AJFCA Newsletter
In This Issue
Chag Sameach Shemini Atzeret &
Simchat Torah

These two holidays are commonly thought of as part of Sukkot, but that is technically incorrect; Shemini Atzeret is a holiday in its own right and does not involve some of the special observances of Sukkot. We do not take up the lulav and etrog on these days, and our dwelling in the sukkah is more limited, and performed without reciting a blessing.

Shemini Atzeret literally means "the assembly of the eighth (day)." Rabbinic literature explains the holiday this way: our Creator is like a host, who invites us as visitors for a limited time, but when the time comes for us to leave, He has enjoyed himself so much that He asks us to stay another day. Another related explanation: Sukkot is a holiday intended for all of mankind, but when Sukkot is over, the Creator invites the Jewish people to stay for an extra day, for a more intimate celebration.

Simchat Torah means "Rejoicing in the Torah." This holiday marks the completion of the annual cycle of weekly Torah readings. Each week in synagogue we publicly read a few chapters from the Torah, starting with Genesis Chapter 1 and working our way around to Deuteronomy 34. On Simchat Torah, we read the last Torah portion, then proceed immediately to the first chapter of Genesis, reminding us that the Torah is a circle, and never ends.
This completion of the readings is a time of great celebration. There are processions around the synagogue carrying Torah scrolls and plenty of high-spirited singing and dancing in the synagogue with the Torahs. In addition, as many people as possible are given the honor of carrying a Torah scroll in these processions.


Jewish Communal Service in the 21st Century:  Challenges & Opportunities in Canada

Sunday, October 20th, 7pm

 This conference will host a unique blend of Jewish communal professionals and leaders, and will focus on the 'Big Questions' pertaining to poverty in the Jewish community, as well as address specific issues such as the challenges of the Elderly, Housing & Food Security and living with Mental Illness. There will be an exciting array of opening and closing speakers as well as panels of experts in their fields, and discussions of best practices, advocacy and planning for the future.

An early bird registration of $195 is being offered. 

Agency Highlights

Alpert JFCS Receives Mental Health First Aid Grant

alpert jfcs  
Alpert Jewish Family & Children's Service just received a grant from the Herbert Bearman Foundation to bring Mental Health First Aid (MHFA) to the Jewish and senior communities of Palm Beach County that they serve.  MHFA is an evidenced based program that has been taught to more than 150,000 people in the US since 2008. The funding will allow Alpert JFCS to obtain national training certification, and then implement the program for individuals in their community. 

Much like medical First Aid and CPR, the goal of Mental Health First Aid is to create a community knowledgeable in responding to potential mental health crises, and getting help early, when indicated.  MHFA is designed to destigmatize mental illness, and mitigate against the isolation and despair that often accompany severe and persistent mental illness, and too often, contributes to a worsening of symptoms, up to and including suicidal behavior. 

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.

SafeLinkAgencies.com 101
Sept., 26th, 2 pm ET

How Nonprofits Can Save Time & Money on Unemployment Costs
 Sept., 26th, 4pm ET
501 c agencies trust

How To Report Back to Donors: From Newsletters To Annual Reports
Oct., 2nd, 1pm ET
REGISTER HERE charityhowto

