AJFCA Newsletter
In This Issue

Agency Highlights  

JFCS Starts the New Year with a New Name...
jfcs sarasota

  JFCS is growing!
JFCS Sarasota is adding programs, expanding existing programs, and welcoming new staff members to the JFCS family as a result.  They have grown to serve Charlotte, DeSoto, Manatee and Sarasota counties offering more than 26 programs at 17 locations to serve more than 20,000 clients each year.
With the expansion of their services to a broader region, the JFCS Board decided to update their name to reflect the wider region they serve. Effective immediately, please begin referring to the organization as Jewish Family & Children's Service of the Suncoast, Inc.  You may also use or see abbreviated references to the agency as JFCS or JFCS of the Suncoast.
Sharsheret Supports Jewish Women Facing Breast, Ovarian Cancer
JFS Dallas Director of Volunteer Services Beri Schwitzer had known about Sharsheret for quite some time, but it was actually an article featuring them as an AJFCA sponsor in our newsletter that turned on the proverbial light bulb that she could run with them in the NYC Marathon.  Read this article from the Texas Jewish Post for all the details on why running and awareness for breast and ovarian cancer are two of Beri's passions outside of her work at JFS.

JFS Colorado 2013 Reel Hope Video
JFS Colorado
This video, created by JFS Colorado, tells the inspiring story of how JFS helped change a Holocaust survivor's life more than 50 years ago and is helping him again today as a senior. Originally shown at JFS's fundraiser, Reel Hope 2013.
JFS Seattle on Air
jfs seattle

Clear Channel Media spoke with CEO Will Berkovitz,  JFS Seattle and Immediate Past President of the Board Emily Alhadeff about JFS programs and their role in the community.

Listen here.
JF&CS Boston's New American Services Scores 100%

jfcs boston
Last year, JF&CS Boston's New American Services successfully served a total of 182 permanent residents from 36 countries, with the largest number coming from Russia and Haiti.  JF&CS is proud to report that 100% of the program's graduates from the past year have passed the exam, successfully completed the naturalization interview, and received citizenship status.  Read more here.
Agence Ometz Montreal Starts Financial Literacy Program

Agence Ometz is proud to officially launch Money Matters, a series of financial capacity building workshops to educate and empower Ometz clients to help break the cycle of poverty. Ometz professionals are using financial discussions also as a vehicle to look at family dynamics, relationships, communication and planning. Money Matters is an Ometz initiative in partnership with the YM-YWHA and Cummings Jewish Centre for Seniors. Read more here.
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AJFCA would like to thank our friends and donors for your support during our 2013 AJFCA Friends Fund Campaign.  Your generosity will help us build resources, promote strategies and advocate for just policies alongside our members to benefit individuals and families in communities throughout North America.
Todah Rabah.
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January 3, 2014  
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D'Var Torah
Lee I. Sherman


This week we began the year 2014.  Perhaps this marks a new beginning for some.  New prospects; new hopes; new possibilities.  A chance to start over or to try something different.  An opportunity to begin new relationships and mend old ones.  The prospects are vast, and also just a bit scary when so much is unknown.


In this week's Torah reading, parasha Bo, the Hebrew people are on the cusp of starting a new life.  After over four centuries in Egypt and a lifetime of slavery, the people are about to be "let go" by Pharaoh.  Of course, first we must get through the final three devastating plagues and engender the support of the Egyptian people as they tremble in grief and fear, but for our ancestors this must have been a time of great anticipation.  Undoubtedly, it was also a time of worry and concern over what the future may bring.  But, with the leadership of Moses and the support of God, the future Israelites could also find comfort in knowing that by following the commandments they could lead a moral, ethical, and socially responsible life, one of freedom and self-determination.


The clients served by our agencies may often feel shackled by financial, physical, or emotional burdens.  Through the work of our agencies they are able to embark on fresh starts and achieve great successes.  It is often just a bit scary for them, but, they have each of you to help them accomplish their goals.  Yashir Koach.


Shabbat Shalom.


Updates from Washington: Behavioral Health Legislation capital


On December 10th, Vice-President Biden announced a $100 million in new funding for mental health services.   The funds would be split evenly between the Department of Agriculture which will focus on rural mental health, and the Health Resources Services Administration (HRSA) which will target improved access to mental health services within Community Health Centers (CHCs).  Unlike Community Mental Health Centers (a vague umbrella term which encompasses many of our Jewish Family & Children's Agencies) , CHC's are federally qualified and will be eligible for these funds.  After performing due diligence, it appears that these funds will not directly benefit our agencies.  However, should these agencies have productive relationships (or, better  yet, partnerships) with CHC's, our partner agencies should work constructively with them to see if a collaboration is possible. 

