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Friday, November 9, 2012
D'Var Torah

Lee I. Sherman

My mother died over thirty-six years ago, but hardly a day goes by when I don't think about her in some way. It might be what I see of her in my children or how much she would have loved seeing them grow. Or sometimes, it is how I know she would have made a face at the person in the line at the grocery store who is making a preposterous comment. And often, it is about what she would have thought about the way in which I am conducting my life and those things which appear important to me.

Each week's parashah has a title found in the first significant words of the portion's opening line. This week's parashah is  Hayyei Sarah, the life of Sarah, although, perhaps ironically, it begins with the death and burial of the first matriarch. And yet, as we proceed to read through the chapters that describe Abraham's determination to find a wife for Isaac, Rebekah becoming Isaac's wife, and ultimately the death of Abraham, the presence of Sarah is apparent. We know that Sarah was protective of her son Isaac. To protect his right to inherit his father's legacy and to ensure the survival of the new Jewish nation, Sarah insisted that Abraham send Hagar and Ishmael into the wilderness. Later, Sarah's intense love for Isaac is demonstrated when she learns that Abraham has brought Isaac to the brink of sacrifice (which perhaps she believed was successful) and dies from her shock and grief. Sarah's dedication to Isaac, and thus to the Jewish people, is reflected in her son, as we learn later in the parashah.

After Abraham's servant identifies Rebekah and brings her to Isaac, the couple meets and "Isaac then brought her into the tent of his mother Sarah, and he took Rebekah as his wife." 24:67. For the first time in Torah, the relationship between a man and woman is described as one of love, for "Isaac loved her, and thus found comfort after his mother's death." Isaac had been taught well by his mother that love is the essential ingredient in a relationship and the foundation for the growth of this family into a great nation.

Many of us have lost one or both of our parents. Clients come to us in grief over such a loss. The "Life of Sarah" is a model to us that our parents' legacy is what lives on in each of us as we incorporate their love and passion into the relationships we have with those we love and the way in which we conduct ourselves each day.

Have a loving and peaceful Shabbat.
Update on Hurricane Sandy Recovery Efforts
Many AJFCA member agencies continue to be effected by the devastation of Hurricane Sandy.  Some office locations are still closed, although all of our agencies have been able to function at a high level by using remote locations and satellite offices. Caring for critical client needs has become the major work of these agencies and they are to be congratulated for their efforts in ensuring the safety and well-being of their clients, many of whom are elderly or disabled. AJFCA has worked with the Emergency Committee of JFNA to provide relief funding for immediate needs to our member communities in New Jersey, New York, and Connecticut. Food, clothing, housing assistance, and direct financial aid have been provided by our Jewish family services with the help of these funds. In the article below, you will read how the Claims Conference has granted additional funding for the support of Holocaust survivors in the affected areas. The needs are continuing and long-term and AJFCA will continue to work with its national partners to assist our agencies that are on the front lines of this life-saving work.

For an update on some of the relief efforts, read this report from Jewish Voluntary Organizations Active in Disaster (JVOAD), of which AJFCA is a participating member.

Additionally, please find frequently asked questions regarding open enrollment issues related to Hurricane Sandy here.
The appalling devastation and misery wrought by Hurricane Sandy has left a deep imprint in the region that is home to half of the Holocaust survivors in the United States. Holocaust survivors in New York City, as well as New Jersey and Connecticut, live in some areas which were hardest hit claims conferenceby the storm. Many have witnessed their homes being destroyed or damaged by the punishing winds and flooding and have been evacuated to shelters. Countless other survivors may be or may have been without power, heat and water which, in some neighborhoods, has still not been restored. This has resulted in a particularly dire situation, as elderly, vulnerable survivors often live alone. Continue reading here
NCOA Webinar Series:  Ensuring the Economic Security of Oldencoa logor Adults
The first webinar in this three part series, Making Wise Decisions With Home Equity: New Tools for a New Retirement Reality was originally scheduled for Tuesday, October 30th. This webinar is now rescheduled, due to Hurricane Sandy, for Tuesday, November 27th at 3:00pm ET. Benefits Access for Older Adults: Helping Clients Find Programs to Boost Their Economic Security will be held on Tuesday, November 13th at 3:00pm ET. See below for registration and more detailed information on all three webinars
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Domeajfca logo-resizedstic Violence Professionals Webinar  
Join Deborah Rosenbloom and Miri Cypers from Jewish Women International (JWI) and Shelley Rood, AJFCA's Washington Director for aJWIn AJFCA hosted conference call designed for our domestic violence professionals on Wednesday, November 28th at 3:00pm ET. Click here to register. Call in details will be emailed to you as we near the call date. If you'd like to join the AJFCA's Domestic Violence Professionals Member Forum please email Sandy.
The Business of Social Work: Marketing as a Second Language
We often hear that one of the most valuable parts of being a member of AJFCA is the opportunity for professionals to exchange information and ideas with one another. To further those opportunities, AJFCA is pleased to launch the AJFCA Marketing/Communications Practice Group. The goal of the group is to enable AJFCA member agencies' marketing and communications professionals to forge deeper connections with one another, share resources, exchange program information and learn about advances in the field.
Please join us for our first Marketing/Communications Practice Group webinar.  We will have some time on the call to discuss future calls and work we can do together.

