AJFCA Newsletter
In This Issue
D'Var Torah
Protecting the Vulnerable
Behavioral Health IT
Charitable-Deduction Debate
2012 Nonprofit Marketing Communications
Thanking Donors
Board Matching
Community Partnership Award
2013 GAI
Let's Stick a Pin in That
Jennie Gates Beckman
Manager of Repair the World Programming & Civic Engagement
A phrase which means "let's save that idea/topic for another time," sticking a "pin" in things has taken on a whole new meaning with the social media platform Pinterest. Now the third largest social media site after Facebook and Twitter, users can "pin" photos and videos to their virtual bulletin boards as a way of sharing with other users... or to simply catalog ideas, products, recipes or quotes for their own use, both now and later. Word on the street is that nonprofits can use it to better engage volunteers and donors. Continue reading here.
Jewish Pittsburgh Responds to Newtown Shootings
jfcs pittsburgh
Jewish Family & Children's Service of Pittsburgh's Squirrel Hill Psychological Services was featured in a recent article in the local Jewish Chronicle, sharing advice for parents and adults in speaking to children about traumatic events. Continue reading here.
JFS Receives Two Community Impact Grants
JFS Washtenaw County
Jewish Family Services of Washtenaw County has been awarded two Community Impact Grants from the Greater Ann Arbor Jewish Federation.

*    "Generations Skype" will provide funding to arrange Skype sessions between local older adults and their long-distance family members. 
*    The Jewish Bereavement Group was created by Donna Shewach, PhD. She invited JFS to collaborate with Rabbi Sara Adler, a chaplain with the U of M Health System, to create a Jewish-centered bereavement support group to be sure that both clinical and spiritual needs are being met.      

More details about both programs will be forthcoming in early 2013.
JFS Bereavement Support Group Begins
jfs colorado
Rafael Spiritual Healing Services, a program of the Counseling Center and Jewish Community Chaplaincy of Jewish Family Service of Colorado, is offering a weekly bereavement group for people who have experienced the loss of a loved one. This unique eight-session group not only supports people through the process of grieving, but also fosters connections with self, faith, and community by integrating Jewish traditions and rituals. For more information or to register, contact Arleen Gershen at 720.248.4598.
Calls & Webinars
Visit  AJFCA's Calendar to learn more about free calls and webinars. For more information login to For Our Members on the AJFCA website, followed by Webinars. Contact Megan at 410-843-7327 with questions.

Healthcare Law 101
Jan., 10th, 2pm ET

7 Marketing Habits of Today's Highly Successful SMBs
Jan., 10th, 6am ET

Use Agile Marketing to Save Your Sanity in 2013
Jan., 10th, 10am ET

How to Optimize Your Social Channels for Lead Generation

Jan.,10th, 2pm ET

Behavioral Health IT: Implications for Community Providers
Jan., 15th, 1pm ET

Transform Your Food Pantry into a Source of Health and Wellness
Jan., 31st, 2pm ET
Stay updated on AJFCA offerings, agency news & current trends . . .
Join Our Mailing List

January 4, 2013 
About AJFCA | News
Find a Service Near You
Members | Jewish Connection
Annual Conference | Job Postings
walking kids
D'Var Torah
Lee I. Sherman


I am often intrigued by the minor characters in a play or novel; the ones who appear for a brief scene, but who play a pivotal role - well beyond the words with which they are described. If the author is really paying attention to his or her craft, then the story would not be the same without the appearance of these minor characters.

Two such characters appear in the early passages of this week's parashah, Sh'mot. As the book of Exodus opens, the descendants of Jacob and Joseph have multiplied in Egypt as the generations have passed, and now apparently present a threat to the presiding Pharaoh. We are introduced to Shifrah and Puah, Hebrew midwives, who are instructed by Pharaoh to kill all of the male children as they are born to Hebrew mothers. Shifrah and Puah then engage in a remarkable act of civil disobedience. "Fearing God" and acting in a righteous manner, the two women allow the Hebrew male children to live. When Pharaoh learns of their disobedience, he summons them and they explain that the Hebrew women being so "vigorous," they give birth before the midwives can get to them. I'm not sure anyone, including Pharaoh, would believe this excuse, but because they had followed God rather than act immorally, God rewarded Shifrah and Puah with vibrant households.

Somehow, these two women who make such a brief appearance in the Torah knew what was morally right and had the courage to act upon their convictions. Perhaps minor characters, but no small feat. If not for their action of refusing to follow Pharaoh's command, the course of history and the survival of the Jewish nation would have been altered significantly.

All of us can take strength and encouragement from the story of Shifrah and Puah. In our own lives and in our own time, we have seen many instances when the conviction to do what is morally right has had broader implications than the immediate moment. If not for our conviction to work for a just society and to improve the lives of those living in this society, the world would be a lesser place. My we all be blessed to continue in the tradition of Shifrah and Puah.

