AJFCA Newsletter
In This Issue
D'Var Torah
2013 GAI & Advocacy Mission
2013 AJFCA Awards
Sandy Aid
Jewish Disability Awareness Month & Advocacy Day
Andrew Kukes Foundation
Intercounty Adoption Universal Accreditation Act
Purim & Healthy Relationships
Health Insurance Marketplace
Nonprofit Hiring
Simple Tag Line
Global Webinar
When planning for this year's community-wide observance of Jewish Disability Awareness Month (JDAM), the Minneapolis Jewish Community Inclusion Program for People with Disabilities of Jewish Family & Children's Service of Minneapolis wanted the broader community to become more aware directly from individuals with disabilities, themselves. They spoke with members of the committee and others in the community, and found many who were willing to talk about not only their lives and disabilities, but about their abilities, as well. Some of the performers will talk about their lives, and how they've adapted to disabilities they've had from birth, or that came on later in life. Some will share the event that changed their lives, and others will express themselves through music or art. However they do it, these performers will give the audience an intimate look into a world of which too few of us are aware, presented by the people who live there.
JFCS is also sponsoring the JDAM Reads! Community Book Club, featuring "Now I See the Moon: A  Mother, A Son, A Miracle" by Elaine Hall, Coach E from "Autism the Musical" an Emmy Award winning film on HBO. Elaine's insights guided by Judaism, family and raising her son Neal, who has autism, make for a wonderful discussion about values and inclusion.  
Remember the scene in Woody Allen's "Sleeper" with the Jewish robot tailors Ginsberg and Cohen? ("Maybe you vould like a nice double knit?") Well, in the not-so-distant future, these "socially assistive" robots may not only be making suits but also preparing kosher-style meals (no cheese on that low-salt, low-fat pastrami sandwich please!). The field of gerontechnology,  meaning the use of technology to support elders, is rapidly growing. Technology, usually thought to be the purview of the young, can help support our parents and eventually us Baby Boomers in ways that seemed impossible only a few years ago.

The goal of all of this new technology is the same: to assist older adults in the ways a caregiver does now. Even though the widespread use of robots like Ginsberg and Cohen may be a way off, innovative technology on the market now can monitor older adults in their homes and alert worried adult children of any problems. Baby Boomers should keep an eye on this technology as well, as it will directly affect the way we receive services when we get to be our parents' age.

One familiar device is the Personal Emergency Response System (PERS). This technology, which has been around for years, provides an older adult with a push-button pendant connected with an emergency center. (Remember the "Help I've fallen and can't get up" commercials?)

While those types of pendants are great, in some situations, the older adult can't press the button. Fortunately, these companies now offer newer monitors that can detect falls and alert an emergency center even without the device being activated. Continue reading here
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.

The Health Care Law 101
Feb., 12th, 2:00pm ET

Caregivers as Partners and Clients of Behavioral Health Services
Feb., 13th, 2:30pm ET

Best Practices in Fundraising for Advocacy & Community Organizations - 2013 Release
Feb., 14th, 1pm ET
Tour of HealthCare.gov
Feb., 21st, 12:30pm ET

What's at Stake in the Federal Deficit Debate
Feb., 21st, 1:30pm ET
The Health Care Law 101 (in Spanish)
Feb., 26th, 3:00pm ET
The Connecting Kids to Coverage National Outreach and Enrollment Campaign
Feb., 27th, 2:00pm ET

The Health Care Law 101  March 7th, 1:00pm ET
The Health Care Law 101 (in Spanish)
March 19th, 3:00pm ET
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February 8, 2013 
About AJFCA | News
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D'Var Torah
Lee I. Sherman

I spent the past three days in Washington, D.C., with professional and lay leaders of AJFCA, our member agencies, Jewish Federations of North America, and federations, advocating at The White House and on Capitol Hill for legislation and policies that are critical to the clients that we all serve. The conversation in Washington is dominated by fiscal discussions revolving around sequestration, the debt ceiling, and a new budget. All of the debate on additional resources vs. cost cuts, or some combination of the two, sometimes makes it difficult to remember the people who would suffer even more than they do now if needed programs are slashed. Our role in Washington is to give a voice and face to the vulnerable populations throughout our communities and to remind our representatives and government officials of the economic engine that is the nonprofit sector with its huge workforce and as a generator of better opportunities for tens of millions of Americans.


