AJFCA Newsletter
In This Issue
Agency Highlights

Exploring the "J" in JSSA 

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Exploring the "J" in JSSA is an ongoing series of writings by Rabbi James Kahn, the  Jewish Social Service Agency (JSSA) Director of Jewish Engagement and Chaplaincy.  Here, Rabbi Kahn reflects on JSSA's inspirational work through the lens of Jewish wisdom.  His writings are grounded in  Jewish tradition, but speak to universal issues of meaning and value.  They provide a rich context for the vital services that JSSA offers and serve to nourish both the people that bring JSSA's mission to life every day as well as their clients and the community at large. 
We invite you to read and share Rabbi Kahn's Thanksgiving message.

JF&CS of Atlanta's #VIAMitzvahDay Makes Front Page of Atlanta Jewish Times


Volunteers in Action (VIA), the young professional volunteer corps of
Jewish Family & Career Services, held its annual VIA Mitzvah Day the last Sunday in October.


More than 200 participants lent a helping hand and collectively completed more than 600 hours of service at 10 project sites around Atlanta, making this year's effort one of the most successful to date.


Click here for the article in the Atlanta Jewish Times.




This past weekend brought much joy to the AJFCA family. 

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We are happy to report that Megan and her husband Jason welcomed their daughter Etta Gene Manelli into the world on Sunday, November 17. 

 All are doing well! 

In addition, Shelley Rood accepted a marriage proposal from her beau, Bo Pollett, while taking a trip in the Blue Ridge Mountains.

Please join us in wishing our wonderful AJFCA professionals a hearty mazel tov.

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 Sandy at 410-843-7487 with questions.

Partner Showcase: An Introduction to Pat Deegan and the CommonGround Approach
Dec. 4, 2013, 1pm (EST)
To Register click here
  Foothold Technology

New Family Foster Care and Kinship Care Standards 
        Dec., 11th, 1pm EST
To register click here. Use the search and filter feature. Search by "training type" (i.e. Webinar). Check the box next to this training and click "Register for Selected." You will receive an email confirmation with log in details upon completion of the registration process. 
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November 22, 2013 
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D'Var Torah

                                                          Lee I. Sherman
With Hanukkah (and Thanksgiving) fast approaching, I started to pull together some of our Hanukkiahs in preparation for the first night of Hanukkah.  There's the one we received as a wedding present, the one my son made in second grade, the one I received from Baltimore's sister city of Ashkelon, and others with special memories.  I don't know how many we will end up using, but, at a minimum, we like to light one for each member of the family each night.  By the end of the festival, that makes for a lot of candles and a lot of light.
There is an old Chasidic saying that you cannot dispel darkness with a stick, you must light a candle.  We light candles to begin all of our holidays and each week for Shabbat.  With each day of Hanukkah, as we light more and more candles, the intensity of the light increases so the darkness wanes even more.  The light of the candles is mostly symbolic for us in our modern age, but it is a valuable lesson.  Lighting a candle not only brings light to the one who lit it, but also to those nearby.
In the Talmud tractate Numbers Rabbah 13:10, we are taught that "Just as a person lights one candle from another and the original flame is not diminished, so too, we are never lessened when we pass on our eternal 'flame' to another person."  In our roles as parents, family members, friends, teachers, social workers, community leaders, or more, we often pass on the light of a flame to others.  The act of doing so not only strengthens us, but also those we who receive it and the community as a whole.  As we all light our Hanukkah candles this coming week, may the intensity of those flames be shared as broadly as possible.

Chag Sameach and Shabbat Shalom.

Embracing Those With Disabilities

Embracing Those With Disabilities, November 18, 2013, eJP, by Jan Jaben-Eilon     


 ejewish philanthropyPhysical accommodation for people with disabilities isn't new to the Jewish world. Ethan Felson, vice president and general counsel of the Jewish Council for Public Affairs, recalls that when he worked in Connecticut during the 1990s, local congregation Temple Beth Israel became one of the first synagogues to design its bima to include a ramp. "I was very impressed," he says. Read more about inclusion at institutions in the Jewish community. 


claims conferenceHolocaust Victims to Receive An Additional $4 Million In Aid From Weinberg Foundation Grant to Claims Conference 

Holocaust Victims To Receive An Additional $4 Million In Aid From Weinberg Foundation Grant To Claims Conference, November 18, 2013, Claims Conference, by Amy Wexler


The Conference on Jewish Material Claims Against Germany (Claims Conference) has received an additional $4 million grant from The Harry and Jeanette Weinberg Foundation to provide emergency assistance to Holocaust victims in North America. The $4 million grant, which will be allocated through 2016, supplements the $10 million, five-year grant that the Weinberg Foundation provided to the Claims Conference in 2010 to help elderly Jewish victims of Nazism live out their lives in dignity.

