AJFCA Newsletter
In This Issue

Agency Highlights  

Brandywine Village Network Keeps Seniors at Home Longer

jfs delaware  The Brandywine Village Network, a program operated by JFS Delaware, is one of the ways community-focused efforts are trying to make it easier for older residents to stay in their homes as they get older. There's a growing need for these kind of programs, especially in Delaware, which is projected to have the ninth-highest proportion of people age 65 and older in the U.S. by 2030.  Continue reading about this successful program here.
Samost JFCS Special Needs Department "Soups and Sweets" Program Enters Second Season

samost jfcs When it comes to programs helping those with special needs, it doesn't get any sweeter than this.  The Soups and Sweets program is a collaboration of the JFCS Special Needs Department and Congregation Beth El. Soups and Sweets is a food service training program designed to provide young adults with special needs an opportunity to gain transferable culinary skills.
To Drive or Not to Drive - Seniors and Future Mobility Planning
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Starting this important conversation - and reducing the anxiety often associated with this transitional period - is the impetus behind the Jewish Social Service Agency (JSSA)'s "To Drive or Not to Drive" program.  The program's creator, Beth Shapiro, a licensed clinical social worker in JSSA's senior services department,  hopes seniors and their families will allow time to become comfortable with the idea of limited driving.  To learn more about this program, please contact bshapiro@jssa.org.
Jewish Family & Children's Service (JFCS)  Is the First to Offer WHAM Training in Spanish
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Jewish Family & Children's Service is pleased to announce its partnership with the National Council for Behavioral Health to
offer the first in the nation Spanish WHAM Training on January 23& 24, 2014.
  Spanish WHAM Training (Whole Health Action Management) is an in-person, 2-day group training conducted exclusively in Spanish to equip peers to help the people they serve set and achieve whole health goals to improve chronic health and behavioral health conditions.  For more information, please visit
AJFCA Staff News

We are pleased to announce that we have hired Liz Woodward to fill the newly-created position of Director of Older Adults & Disabilities Services.  Liz will lead the development and implementation of the AJFCA Older Adult Initiative as well as AJFCA's efforts in the area of Disabilities Services.   Liz will start with AJFCA on February 3.
Also, we have changed the title of Jennie Gates Beckman to more accurately reflect her responsibilities and the role of her work within the network.  Effective immediately, Jennie's new title is Director of Volunteer Strategy & Repair the World Programming.
Calls & Webinars

Supporting People Toward Citizenship, Relationships and Full Life in the Community


Wed, Jan. 22, 2014

1-2:30 pm ET

People who live with the label of disability often tend to have few relationships outside of paid staff. Supporting the creation of strong, lasting, unpaid relationships -- those that assure safety, provide natural supports and lead to quality of life -- has been a key part of the work of Neighbours, Inc. over the past 17 years.  Join us for a webinar featuring Patti Scott, Founder and CEO of Neighbours, Inc., to explore the strategies and approaches that have been successful for Neighbours, Inc. 


Please email Sandy Rosenbaum to RSVP for this call.

Opportunity to Connect with Keshet


Wed, Feb. 19, 2014

1 pm ET

  Keshet is a national grassroots organization that works for the full equality and inclusion of lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender (LGBT) Jews in Jewish life.  Keshet would like to work collaboratively with AJFCA member agencies to enhance programs and services to the LGBT community.  Join AJFCA and Catherine Bell, National Program Director at Keshet, to discuss potential collaborations.


Please email Sandy Rosenbaum to RSVP to this call.  

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January 17, 2014  
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D'Var Torah
Lee I. Sherman


I have an incredible job.  Each day, I get to work on behalf of our member agencies that are doing amazing work across the U.S. and Canada to assist individuals and families in their communities to face and conquer their challenges.  No day is the same as any other and they all contain new surprises and opportunities.  But, Wednesday of this week was particularly special.  I had the honor of representing the 125 member agencies of AJFCA and offer testimony to the U.S. Senate Special Committee on Aging at its hearing "Aging in Comfort: Assessing the Special Needs of America's Holocaust Survivors."  More importantly, I was one of five witnesses able to give a voice to Holocaust survivors who have suffered so greatly and deserve to now live with dignity and respect in a safe, supportive environment.


This week's parashah, Yitro, is perhaps the most significant in all of Torah, for it contains the giving of the Ten Commandments to the Jewish people.  The passages are rich in both description and content.  For me, what resonates the most is that all of the people gathered together to receive God's commandments, each being equally important as a member of this community.  And, our rabbis have taught us that even in later generations, we are to consider that each of us was at Mount Sinai for this signature event.


When I was about to appear before the Senate committee, I thought about how we Jews were all together at Sinai.  To be able to give a voice to the tens of thousands of Holocaust survivors in North America who need our help, and to honor the memory of the Six Million who were murdered, was for me just doing my part as one of the congregation at Sinai.  And, I am so proud of the work you all do to make certain that other members of that congregation, the Holocaust survivors, who have taught us what it means to triumph over bigotry and hatred, can stay active members of our community for as long as possible.    


Have a peaceful Shabbat.

U.S. Senate Special Committee on Aging Hears Testimony on Unique Needs of Holocaust Survivors
Holocaust Survivors Say Germany Needs to Help Ease Poverty Among Aging Members, January 15, 2014, News Observer, by Chris Adams
Led by survivor Jack Rubin of Boynton Beach, Fla., Holocaust survivors and family members told the Senate Special Committee on Aging that money made available to Holocaust survivors didn't come close to paying for home health care services, hearing aids, dental care and the other costs of the aging population.  Lee Sherman, president of the Baltimore-based Association of Jewish Family & Children's Agencies, said that even survivors who had adapted well in America may experience triggers late in life, especially if those problems are compounded by dementia or Alzheimer's.