In a world of laws and regulations, one of our most ancient guides is Torah. This week's parashah, Mishpatim, following on the pronouncement of the Ten Commandments, begins the instructions on the specific laws that will guide the Jewish people as they become a nation. It is somewhat curious that these laws begin with commandments on slavery, an institution that is abhorrent to our modern sensibilities. But, slavery was a fact in the ancient world and it needed to be considered in God's commandments to the Israelites. And so, these opening passages of Mishpatim give a human face to slavery and set rules for fair treatment and a sense of responsibility on the part of the slave owner.


Regardless of the laws that govern our times, and fortunately we continue to see them as evolving, it is always necessary to remember that they are intended to form a society that works best for all of its members. As Jewish agencies, rooted in the values of Torah, we understand our responsibility to work to repair the world and give even the most vulnerable among us the opportunity to fully participate and contribute in our society. There are always barriers, but we will continue to work to remove those barriers.


Shabbat Shalom.

2013 GAI & AJFCA Advocacy Mission

Government affairs leaders from Jewish family service agencies and Federations across the country gathered in Washington this week to learn strategies to advocate for programs serving the vulnerable in the face of possible funding cuts due to the fiscal crisis. This year's conference, included briefings by representatives of the media, academia, Congress and the administration, including officials from the White House and the Department of Health and Human Services. Speakers discussed the impact of cuts already made to critical programs for children and the elderly, and warned of the risks posed by the prospect of sequestration, a trigger for across-the-board cuts.


Participants held 75 different meetings at individual Congressional offices, where they advocated for issues crucial to our agencies' work, including protecting the most vulnerable from the devastating effect of sequestration, reauthorization of the Older Americans Act and the inclusion of Holocaust survivors as a priority population, and the Behavioral Health Information Technology Act, which would give community mental health centers better access to electronic health records.


Lee Sherman, President/CEO of AJFCA, said, "Now more than ever, Jewish family and children's service agencies and their partner Federations must build and strengthen relationships with elected officials to ensure they understand the perspectives we have as direct service providers. " 
2013 AJFCA Award Guidelines  2013 AJFCA AC logo
AJFCA is pleased to sponsor the 2013 Goodman Award (submission form), Distinguished Service Awards, Leadership Awards, Kovod Awards, TrailBlazer Awards and Joseph S. Kaplan Memorial Scholarship Award. Winners will be recognized at the 2013 Annual Conference with a reception in their honor, mention in the conference mobile app, and during the annual awards ceremony. Submission deadlines vary. On behalf of the Award Committees we look forward to receiving your submissions.
Claims Conference:  Sandy Aid  aid 1
Following Hurricane Sandy, Holocaust survivors in areas of New York and New Jersey were left without homes, power, transportation, or caregivers. In addition, the local agencies and organizations on which they rely in normal times to assist them with daily living were heavily affected by the hurricane, with offices damaged or destroyed and staff unable to travel. After hearing from its partner agencies about the difficulties they were encountering in assisting Holocaust victims, the Claims Conference acted on a number of fronts to provide support. Continue reading here.
Jewish Disability Awareness Month & Advocacy Day
Jewish communities across North America are once again developing programs and events in recognition of Jewish Disability Awareness Month. AJFCA and JFNA are proud to join the Consortium of Jewish Special Educators in recognizing and increasing the awareness of the needs, strengths, opportunities and challenges of individuals with disabilities in our communities, as well as ensuring our communities are as inclusive of individuals with disabilities and their families as possible. Continue reading here
jewish disability
Honest Talk About Anxiety:  Contest Winners Write About Sensitive But Important Subject
Moment Magazine and The Andrew Kukes Foundation For Social Anxiety, a 2013 AJFCA Annual Conference sponsor, announced the winners of a contest designed to initiate public conversation about an important subject that is too often kept quiet. Readers were asked to write about anxiety as part of the magazine's Elephant In The Room Essay Content. The contest, designed to foster discussion about important but seldom-discussed topics, asked: How has anxiety affected you, your family or the Jewish people in general? Continue reading here.
Intercountry Adoption Universal Accreditation Act coa
On February 4th President Obama signed the Intercountry Adoption Universal Accreditation Act (UAA), which applies the Hague Accreditation and Approval requirements to all agencies and persons providing  "adoptions services" in cases where a child immigrates to or emigrates from the United States for purposes of adoption.Continue reading here.
How Purim Teaches Us About Healthy Relationships JWI
Just in time for your Purim celebrations, JWI is re-issuing its Purim study guide about women, relationships, and Jewish texts, which is designed to spark new conversations by offering a fresh look at old texts. Rethinking Purim takes a thematic approach to the age old story of Purim combining ancient text of the megillah and midrash with modern commentary to encourage conversations about relationships. Download the guides here.
People receiving federal benefits through Social Security, Veterans Affairs, and the Railroad Retirement Board have until March 1st to arrange to get their payments electronically. The U.S. Department of Treasury's GoDirect campaign includes free resources you can disseminate to your clients. Continue reading here.
Single, Streamlined Application for Health Insurance Marketplace 