The Business of Social Work:  Marketing as a Second Language
Social work meets business in this webinar designed to help you look at how to translate social service terms into marketing language and tactics to melt away resistance and engage every member of your staff and board in supporting marketing and development initiatives. There's nothing more powerful than every member of an organization delivering the same message and embracing each contact with community as an opportunity to spread that message to create a more powerful presence and reach.

Presenter:  Deanna Shoss, Director of Marketing, JCFS Chicago
The Business of Social Work: Marketing as a Second Language
Thursday, November 29th, 3:00pm ET
If you are interested in participating in this webinar please email Megan by Monday, November 26th.
The Alumni Advisory Board Model: Empowering the "Next Generation" Now
Thiejewish philanthropys article provides several key insights in engaging younger Jews on your agency's board. Although presented in the context of an alumni program - it is easily translated to the context of a social service agency. Naamah Paley, a Bronfman Fellowships alumna stated, "just as young Jews need to better understand the value of governance and participation on boards, most established boards need to better understand the value of young voices".
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Does your board include any members under the age of 40? Are you working on initiatives to foster young leadership for a more sustainable future? If you think you have a great model of young adult engagement in your agency - please contact Jennie Gates Beckman, AJFCA's Manager of Civic Engagement & Repair the World Programming, who is conducting an inventory of young adult engagement in our network.

Engaging the Jewish Community:  What We Can Learn from the 2012 Election
So the US elections are finally over. Whether the candidate you were supporting won or not - I think we can all find a little relief in knowing that eventually (although not quite yet), general conversation as well as chatter on social media will not be entirely focused on American politics. Continue reading . . .

Jennie Gates Beckman
AJFCA Manager of Civic Engagement & Repair the World Programming
The Right Words Do Make a Difference in Your Proposal
An often overlooked mistake that nonprofit staff make is the effective use of Impact Words. When used effectively, these words can convey to the grantmaker that the organization is experienced and competent.

Upon completing a grant proposal, review it, or better yet, have someone who has not been involved with the proposal review it and weed out the weak and ambiguous words. Replace them with Impact Words that clearly demonstrate your organization's strengths and expertise. In the end, words do make a difference. Click here to read the entire article.
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Examples of Impact Words include:
  • Execute
  • Demonstrate
  • Experienced
  • Provides evidence 
  • Comprehensive 
Six Tips for Negotiating a Nonprofit Compensation Package
One of the biggest-and sometimes most intimidating-challenges people at all levels face in their careers is negotiating a compensation package. It can be particularly difficult for senior nonprofit executives. Most executives only go through this process a couple of times in their careers. By following a few simple guidelines, the process can be quick, stress free, and result in a package that will satisfy both parties. 
ajfca logo-resized As a member of the AJFCA network you have the annual compensation survey as a complimentary tool for use in negotiating a compensation package. The survey report is located in AJFCA's Resource Library, housed in the For Our Members portion on the AJFCA website. Stay tuned for AJFCA's 2012 compensation survey, which will be sent via email in the next few weeks. Feel free to contact Megan with questions. Learn more about The Bridgespan Group's simple guidelines here.
Predictive Program Evaluation: Don't React, Predict
Any type of program evaluation tends to be reactive: something went right, so we keep on doing it, or something went wrong, so we try to fix it. Reacting is better than not acting at all, but relying solely on the after-the-fact "what happened?" -- often gathered ad-hoc in spreadsheets and anecdotal stories -- fails to take into account the hidden patterns that lie within the data as well as the dynamic factors that accompany reality.
By leveraging all of our available data and analyzing it, we can move from reaction to prediction, uncovering program inhibitors and drivers to predict how our programs will perform and what to do now to make them better. We call this predictive program evaluation, which is fueled by predictive analytics. Learn how to truly understand the power of a predictive program evaluation solution here.

Seeds of Resiliency  

We are pleased to announce that filmaker Susan Polis Schutz will donate a portion of the proceeds from NYC screenings of her film, "Seeds of Resiliency" to seeds of resiliencyAJFCA, in support of our work in the area of Holocaust survivor services.       