Continue reading here.

"The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People": I Transformed Myself Into a Fact Finder 

"The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People": I Transformed Myself Into a Fact Finder, November 19, 2013, The Post, Lou Adler


In 1990, Lou Adler discovered Stephen Covey's "The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People" and was transformed. As a full-time recruiter, Adler quickly realized I could become a better recruiter and assessor of talent by looking for these habits in the people he presented for open jobs. By looking for Covey's seven habits as part of the fact-finding, it's easier to separate those who are a reasonable fit and those who are exceptional. Read more on how this strategy can be used for each of the seven habits.

social velocity

5 Taboos Nonprofits Must Get Over
5 Taboos Nonprofits Must Get Over, November 19, 2013, Social Velocity, Nell Edgington


Nonprofit taboos are so insidious because they are unwritten and unquestioned. But that has to stop. If we want to move the nonprofit sector forward, we must uncover certain taboos and determine whether they are really unacceptable anymore. For Nell's list of the five most egregious taboos in the nonprofit sector click here. 

Living on the Edge: Economic Vulnerability in the Jewish Community 

Living on the Edge: Economic Vulnerability in the Jewish Community,
November 20, 2013, eJP, by Fern Chertok and Daniel Parmer

Next week is Thanksgivukkah, the rare convergence of the Hanukkah commemoration of reclaiming the freedom to worship and the American celebration of prosperity. The American Jewish community 
has much for which to be thankful and is, in large measure, extraordinarily successful in terms of income and educational attainment. As we celebrate freedom and prosperity, however, it is important to remember that there are many Jews who live on the economic edge, face substantial financial insecurity and do not have the means to fully engage in Jewish life.

Changes to Medicare Equipment and Supplies Program

Changes to Medicare Equipment and Supplies Program, Thursday, November 21, 2013, CMS Office of Communications


If you help people with Original Medicare get certain durable medical equipment and supplies, such as oxygen, walkers, or wheelchairs, you should know cmsabout a Medicare program, called the Durable Medical Equipment, Prosthetics, Orthotics, and Supplies (DMEPOS) competitive bidding program, that saves money for taxpayers and people with Medicare and may change the suppliers people with Medicare will need to use.  Continue reading here.



The Skills Businesspeople Gain on Nonprofit Boards

The Skills Businesspeople Gain on Nonprofit Boards, November 18, 2013, Nonprofit Quarterly, by Eileen Cunniffe

 nonprofit quarterly

Research done by the City of London demonstrated increased skills among volunteer leaders in categories including team building, negotiating, problem solving, and financial knowledge.

Boards require collaboration, and "leadership moments" may present themselves to charity trustees at earlier stages in their careers than they might in the corporate setting, allowing business professionals to gain confidence and try out new skills in a different environment.  Read more here.


Grant Proposal Writing Tips - Writing to Win
Grant Proposal Writing Tips - Writing to Win, November 20, 2013, Grant Professionals Association, Sharon Skinner

Writing to win a grant proposal takes planning, research, and focused attention to details. As with any writing project, it's not only important to identify your target audience, but to write in a way that will be easily understood and that your reader will find compelling. Of course, with grant applications, the point is to compel the reviewer to award your proposal the maximum number of possible points.  Here are some prewriting techniques to get on track and stay the course throughout the process and ensure you win every point. 

#MakeItHappen: Ideas That Make The World Go Round
One month ago, the Schusterman Philanthropic Network (SPN) launched #MakeItHappen, an online campaign inviting individuals to submit ideas for creating Jewish experiences in their communities for a chance to earn a micro grant. SPN is selecting up to 50 projects on a rolling basis to receive micro grants of up to $1,000 and five to get up to $5,000. The deadline to submit ideas is January 15, 2014. To learn more about this initiative, please click here.
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