"Some Holocaust survivors may resort to hiding food in their rooms, insecure about when their next meal will come, and how much food will be available to them," he told the committee.  Continue reading the article here.  The full video of the Committee hearing is available to watch on the website of the Special Aging Committee.  

Check out photos and screenshots highlighting all participants in the hearing on the AJFCA facebook page.

Read more here: http://www.newsobserver.com/2014/01/15/3535829/holocaust-survivors-say-germany.html#storylink=cpy

Read more here: http://www.newsobserver.com/2014/01/15/3535829/holocaust-survivors-say-germany.html#storylink=
Workplaces For Everyone
Individuals with disabilities are everywhere in our communities. We, ourselves, may have been living with one for years or may be recently diagnosed. Our Jewish summer camps include more and more campers with disabilities. Our parents, siblings, spouses, and children have disabil
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ities.  Inevitably, fortunately, and slowly but quite surely, those with disabilities are moving in to workplaces as well. Aside from financial necessities that jobs support, individuals obviously gather more than just money through work. People receive purpose, organization and routine, confidence, relationships, and a place in a community. Jobs allow people to face and overcome challenges, learn from others, learn about others, learn about ourselves, and provide positive feelings from successfully completed work. Imagine that a job can provide emotional, educational, and interpersonal experiences every day. Would we not want that for everyone? Continue reading here.
New Jersey Family Agencies Discuss Cost of Aging
This week, New Jersey agencies gathered for a program entitled 

"Striving to Ensure the Golden Years Are Indeed Golden: How Jewish Family Services Organizations Support New Jersey's Elderly in their Communities," sponsored by the NJ Association of Mental Health and Addiction Agencies and the NJ Association of Jewish Family Service Agencies. Speakers described the challenges and opportunities Jewish social service agencies will face to assist the elderly and their caregivers. Lee Sherman, President and CEO of the Association of Jewish Family & Children's Agencies, noted that America's elderly population is swelling, and that the Jewish community is aging disproportionately.  Continue reading here.

What Nonprofits Should Stop Doing in 2014: Advice From the Experts
Ignoring people who make medium-size gifts!  People who give $500 to $10,000 annually fall through the cracks at far too many char
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ities. These donors often aren't big enough to attract the attention of major-gift fundraisers. But because they give generously, nonprofits often take them off direct-mail and email lists out of fear of offending them with too many solicitations.

To do a better job, organizations need to give at least one person in the fundraising department responsibility for concentrating on those donors. The key is to pair substantive mail and electronic appeals with personal interaction. Continue reading here for more advice.
Raising the Bar on Nonprofit Impact Measurement
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The key to progress is embedding measurement in practice. When you intervene in a complex system, you have difficult choices to make about where and how to act. We may be fans of impact measurement in the social sector, for example, but what if it ends up driving a kind of "marketization" of the sector that pushes charities toward the biggest bang for their buck? Those choices are almost always underdetermined-you can't know what will happen if you push here instead of pulling there. But if you're lucky, you'll be able to see how the system responds over time and refine your strategies accordingly. Read more here.
Helping Consumers: Tips for In-Person Enrollment Assisters
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While many improvements to the application process have been made, CMS recognizes that some consumers continue to have difficulty with their applications on Healthcare.gov. They have posted a Tip Sheet on their Assisters Resource page to provide guidance on how to best assist those consumers who are experiencing continuing issues with tax credit eligibility determinations, completing their applications due to technical glitches, Medicaid or CHIP eligibility determinations, or selecting an insurance plan.
Branding or Branded
Many companies and many nonprofits know that something has changed. Too often, their response has been to repackage themselves and called it re-branding. 
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It is as if they have adopted the old saw "fake it til you make it." For this group, calling a pre-existing program or project or offering by a new catchy with-it dot.com type title is all they have taken away from an era of rapid and deep change. Do people really believe that because a company or organization has a facebook page or twitter handle that it has changed the way it does things? Continue reading here.
Fundraising Tip: Ditch the Pitch
A "shpiel," which is just a nice Jewish word for a sales pitch, is a very ineffective way to persuade someone to give money to a cause. Leave your shpiel at home. Nobody wants to hear a sales pitch. Do you? When was the last time hard sell worked on you?  When wejp full logoas the last time you enjoyed hearing someone's sales pitch? When was the last time someone "convinced" you to do something?  Your donors don't want to hear sales pitches. More importantly, they are usually not persuaded by sales pitches. If you deliver a sales pitch and walk away with a check, you have succeeded in spite of your pitch, not because of it.  Continue reading here to see why sales pitches don't work.
2014 Nonprofit Communications Trends Report
Curious about how other nonprofits will communicate in 2014?  Want to see where the trends are?  nonprofit marketing guide Fill out the Request the 2014 Nonprofit Communications Trends Report form to request your copy of the 2014 Nonprofit Communications Trends Report. The trends you'll find in this report come from an online survey of over 2,100 nonprofits. A variety of marketing questions were presented such as: (1) do you feel you are currently overworked or under worked? (2) Which communications tools do you see as very important, somewhat important, and least important to you in 2013? Read more here the continuation of questions and highlights of the report.
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