Have You Been Sequestered? Developing Diverse Sources of Revenue

Oct., 16th, 3pm ET
nonprofit webinars
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September 25, 2013 
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2014 AJFCA & IAJVS Conference:  Last Day To Submit Proposals  ajfca logo-resized
AJFCA is seeking workshop proposals that will enhance the conference theme:  Inspiring Creativity in a Changing World by challenging attendees to examine current practices and adapt to compete today and in the future. Prior to submitting, please carefully review the RFP Guidelines. Click here to access the Workshop Proposal Form. Please complete Workshop Proposal Forms by Wednesday, September 25th. If you have any questions, please email Sandra Rosenbaum.
PEPS Update  
AJFCA isajfca logo-resized thrilled to announce that the 13 agencies listed below will be the initial groups to sign onto the PEPS system, a new benefit offered by AJFCA. The first group will join between October-December. The second group will join between January-March. A third and fourth group to sign on in April-June and July-October, respectively, will be determined next month. In order to introduce this exciting new benefit to more of our agencies, we will be holding a second web demo of the PEPS system on Thursday, October 10th at 2pm ET. Register here to help PEPS logofamiliarize you with the PEPS Software System and its capabilities. Following the webinar, you will be asked to respond to a survey if you are interested in bringing PEPS to your agency.
1st Group:
  1. JFCS Atlanta
  2. JFCS Philadelphia
  3. JSSA Rockville
  4. JFS Cincinnati
  5. JFS Milwaukee
  6. JFS Tidewater
  7. Collat JFS Birmingham

    2nd Group
  8. JFS Charlotte
  9. JFCS Portland, OR
  10. JFS Houston
  11. JFS San Diego
  12. JFCS Minneapolis  
  13. JFS Colorado
Connected Through Service ejp full logo
On September 17th eJewish Philanthropy published an article written by Jennie Gates Beckman, AJFCA's Manager of Civic Engagement & Repair the World Programming, Lisa Budlow, AJFCA's Director of Programs, and Lee Sherman, AJFCA's President/CEO. The article highlights AJajfca logo-resizedFCA's programming with Repair the World and the importance of connecting young Jewish adults to our communities and organizations through service. We encourage you to share this article with your networks. Read the entire article here.
Development Professionals Call - Planned Giving & Bequests
AJFCA is pleased to offer the second development professionals call. Join Pia Eisenberg, Vice President of Development & Communications at JFCS Philadelphia and Miriam Friedman, Director of Development at JFCS Atlanta on Wednesday, October 16th at 3pm to discuss Planned Giving & Bequests. Register today and join the conversation. A more detailed agenda of the call will be available next week.
CEO Council of AJFCA
The CEO Council is a peer group within AJFCA that promotes networking and professional development among CEOs/EDs of AJFCA member agencies. In the past, the CEO Council has been open only to those AJFCA agency executives who paid a minimal dues fee. After extensive discussion and a positive vote, L. Louis Albert, Chair of the CEO Council and Lee Sherman, CEO of AJFCA announced that as of September 1, 2013, the CEO Council has determined to formally integrate its activities into AJFCA. This will eliminate dues, thereby making participation in CEO Council activities open to all AJFCA member agency CEOs/EDs. AJFCA and the CEO Council are thrilled to partner with the mutual goal of bringing valuable opportunities for learning, support and sharing of information to all of our member agency executives.

Conference Call:  Implementing Social Enterprise at your Agency
Facilitator: Aryeh Sherman, President & CEO, JFCS Pittsburgh
Wednesday, October 23rd, 2pm ET 
Mark your calendars for the next two CEO Council Conference Calls:
Tuesday, December 17th, 1pm ET
Thursday, March 13th, 2pm ET
CMS Champion for Coverage Updates & Resources
A lot is happening at the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Secmsrvices (CMS) as they get ready to launch the Health Insurance Marketplace. Below are some helpful resources and updates as you continue providing outreach and education. 
  • Resources for Partners: CMS has developed toolkits and factsheet for certain populations. Check them out here.
  • Need hard copies of materials to distribute on October 1st? CMS has a limited quantity of materials available for order. If you are interested in ordering products, click here to set up an account to order. However, feel free to download and print as many as you want.
  • This week, the Obama administration announced a coordinated effort to protect consumers by preventing and detecting potential fraud in the Health Insurance Marketplace.  Read the full press release here. As part of this effort, CMS developed fraud prevention fact sheets for both assisters and consumers: 
Protect Yourself from Fraud in the Health Insurance Marketplace
Tips for Assisters to Help Consumers Navigate the Marketplace
Securing the Health Insurance Marketplace
  • Interested in helping with health insurance marketplace applications? It is not too late to become a Certified Application Counselor. Guidelines, the application, and training can be found here.   
  • CMS reports that there will be significant choice and lower than expected premiums available in the new Health Insurance Marketplace. Learn more here.  
Older Adult Programs and Sequestration - How are you affected? ajfca logo-resized
The AJFCA Legislative Task Force needs your help to make a compelling case to Congress about how sequestration cuts are hurting older adult programs. Please complete this brief survey about the Older Americans Act and sequestration. Please let us know about your agency's use of OAA dollars and how sequestration may be affecting you. If you have any questions, please contact Shelley Rood. Thank you in advance.
Jewish Leadership Institute on Disabilities & Inclusion Jewish leadership institute
The National Leadership Consortium on Developmental Disabilities at the University of Delaware has established the Jewish Leadership Institute on Disabilities and Inclusion sponsored by the Ruderman Family Foundation.

