AJFCA Newsletter
In This Issue

Agency Highlights

JACS Sober Birthright  Tour
There are still a few spots open. Call Sharon at JBFCS JACS if you are interested 212-632-4600.

Lead Regional Health Care Navigator for Oakland and Macomb Counties
jfs detroit

Jewish Family Service of Metropolitan Detroit is the lead regional health care navigator for Oakland and Macomb counties in Michigan. JFS navigators and certified application counselors are trained and licensed by the Department of Health and Human Services. We help find the best coverage for families and to ensure that people receive any and all subsidies for which they are entitled.
Funding for this comes from a Federal Grant that was received by the Michigan Consumers for Healthcare.

 New Executive Director 


Please welcome Molly Kern Rowles, the Executive Director of Jewish Family Service of Portland, Maine, effective December 4th.   If you wish to contact Molly, her email address is Mrowles@mainejewish.org.

Griswold Cares Foundation
JFS Washtenaw County
Jewish Family Services of Washtenaw County has received a much-needed award from the Griswold Cares Foundation. The Griswold Cares Foundation has provided critical support of the Partners in Care Concierge program. The funding JFS will receive will allow the agency to recruit and train 'Partners' needed to implement the program.
For more information continue reading here.

    Shira Ledman Leaving JFCS on Steady Course

jfcs tucson 

Five years ago, when Shira Ledman took the helm at Jewish Family & Children's Services of Southern Arizona, her husband, Bob, relocated with her to Tucson.

Now it is her turn to follow her husband, a professor of business, as he takes a job with South University in Austin, Texas. Ledman will be stepping down as president and CEO of JFCS at the end of the month.

Ledman "led us out of the quagmire," says JFCS board chair Jill Rosenzweig. "She will be remembered forever as the CEO who brought a viable business plan to JFCS."  Read more from the Arizona Jewish Post.


 Interim Director, Jeanne Anderson, started at the agency on Nov. 26.
Calls & Webinars
Register Now for Millennials & Volunteerism MITalks Webinar

Dec. 19 at 12 p.m. EST

Robert Rosenthal from Volunteer Match and Aria Finger from Do Something discuss how organizations can better involve Millennials through various types of service opportunities. From probono skills to microvolunteering, they'll help break down the best approaches to Millennial volunteering.

VIP log-in is required to access registration for this Webinar, but AJFCA members have free VIP access.  
Please email Jennie at  jbeckman@ajfca.org if you are interested in participating for further instruction.

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December 13. 2013 
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D'Var Torah
                                                          Lee I. Sherman

As a former English major and active reader of fiction, I love a good story.  I enjoy getting involved with the characters, picturing them in my imagination, and getting lost in descriptive language and thought-provoking dialogue.  Sometimes, when I am deeply engrossed in a good book, I find myself torn between racing to the conclusion so I can have some closure and deliberately pacing myself so I can hold onto the characters and their lives for just a little while longer.  Recently, my reading has found me bouncing back and forth between two diverse, but interconnected, compelling stories.

The first is the Joseph narrative, which we conclude with the completion of parashah Vayehi and the book of Bereshit this week.  The Joseph story is the longest story line in Torah.  It is a story of ego, ambition, jealousy, retribution, reunion, heroism, and more.  And, it is the foundational narrative of the Jewish story, from the progenitors of the Twelve Tribes to the physical journey which ultimately results in the birth of a new nation.  It is a rich and robust story on a multitude of levels.

The second story is Dara Horn's latest novel, A Guide for the Perplexed.  The fourth novel of this incredible young novelist, Perplexed is steeped in metaphorical and literal connections to the Joseph narrative as it weaves a tale of intrigue and deception that challenges our ideas about memory and its ephemeral, but constant role in our lives.  Dara Horn's book relies on the medieval philosophy of Maimonides and the technology of our digital world to engage us in a tale of sibling relationships that, not only recalls the Joseph story, but also provokes sometimes unsettling thoughts about our own personal relationships.  Now that you have finished the Joseph story (for this year anyway), treat yourself to another great read in A Guide for the Perplexed.