On December 12th, the Senate Finance Committee reported out legislation related to the Sustainable Growth Rate (SGR / also known as the "doc fix") and on Medicare Therapy Caps.   AJFCA remains supportive of this language.  Within the language reported out, there was a provision included regarding Excellence in Mental Health Act Demonstration projects.  The Excellence Act is a bipartisan bill (S. 264 - Stabenow/Blunt) which seeks to add additional funding to community health providers who qualify for a new certification status (Certified Behavioral Health Centers).   The proposal would establish a 10 state demonstration program where states that participate would certify mental health providers who would need to meet a high standard of care and offer a broad range of mental health services such as:
  • Crisis psychiatric services available on a 24 hour basis and screening
  • Evidence based and integrated treatment for mental illness, substance abuse, and trauma including cognitive behavioral therapy, applied behavioral analysis, and medication management
  • Expanded peer support and counselor services for individuals and families
  • Integrated preventive screening  for diabetes, hypertension, and cardiovascular disease

These services would be reimbursed under Medicaid in a similar arrangement to Federally Qualified Community Health Centers.    The proposal would cost $1.6 Billion over 10 years.  

The House/Senate Budget agreement was approved by the Senate  following the House vote the previous week.  Within those provisions (which  the President has signed), there is language regarding a three month extension for both the Doc Fix and  the moratoria on the Medicare Therapy Caps taking effect.  If you have any questions about any of the Washington Update information, please contact Shelley Rood.

Infographic: What is Driving Nonprofit Sector's Growth?
During the recession, while for-profit businesses struggled with decreased revenunonprofit quarterlyes causing significant downsizing, high unemployment rates, and record breaking home foreclosures, the nonprofit sector continued its pattern of growth, and actually thrived. One-third of revenue for public charities  501(c)(3) nonprofit organizations in 2011 came directly from government grants and contracts. The nonprofit sector is the third-largest workforce in the United States, behind retail and manufacturing, representing 10 percent of the total workforce in 2010. Public charities, the largest designation, contributed over $800 billion to the 2010 economy, making up 5 percent of the GDP and paying over $320 billion in wages. Continue reading here.
Medicaid and CHIP Eligibility Determinations Continue Positive Growth in November

Medicaid and the Children's Health Insurance Program (CHIP) eligibility determinations continue to grow in November, especmscially in states that have chosen to expand coverage to more of their residents, according to a new CMS report released today.  According to the report, over 1.7 million people have been determined eligible to enroll in Medicaid or CHIP in the month of November through state Medicaid and CHIP agencies and through State-based Marketplaces. CMS also finalized October eligibility determinations resulting in a change from 1.4 million to 2.1 million, bringing the total eligibility determinations in October and November to 3.9 million. These numbers include both Medicaid and CHIP renewals and new eligibility determinations in November.  For more information, continue reading here.
The Best of The Year: 2013

Based on site analytics, and in alphabetical order are eJP's Top Ten pejewish philanthropyosts from 2013: (1) 40 Plus and Screwed: More on Less Young Adult Engagement; (2) Eight Giving Rituals for Your Family: Making the Most of Thanksgivukkah; and (3) From Pew Will Come Forth Torah: Judaism is in trouble in America. Continue reading here for the rest of the top 10 posts.
Juggling Work and Caregiving
A staggering 42 million Americans face the challenges of caring for a loved one while wor  king. Although caregiving can be a richly rewarding experience, the role comes with enormous responsibilities-and pressures. AARP's gentle guide provides practical resources and tips that are easy to find when you need them, whether you're caregiving day to day, planning for future needs or in the middle of a crisis. And equally important, this book helps you care for the caregiver-you. For a free download, please click here.

Every year, awards are given at the AJFCA annual conference to some of our member agencies that have excelled in certain areas.  The purpose of the awards is to honor these agencies for their work as well as to provide an oppoajfca logo-resizedrtunity to share these best practices among our entire AJFCA network.  

We have three new KOVOD award categories this year that will focus on best practices in our agencies and tie into the conference theme of "Inspiring Creativity in a Changing World".

*    Effective Response to Changes in Health & Human Services
*    Meaningful Engagement of Young Adults
*    Sustained Success: Programs With Staying Power

The full category descriptions and guidelines will be shared next week - so stay tuned!
Five Ways Funders Can Replicate What Works
There's no question that innovation is a sexier funding opstanford social innovation reviewportunity than implementation. And yet effective implementation is critical to the social sector's growing evidence-based movement. You need both to work to see results. Hence, a program proven to work in one place won't produce the same results in another if it is implemented poorly.  One solution to this problem is for funders to play a stronger role in the implementation process. Continue reading here to learn more about implementation.
Track and Compare Year-end Giving
Network for Good is once again providing year-end giving data for The Chroniclenetwork for good of Philanthropy's 2013 Year-End Online Giving Tracker. You can use this resource to see how online giving is stacking up each day of December and to compare those numbers with the last few years.  To view the online tracker, please click here.
social velocity
Nonprofits Must Stop Apologizing for Needing Money
It has become increasingly obvious that the nonprofit sector suffers from a lack of confidence. Centuries of being sidelined as "charities" while the real work of the world (business) took center stage has made the nonprofit sector continually apologize for the work they do and how they do it.  Nowhere is this more true than in the financing of their work. But for the nonprofit sector to start to demand a seat at the big money table, nonprofits must stop apologizing for needing money. You can't simply decide to stop feeling bad about asking for money. Instead you have to find the confidence to identify and secure the right financing for your work. Please click here to find out how.
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