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Friday, October 26, 2012
D'Var Torah

Lee I. Sherman

With the U.S. presidential election only twelve days away, there is much discussion about the candidates and their ability to lead. Our country is faced with enormous challenges, both domestic and foreign, and it will take a person of strong character to navigate the issues and emerge with solutions that will improve the lives of all of our citizens. That is an enormous task.  What should we look for in a president to ensure he is the leader we need?

In this week's parashah, Lech Lecha, the Torah introduces us to Avram (Avraham). Actually, he has almost no introduction. We meet Avram when he is already a man, even an "old man" in our current framework. God instructs him to "go forth" from his home and to build a "great nation." After some inspiring and lyrical words, Avram does just that.  And then, we begin to learn a great deal about Avram and the kind of man he really is. Not surprisingly, because Avram is just a man, what we learn is not always flattering. Everything may not cause us to admire Avram, but, we can see the leadership qualities that God recognized were required to father a "great nation."

Avram is a decision-maker. He is passionate about his cause. He has an ability to learn, for he does much to demonstrate he is not perfect. He is able to work well with others and they respect him for his commitment. Avram is willing to take responsibility and perform difficult and sometimes dangerous tasks. Most of all, Abram has faith.  It is not blind faith - Avram at times may question or hesitate. But, for Avram, it is a faith in his family, in his community, and in God that gives him the persistence to lead. That is something we might look for in our presidential candidates as well.

Have a peaceful Shabbat.  
JWI's Domestic Violence Survey
Please take a few minutes of your time to complete Jewish Women International's annual survey of Jewish domestic violence organizations. Each year, the results of this survey play a key role in guiding JWI's work as they develop new resources to address domestic violence in the community. AJFCA also uses this crucial information as we work closely with Members of Congress, their staffs, and other national organizations to advocate for the reauthorization of the Violence Against Women Act (VAWA) and funding for VAWA programs.
On behalf of JWI, AJFCA would greatly appreciate if you could complete this short survey by Friday, November 2nd so JWI can better understand and advocate for programs that serve the Jewish community.

Read more about JWI's domestic violence survey here.
More Americans Delaying Retirement Until Their 80sCNN money
As they struggle to save for retirement, a growing number of middle-class Americans plan to postpone their golden years until they are in their 80's. Nearly one-third, or 30%, now plan to work until they are 80 or older -- up from 25% a year ago, according to a Wells Fargo survey of 1,000 adults with income less than $100,000.
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AJFCA Members:
  Are you noticing that mature worker/senior employment is an issue cropping up in your community? How are you responding? Are there specific resources that you are utilizing? We are doing a quick community scan to see how pressing the issue is, level of interest and how active the system is in engaging and fostering mature worker and senior employment. Please send a quick short description (2-3 sentences or a paragraph) to Shelley Rood.
More Than Half a Million Seniors Helped
In collaboration with our community partners, NCOA significantly improved the health or economic security of more than 500,000 people from July 2011 through June 2012.

NCOA thanks the over 2,000 community partners in the 50 states, DC, and territories that assisted in achieving this social impact.
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Enhancing Economic Security - Discover how NCOA helped more than 357,500 vulnerable and disadvantaged older adults.
Improving Health - Find out how NCOA helped more than 142,500 older adults.

Don't forget to sign up for Making Wise Decisions With Home Equity: New Tools for a New Retirement Reality this Tuesday, October 30th at 3pm ET. Click here for details.
Day One on the Edge of the Human Cliff
Starting October 1st, we all are living on the edge of the human cliff.
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Most people seem unaware of the urgent danger, in part because political spin masters disguise it with detached terms such as "fiscal cliff" and "sequestration."

When Congress passed the Budget Control Act last year, it launched a "sequestration" process mandating massive, across-the-board spending cuts if it failed to reduce the deficit by the end of 2012. Congress has failed to act, so the hatchet will automatically chop $54.6 billion from domestic programs and an equal amount of defense spending on January 2, 2013. Yet the required cuts are based on the full federal fiscal year -- that officially started this month.

What do these cuts mean to you and me? Click here to find out.
24 Days to the GeGA Baltimore 2012neral Assembly
The General Assembly is right around the corner. Stay tuned for breaking news and updates. Don't forget to tell your friends and colleagues to register as well, so that your entire community can benefit from all the GA has to offer. Lee Sherman, AJFCA CEO/President, Shelley Rood, AJFCA Washington Director, and Jennie Gates Beckman, AJFCA Manager of Civic Engagement & Repair the World Programming will be on site.

Email Sandy to let AJFCA know if you're coming. 
Opening Abraham's Tent: The Disability Inclusion Initiative
The Jewish Federations of North America, the Mizrahi Family Charitable Fund, the Jewish Funders Network, and the Jewish Foundation for Group Homes are pleasedjfna logo to announce the creation of a conference dedicated to a discussion of how to build Jewish communities that are more inclusive of individuals with disabilities and their families.

Opening Abraham's Tent: The Disability Inclusion Initiative
Tuesday, November 13th, 6:45pm-10:00pm
Wednesday, November 14th, 7:45am-3:00pm
Baltimore Marriott Inner Harbor at Camden Yards
Baltimore, Maryland 

For more information about this conference, visit http://jfeds.org/inclusionGA or contact David Feinman with JFNA.
Board Member Fundraising
The latest Nonpnonprofit research collaborativerofit Research Collaborative study on board member engagement in fundraising concludes, among other things, that board members serve two primary fundraising functions: helping the organization reach new prospective donors (access) and indicating the organization's value to the community by their own association with the group (signaling).
Click here to learn more about the various methods used by board members to raise funds.
The Three Kinds of Internal Measurement Tools
The key to success is to first determine your communication goals. That, experts agree, should come well before even considering which tool you might use.
This is the first article in a four-part content series on internal email measurement. This series, in partnership with PoliteMail, will offer tips and multiple ways to improve your internal email communications.

