders, faith-based and neighborhood organizations are key partners in solving the problems that lead to childhood obesity and addressing related issues of hunger. Please visit www.letsmove.gov/communities for more information on Let's Move Faith and Communities.

Community Wellness Curricula: NIH's We Can! and Bodyworks
Wednesday, October 24th, 2:00pm ET - REGISTER HERE
Forcing Change: 6 Ways to Drive Innovation and Deliver Results
Technology has disrupted the way nonprofits operate - how they communicate, engage with donors and measure impact. While most organizations recognize the importance of embracing new ideas and evolving their approach, their internal culture often discourages real change and promotes thinking that avoids risk.
chronicle philanthropy
Learn how to systematically transform your nonprofit's culture so you can embrace new concepts, foster true innovation and tackle the latest and greatest organizational challenges from the inside out.

This exciting webinar is sponsored by CDS Global and hosted by The Chronicle of Philanthropy.

Forcing Change: 6 Ways to Drive Innovation and Deliver Results
Thursday, November 1st, 2:00pm ET - REGISTER HERE
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