Shabbat Shalom.
Protecting the Vulnerable capital
Now that the revenue side of the fiscal cliff has been more or less resolved, and putting aside the debt ceiling for the time being, the focus of Congress and our nation will shift to the impending budget cuts resulting from sequestration. Along with our colleagues at Jewish Federations of North America, and other partners in Washington, AJFCA will be working in the next two months to ensure that any spending decisions do not devastate our nation's safety net. Continue reading here.

Behavioral Health IT: Implications for Community Providers Webinar
Please join AJFCA, the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS), the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA), HHS Office of the National Coordinator for Health Information Technology (ONC) and the National Council for Behavioral Health for a webinar designed specifically for AJFCA member agencies. The webinar presenters will review the current issues in behavioral health IT and discuss the effects on community behavioral health care providers, and how community providers can best position themselves to succeed in the current environment.cms
Behavioral Health IT: Implications for Community Providers
Tuesday, January 15th, 1:00pm ET
Please email Megan for registration details.

Mistakes to Learn From in the Charitable-Deduction Debate chronicle philanthropy
On December 19th, Phil Buchanan, President of the Center for Effective Philanthropy and a regular columnist for The Chronicle of Philanthropy wrote an opinion piece, Mistakes to Learn From in the Charitable-Deduction Debate. Phil argues that we could have used a more powerful message about nonprofits as a group these past months, as Congress and the Obama Administration debated changes to, or the elimi
Lee Sherman
nation of, the charitable deduction. Read Mistakes to Learn From in theCharitable-Deduction Debate here.
Lee Sherman, AJFCA President/CEO commented on the editorial. "I think this is a very important article making timely points that should be heeded by the nonprofit community.  As an umbrella organization serving North America's Jewish family service agencies, AJFCA works to strengthen each of our member agencies and help lift up their voices in their own communities." Read the remainder of Lee's comment here.
2012 Nonprofit Marketing Communications: A Recap of Trends, Tools, and Tactics 
2012 Nonprofit Marketing Communication, December 13, 2012, NTEN, by Julia Reich
The more communications technologies change, the more they stay the same.NTEN
Budgets are barely budging, staffing is scarce, and there's a growing arsenal of tools & techniques to be tinkered with. Julia Reich, Principal of Julia Reich Design surveyed the nonprofit marketing communications scene to find out which strategies, tactics, and activities worked-and which didn't-this past year. Continue reading here.
How to Thank your Donors frogloop
How to Thank your Donors, November 14, 2012, Frogloop, by Allyson Kapin
Over the past couple of weeks, Jennifer Stauss Windrum has worked tirelessly to raise almost $20K. Despite being with her mom 24/7, and going through so much heartache and exhaustion, Jennifer has showered her donors with love by thanking them personally via email, posting on their Facebook wall and in Facebook groups, tweeting them, etc. She is constantly connected to her donors and always extremely grateful. A lot of nonprofits can learn valuable lessons from Jennifer about how to shower your donors with love by personally thanking them. It's worth noting that Jennifer is just a one person shop. Imagine how far your thank you messages could spread with coordinated fundraising and communications departmental efforts. Continue reading here.
Board Matchmaking 
Board Matchmaking, December 17, 2012, The Bridgespan Group, by Sue Sullivan
Many nonprofit organizations dream of having a board matchmaker at its disposal. In reality, many nonprofits already have board matchmakers in their midst, who are working tirelbridgespanessly to recruit new members and strengthen the board. But making that perfect match often eludes many nonprofits, primarily because of a missed connection between where the organization is in its evolution and what kind of board can be the most helpful. So how can you accurately define what makes for an effective board at different stages in an organization's life? Continue reading here.
2013 Mutual of America Community Partnership Award Competition
Applications are now being accepted mutual of americafor the 2013 Mutual of America Community Partnership Award competition, which recognizes and encourages partnerships dedicated to the public good among businesses, government and social sector organizations. Entering its 18th year, the CPA has recognized over 170 partnerships across America, expanding public awareness of their work and helping them attract additional partners and new sponsors.
The Award Guidelines can be viewed here. Applications to enter the 2013 competition must be submitted no later than April 1, 2013.
2013 Government Affairs Institute & AJFCA Advocacy Mission 
Registration for the 2013 Government Affairs Institute and AJFCA Advocacy Mission (GAI) is now open. The GAI is our premier gathering of profecapitalssionals and lay leaders who are interested in public policy. The GAI brings together professionals and volunteers from Jewish family and children's service agencies and Federations to advocate on policies that impact the vulnerable populations that you serve. Learn more here.

2013 Government Affairs Institute & AJFCA Advocacy Mission
Tuesday, February 5th - Thursday, February 7th - REGISTER HERE

2013 AJFCA AC logo
Donate SponsorsSupport AJFCA :: JFNA :: Accreditations
Contact Us :: Transparency :: Privacy Policy