Polis Schutz produced and directed this inspiring one-hour documentary that will have its New York premiere at 7:30pm at the Quad Cinema, 34 West 13th Street on Friday, Nov. 23, 2012. Tickets for all screenings are $5.00.  Learn more here or contact Pamela Wadler at 212-966-0024.

JWI's Domestic Violence Survey JWI
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.
Baltimore GeGA Baltimore 2012neral Assembly
The General Assembly is here. Lee Sherman, AJFCA CEO/President, Shelley Rood, AJFCA Washington Director, Lisa Budlow, Director of Programs, 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. AJFCA will provide you with a list of those attending within our network.
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.
NCOA2012 Webinar Series for AJFCA:  Ensuring the Economic Security of Older Adults
The National Council On Aging is hosting a complimentary webinar series exclusively for AJFCA member agencies focused on ensuring the economic security of older adults. Please email Megan foncoa logor additional details including registration information. 
Benefits Access for Older Adults:
Helping Clients Find Programs to Boost Their Economic Security
Tuesday, November 13th, 3:00pm ET

Making Wise Decisions With Home Equity: New Tools for a New Retirement Reality
Tuesday, November 27th, 3:00pm ET
(Previously scheduled for October 30th. Rescheduled due to Hurricane Sandy.)

Savvy Saving Seniors - A Toolkit for Money Management from NCOA
Tuesday, December 18th, 3:00pm ET
Secrets of Successful Fundraising for Small Nonprofits
When you work in a small nonprofit, you wear many hats. If the burden of fundraising falls on your shoulders alone, it can be difficult to juggle the many activities required to raise money for your mission. Join WealthEngine to hear about how to leverage your time and talent to focus on donor-based fwealth engineundraising and get the most return for your efforts. Learn what you need to focus on and what needs to be let go. You'll walk away with a sense of how to manage your resources to get the results you want.
Secrets of Successful Fundraising for Small Nonprofits
Tuesday, November 13th - 1:00pm ET - REGISTER HERE
How to Increase Leads and Awareness with Webinar and Video
Webinars and videos are increasingly being used to address key issues for B2B marketers. Can a content marketing strategy that is relevant across all levels of the funnel be created in a suitable time frame? How can it be encouraged for viewers to share the content with their community? Learn how rich media is changing the content marketing landscape and how these top marketers are executing strategies to prove ROI.
5 Demand Generation Strategies Using Webinars
B2B Video: How to Drive Audiences, Engagement & Insight
The Five Things You Must Know About Webinar Audio
Video Marketing Strategies, Tactics, Tips and Case Studies in Social Media
Presentations Online: How to Get More from Your Webinars
Marketing With Video for B2B

Tuesday, November 13th - REGISTER HERE
Events Going Mobile:  How to Keep Up with Technology that is Changing the Event Industry
Digital expectacrowd compasstions at events are changing. Attendees are going mobile and planners are shifting their priorities to meet this new demand. If you're curious about how mobile apps and tools will affect your events now and in the future, then this webinar is for you.
You'll learn the strategies and tactics you need to develop and promote a mobile app for your next event. This webinar will help event organizers:
  • Understand top 10 ways that mobile devices will improve the event experience in the future
  • Market an event app properly so a high number of attendees download and rely on the app
  • Educate co-workers and supervisors about the importance of going mobile
  • Leverage the biggest secret to keeping up with technology 
Events Going Mobile:  How to Keep Up with Technology that is Changing the Event Industry
Wednesday, November 14th, 2:00pm ET - REGISTER HERE
24 Ways to Get Awesome Results for Your Nonprofit Facebook Page
This webinar is presented by John Haydon the author of Facebook Marketing for Dummies.
Nonprofits, large and small, are using Facebook to engage with supporters, launch fundraising campaigns, enhance donor relationships, and spread awareness about their causes. And this all starts with your organization's Facebook Page. Many inadvertencharityhowtotly select the wrong page type,the wrong page category, and miss basic, but fundamental, settings that can adversely impact your nonprofit's results on Facebook.
24 Ways to Get Awesome Results for Your Nonprofit Facebook Page
Thursday, November 15th, 11:00am ET - REGISTER HERE
Let's Move Faith and Communities 
Join this Let's Move Faith and Communities webinar to learn about the role of faith and community organizations as catalysts for health and wellness, and hear from faith leaders as they share hhs logohow they have successfully established programs for healthy living in their communities.
If you have any questions, please email partnerships@hhs.gov or call 202-358-3595.  

Make Your Community a Source of Health and Wellness
Thursday, November 29th, 2:00pm ET - REGISTER HERE
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