Click here to learn about the three options.
What Marketers Need to Know About the New Foursquare Search
Foursquare announced a redesign of their homepage this week with the emphasis on discovery by opening up Foursquare Explore for everyone to discover popular places to go, member or not.
After shifting to more of a decision-based engine earlier this year, they are furthering their position as a leader for local social exploration.
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With more than 25 million users worldwide, Foursquare has established a database of millions of unique insights about local things to do and see. By slowly introducing new product features like tips, to-do's, lists, and most recently likes and local updates with Foursquare Explore, they have built themselves quite the robust engine to serve up point-based recommendations to anyone now.

Read more about the new Foursquare search here.
Merging May Be Best Route to Growth
Back in the '90s, Hilda Polanco, a CPA with a staff of 10, had an out-of-the-box idea. She realized that nonprofits had a real need for a cost-effective way to professionalize accounting and financial management but no one was providing that service. It was the perfect way to differentiate her service from other accounting practices.ventureneer
  • Know your goals and the best way to accomplish them
  • Build relationships before you need them
  • Know what you want from a partnership 
The keys to Polanco's success were those two invaluable tools every entrepreneur must have and use: planning and networking. She clearly defined what she wanted to do, then she laid out what she really needed from a partner and what she could bring to the relationship.
Read the remainder of the article here.
A Leap of . . . Entrepreneurship? Finding a Place for Faith in Social Innovation
In today's world, an average conversation about leaders in entrepreneurship and innovation would likely include references to Mark Zuckerberg's Facebook, Jack Dorsey of Square and Twitter fame; TOMS shoes founder Blake Mycoskie, and any number of other names frequently cited in Wired, Fast Company, The New York Times, and Bloomberg Businessweek.
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This past August, Rebecca McQuigg Rigal, trend analyst attended a forum on faith-based social innovation - co-hosted by Jewish Jumpstart, a research & design lab for Jewish and interreligious innovation & social entrepreneurship, and Community Partners, a secular ideas incubator - at the Center for Healthy Communities in downtown Los Angeles. As it turned out, Rigal was in good company, as she came to find that many of the attendees - most of whom already tread quite deep in this space - had been having a broader conversation about the subject of faith-based social innovation and interfaith collaboration for quite some time. Rigal also realized that there was a lot to learn - not just about how faith-based organizations can inspire innovation but also how interfaith collaborations can surface highly effective entrepreneurial initiatives from which the secular world can draw.

Read the entire article here.
Access New National Council for Community Behavioral Healthcare Video Courses Through The Essential Learning Library
Thanks to Essential Learning's exclusive training partnership with the National Council for Community Behavioral Healthcare, the release of new video courses based on sessions at the 2012 National Council conference are available.
essential learning  
National Council Video Courses Include:
  • Beyond EBPs: Using Science, Culture Change and Collaboration to Improve Outcomes for Children
  • Comorbid Mental and Physical Conditions: Preparing for New Treatment Expectations
  • Disaster Response: Five Key Strategies
  • Does Your Organization Measure Up: Are You Really Trauma-informed?
  • Ending Suicide: How Many Deaths Are Acceptable?
  • Practical Strategies for Engaging Families and Children
  • Promoting Recovery for Adults with Behavioral Health Needs under Criminal Justice Supervision
  • Research-Informed Practices to Treat Children and Strengthen Families  
National Council video courses are just some of the exciting learning opportunities that await you in our library. Schedule a conversation with Essential Learning today, to view video courses.
Taking Control of Your Financial Health:  NYC Roundtable Discussion
Register today for the November 7th free, live roundtable discussion for Jewish women and families affected by a health crisis. Learn how to navigate the complicated world of financial health, includinsharsheretg insurance coverage, social security and disability rights, and financial planning. Live question and answer session following the presentations. A light kosher dinner will be served. This program is made possible with generous support from the Jewish Women's Foundation of New York. To register, click here or call 866-474-2774. 
SafeLink Survey
SafeLink is always looking to improve the service it provides to both their social services agency partners and the clients they serve, but to do this they need your help. Please take a few minutes to take this quick survey. The SafeLink Team will review the responses and use them to make enhancements to the program. safelink
Thank you in advance for taking the time to complete the survey, your input is important to us. If you have any questions please email epatton@amplifypublicaffairs.net
2012 Webinar Series for AJFCA:  Ensuring the Economic
ncoa logoty of Older Adults
The National Council On Aging is hosting a complimentary 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
Tuesday, October 30th, 3:00pm ET

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
Tuesday, December 18th, 3:00pm ET
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.
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.
chronicle philanthropy
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
The Three R's of Communication Planning
Creating a solid multi-channel communication plan is the foundation to ensuring your organization meets your fundraising goals and builds enduring relationships with your supporters.
Learn the three R's of communication planning through:
  • Getting to know your audience and their preferences
  • Developing solid messaging that will earn their response
  • Determining messaging frequency and channel mix
  • Leveraging content across channels
  • Constructing a communications plan that enables fundraising success 
This web event is sponsored by Blackbaud and hosted by The Chronicle of Philanthropy. All content presented during the event is provided by Blackbaud.

The Three R's of Communication Planning: Right Message + Right Person + Right Time
Tuesday, November 6th, 2:00pm ET - REGISTER HERE
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