A Leadership Institute will be held December 1-5, 2013 at The Pearlstone Center, near Baltimore, Maryland. Learn more here.
Mental Disabilities in the Digital Age: Independence and Autonomy for All 
In a nation that values liberty and the pursuit of happiness, there are few greater tragedies than the routine incarceration of millions of individuals who suffer from mental disabilities, dhuffington postevelopmental impairments, or the debilitating dementia that affects up to 25% of our elderly population. However, recent technological advances offer the possibility of restoring independence and dignity to mentally challenged adults while easing the burden on families, for a fraction of current costs. Continue reading here.
Nothing Can or Should Substitute for Philanthropy
The current emphasis on revenue generation may be misguided. No matter how appealing this for-profit-derived trend may be, there's no substitute for donors. Continue reading here.
Tomorrow Is Here: What Do We Do Now?
We should strive to see all of our colleagues, whether they are on an equal level or subordinate to us, or whether they are professional or volunteer leaders, as deserving the same attention, respect, and recognition as the people who make it possible for theejp full logocommunal organizations to exist, survive, and develop for the good of our community. Continue reading here.
Be Strategic When Filling Multiple Vacancies on the Board board source
Multiple departures offer a rare opportunity not only to fine-tune the board but to significantly realign its composition, competencies and culture. Continue reading here.
Managing Fundraising Messages: Make Sure the Cup is More than Half Full ejewish philanthropy
Seemingly all-too-often often, fundraising professionals and nonprofit executives receive (deserved) criticisms for the negative perceptions they create and concomitantly, these negative self-perceptions carry into the messages these same nonprofit leaders share with their donors and stakeholders. How often have we heard the word "schnorrer" or an equally derisive term, even in good fun, associated with fundraising and those who are asking for money to support charitable causes? Continue reading here.
5 Things To Do Now for Year-End Fundraising Success
It's tempting to put off your planning for a few more weeks, but don't give in to procrastination. Proper planning now is like insurance for a strong fundraising finish in 2013. Take a moment this week to assess your progress toward your year-end campaign plans. Here are five ways to make sure you're ready:  network for good
  1. Review your results.
  2. Set a goal.
  3. Create a plan.
  4. Craft your key messages.
  5. Test your process.
What's Jewish About Breast Cancer and Ovarian Cancer? sharsheret
Join Sharsheret's Clinical Supervisor Shera Dubitsky and Link Program Coordinator Adina Fleischmann for a 60-minute webinar, "What's Jewish About Breast Cancer and Ovarian Cancer?" Learn about the unique issues of Jewish women and families facing breast cancer and ovarian cancer, how your organization can offer cancer support at no cost, and how Sharsheret helps.

What's Jewish About Breast Cancer and Ovarian Cancer?
Oct., 22nd, 1pm ET - REGISTER HERE
It's a New (Old) Day for Volunteerism: Crowdsourcing Social Change NPQ
What drives successful volunteer mobilization, and is it time for a reevaluation of the powerful potential of volunteers in and around your organization? Continue reading here.
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