Shabbat Shalom. 
Vice President Biden Announces Initiative to Support Holocaust Survivors
AJFCA's Shelley Rood thanks Vice President Biden for his work
The Association of Jewish Family & Children's agencies (AJFCA) welcomed Vice President Joe Biden's announcement at the American Jewish Joint Distribution Committee's (JDC) Centennial luncheon to launch an initiative together with the Jewish community to address the needs of Holocaust survivors living in poverty in the United States.  This announcement follows years of conversations between the White House, Members of Congress, and Jewish Family and Children's Service agencies and Federations to address the social service needs of Holocaust survivors through fundraising and legislative efforts such as the RUSH Act. Click here for details. 
AJFCA is proud of the advocacy efforts of Board Member, Jennifer Weiss.  "Jen's Law" would exempt sales tax for cosmetic make-up services performed in conjunction with reconstructive breast surgery, when directed by a physician.  At the final stage of breast reconstruction surgery, women often decide to use permanent cosmetic make-up to create the appearance of a pre-mastectomy breast.  The bill is named after Jennifer Dubrow Weiss, who had a double mastectomy after it was discovered that she had a high risk for getting breast cancer.  The legislation passed the New Jersey Senate Health, Human Services and Senior Citizens Committee by a vote of 7-0. Read more here.
Hunger in America Is A Moral Crisis that Government Must Help Solve
washington post
As the leaders of faith communities, we understand the heartbreak of a mother or father who cannot afford enough food to feed her or his children. We see and share in it almost daily in our houses of worship across the country. And it is precisely because the faith community is so involved in alleviating hunger that we support SNAP and other government solutions that reduce need and protect vulnerable people. Indeed, our faith traditions require a commitment, not only to personal charity, but also to systemic and communal justice.  Continue reading here.
How to Create (Or Transform) an Organization: Top 10 List

 jfcs san francisco

Dr. Anita Friedman, Executive Director of JFCS of San Francisco, the Peninsula, Marin and Sonoma Counties, was featured at UpStart's Executive Director Round Table series in 2009, and EJP loved the article summing up her points so much that they ran it again this week. The author shares how Dr. Friedman wowed participants with her Yoda-like wisdom - "Your greatest strength is also your greatest weakness," "I hated it so much that I decided to take it over," "It's the difference between a Sushi Restaurant and a Cold Dead Fish Restaurant" - and with her genuine passion and phenomenal knowledge about making organizations thrive.  Continue reading here for her top-ten list of essentials for creating, or transforming, an organization

The Content You Read Shapes How You Lead: Top 10 Leadership Themes

Carefully observe the leaders in your organization - the content they create and/or read shapes how they lead.    This is why the leaders who write well, speak well and read often are generally those who effectively lead.   Leaders gravitate towards content that fuels their know knowledge and provides them the insights and wisdom that keeps them on their toes and helps them better serve others. The most effective leaders are both "suppliers" of their own original content and "distributors" of other leaders' content.  Continue reading here for the top 10 leadership content themes
How to Achieve a Flow State
"Flow", the state where we feel in command of what we do, do it effortlessly, and perform at our best, was discovered by researchers at the University of Chicago. They asked a wide range of people, "Tell us about a time you outdid yourself - you performed at your peak." No matter who answered - ballerinas, chess champs, surgeons - they all described the flow state. One of flow's best features: it feels great. Today we all realize that we do our best work in those special moments when we are in flow. But how do you get into flow in the first place? Continue reading here for the three main pathways.
CMS: Find Your Regional Office

The Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) has ten Regional Offices (ROs) which represent CMS in external affairs.  Need help finding your local CMS regional office and contact information? Visit: http://www.cms.gov/About-CMS/Agency-Information/RegionalOffices/RegionalMap.html.

AJFCA Announces PEPS Cohorts 3 & 4  


PEPS logo AJFCA is pleased to announce PEPS Cohorts 3 and 4.  The agencies participating in these Cohorts, which will launch this spring, are listed below.  A total of 24 AJFCA member agencies will take advantage of this valuable member benefit in Year 1.  Participating agencies will use PEPS to evaluate the impact of their current programs as well as new program opportunities.  Each cohort will connect periodically to share their experiences in implementing PEPS at their agencies.  AJFCA is grateful to our partner JF&CS Atlanta for working with us to bring this valuable benefit to our members.  Stay tuned for an application process for Year 2 this summer. 

Cohort 3: JFS Gulf Coast, FL, AJFCS West Palm Beach, JFCS Southwest Florida/Naples, JFS Detroit, JFS MetroWest, NJ, and JFS Dallas.   

Cohort 4: Agence Ometz/Montreal, JFCS Toronto, JCFS Winnipeg, JFS Delaware, JFS Ann Arbor, MI, and JFCS Long Beach, CA.  

Executive directors often ask how to select the right candidate to serve as the chief development officer. The CEO (or his or her representative) should conduct a preliminary interview to verify specific information and get an initial impression of the candidate. For more information on the interview process, continue reading here.
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