CMS invites you to participate in a webinar to learn more about the Single, Streamlined Application for Health Insurance. The webinar will review draft paper applications and a list of all potential questions in the online application that individuals will complete to determine their eligibility to purchase coverage through the Health Insurance Marketplace. The documents are available for public comment until February 28, 2013.



Date: Friday, February 8, 2013

Time: 1:30pm - 3:00pm (EST)

Call-In Number: 877-267-1577 and Passcode: 7290

Webinar: https://webinar.cms.hhs.gov/learnmoressapp2/


Date: Monday, February 11, 2013

Time: 1:00pm - 2:30pm (EST)

Call-In Number: 877-267-1577 and Passcode: 5620

Webinar: https://webinar.cms.hhs.gov/learnmoressapp2/

Nonprofit Hiring Expected to Increase in 2013
Forty-four percent of nonprofit groups plan to hire more workers in the coming year, another sign charities are starting to feel confident about the economy, according to a new survey. The study of more than 580 organizations was conducted by Nonprofit HR Solutions, a human-resources consulting firm, and the Improve Group, a consultancy whose clients include charities. Continue reading here.
Don't Call Us, We'll Call You
Okay. You're working at a great nonprofit, you've got a wonderffoundation centerul idea that's going to change the world, and all you need is a grant to get you started. Guess what? The majority of America's foundations don't want you to send in a proposal. Of the more than 86,000 independent, community, and corporate foundations in the United States, 60% state that they do not accept unsolicited proposals. Together they represent 32% of total assets and 34% of annual giving. Nearly $16 billion of the $46 billion distributed every year is not up for grabs; you need an invitation. Continue reading here
Can You Sum Up Your Charity's Work in One Simple Tag Line? 
Can You Sum Up Your Charity's Work in One Simple Tag Line? January 17, 2013, Chronicle of Philanthropy, by Matthew Scharpnickchronicle philanthropy
Amnesty International has a simple and concise tag line: exposing and preventing human-rights abuses. Some nonprofits are able to articulate what they are and what they do quickly and clearly. But all too often, nonprofits-and even big businesses-make the mistake of failing to have an effective tag line. Continue reading here.
It's 2013, Do You Know Where Your Web ROI Is?
Now that data on the web is pervasive, we technology professionals are being asked to put a value on every little thing that we do for our web presence: email campaigns, Facebook posts, logo redesigns, information architecture tweaks. It all can be measured, and if you are reading this, chances are you are one of those people doing the measuring. Budgets rise and fall with the lines on a bar graph showing the click-through-rates of your end-of-year email campaign. Return on Investment (ROI) for web projects has come to the forefront. Continue reading here.
Global Webinar:  Jewish Tradition, Innovation and Community in a Vitural EraJCSANA logo for contest
Join the Jewish Communal Service Association of North America (JCSANA), and Lead: Inspiring Jewish Leaders, a division of the Jewish Leadership Council (England) for their upcoming global webinar on the topic: Jewish Tradition, Innovation and Community in a Virtual Era.
Presenters from three countries will share practical ways in which Jewish communal professionals can make the most of virtual culture while remaining attuned to the values of their Jewish past, and will provide participants with access to new web-based resources that can enhance their own practice.
Jewish Traditions, Innovation and Community in a Virtual Era
Wednesday, February 20th,10:00am ET
To participate please register at here, then click on events.  
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