AJFCA Newsletter
In This Issue

Agency Highlights  

JFCS Phoenix Spanish Training Great  Success
jfcs phoenix logoThe first Spanish-language Whole Health Action Management training at Jewish Family & Children's Service (JFCS) was a great success with twenty participants from five Valley social and behavioral health services agencies."We were very pleased to work with the National Council... and see this as a critical part of addressing the intersection of health and behavioral needs in our community," said Michael Zent, Ph.D, JFCS President and CEO. 
Click here for more information.
Boston JF&CS Healing Circle 
15 Years Strong 
jfcs boston
When Sue Stellick, Director of Day Programs, Services for People with Disabilities, shared with Marjie Sokoll of Jewish Healing Connections the sad news of a young staff member who had died, she asked whether Marjie might provide a healing circle for people who knew him.

For the past 15 years Marjie has facilitated a monthly healing circle for JF&CS staff members. Sue was familiar with the healing circle and thought the participants in the residential disabilities program would benefit from one at this time.

Read more on the 
JF&CS Boston Blog. 
Adoption Services Are Personal for Jacksonville JF&CS
jfcs jacksonville
Colleen Rodriguez believes in adoption. Rodriguez was adopted as a child. Today, she's the adoptive mother of 3-year-old Nathan. And she is CEO of an agency that handles many adoptions.
"I really believe that when you go through the adoption process, you are absolutely matched with the parents you are supposed to be with," she said.
First Coast Adoption Professionals is part of Jewish Family & Community Services, a non-profit social services agency. Rodriguez, a licensed clinical social worker, became CEO of Jewish Family & Community Services in 2011.
First Coast Adoption Professionals handle as many as 100 adoptions a year, the vast majority involving adoption of children coming through the foster care system.
Click here for the full article.
Calls & Webinars
Register Now for Next MITalks Webinar: MILLENNIALS & BOARDS

Feb. 13, 2014
 12 p.m. EST

Tune in to hear David Eisner from Repair the World and Kari Saratovsky from KDS Strategies discuss how to build and leverage volunteer leadership boards. Learn the latest strategies and benefits for positioning Millennials on your leadership board. 

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.

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. 

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


Wed, Feb. 26, 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.  
This call was rescheduled due to inclement weather.  Please email Sandy Rosenbaum to register or re-resigter for the new date. 
Lead, Learn and Live. Join
AVODAH: The Jewish Service Corps

AVODAH's application is open for the Jewish Service Corps, a prestigious year long program combining work for justice, leadership development, Jewish learning, and community building. 
Learn about AVODAH  and how to spend the next year fighting poverty in one of four cities around the country.  Join a network of hundreds of Jewish social justice leaders that will challenge and support you!  
Watch this video to learn more.  To apply, click here. 
Application deadline is February 10th, 2014.
Ready for An Adventure?
@RepairTheWorld Fellows are passionate go-getters, leaders, and entrepreneurs ages 21-26 who can commit 10.5 months to tackling critical issues by engaging communities in volunteer service. Placements in Philadelphia, Pittsburgh, Baltimore, and Detroit starting September 2014!  Training, stipend, housing, and other perks included.  
Learn more and apply here:
Forward this announcement to your staff, volunteers or board members who might have children or grandchildren in this age range.

Learn more about how these fellows are partnering with our member agencies at this year's annual conference in Montreal!
Stay updated on AJFCA offerings, agency news & current trends . . .
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February 7, 2014  
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walking kids
D'Var Torah 
Lee I. Sherman

Earlier this week, AJFCA, along with our partners at Jewish Federations of North America and the International Association of Jewish Vocational Services, held our annual advocacy mission to Washington, D.C. During the days we were there, the group had an opportunity to meet with a number of Administration officials and Members of Congress. I believe that most of us would agree that the inspirational highlight was when Rep. John Lewis spoke to our group. Mr. Lewis is a hero of the Civil Rights Movement in the United States. As a young man, he marched with Martin Luther King, Abraham Joshua Heschel, and all of the many leaders and supporters of civil rights. Throughout his life he has continued to fight for individual rights and an end to discrimination of all kinds. In his remarks to us, he charged us to keep fighting the good fight and work to lift up the vulnerable populations we serve.

This week we continue our Torah reading in the book of Exodus. In Tetzavveh, we read about the ascension of Aaron and his sons to the priesthood. Although there is no democratic election, the rules and guidelines that God directs to the priests make it clear that they have very specific responsibilities so they can perform their duties as intermediaries between the people and God. The descriptions of the priestly vestments are not about decoration, but about an outward commitment to the task. We read in a later parashah what happens to Aaron's sons when they do not perform as expected. We have high expectations for our leaders, as we should for people who can affect so many lives.

The same sacred responsibility held by the leaders of Torah is required of leaders today. They are of the people and for the people. I have never heard anyone express this so well, in so few words, as Rep. John Lewis. But, even more than his words, it is the example of his life that has made him such an inspirational leader. May we all aspire to be such leaders.

Shabbat Shalom.
Member Agencies Gather for GAI in DC
JFNA, AJFCA & IAJVS member agencies came together in Washington, DC this past Tuesday and Wednesday for the 2014 Government Affairs Institute Advocacy Mission.  This was an opportunity to hear from speakers on policy issues that matter most to our agencies, discuss advocacy issues, receive briefings at the White House from key Government officials, lunch with Congressional members, and have the opportunity to make Hill visits to their local representatives.
Click here to see highlights of the GAI in photos - more pictures will be added in the coming days.  For information on how you can get more involved with AJFCA's Legislative Agenda - contact Washington Director Shelley Rood.
AJFCA Members Attend 
Jewish Disability Advocacy Day
As part of Jewish Disabilities Awareness Month, AJFCA members joined Lee Sherman and AJFCA's new Director of Older Adult & Disabilities Services Liz Woodward for Jewish Disability Advocacy Day on February 6 hosted by the Jewish Federations of North America and the Religious Action Center of Reform Judaism. 

Speakers from the Collaboration to promote Self-Determination and the U.S. International Council on Disabilities briefed a collection of over 40 members of Jewish social service and disability advocacy organizations on 2 important pieces of legislation to promote inclusion: the Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities Treaty and the Achieving a Better Life Experience Act (ABLE). Participants also visited over 30 congressional offices to advocate for support of these policies.

Support these important pieces of legislature to promote better inclusion of people with disabilities at home and across the world by contacting your congressman. Learn more about the issues here:
Conference Registration - OPENS NEXT WEEK!
Inspiring Creativity in a Changing World  
May 4-6, 2014 
Montreal, Quebec
Registration for the 2014 AJFCA & IAJVS Annual Conference will be available soon.  For a glimpse at the schedule, speakers and other details, visit this page of our website.
Deadline for KOVOD Awards Extended

Due to recent closures of our agencies during several of the winter storms this year, we have received multiple requests for an extension on the Kovod Award deadline.  In response, we have extended the deadline by one week.
The 2014 Kovod Awards competition for the following categories:  
  • Effective Response to Changes in Health & Human Services
  • Meaningful Engagement of Young Adults
  • Sustained Success: Programs with Staying Power
Winners will be recognized at the 2014 Annual Conference with a reception in their honor, mention in the conference mobile app, and during the annual awards ceremony.
Deadline for submissions is now 2 pm EST, Friday, February 14, 2014.
Click here for category descriptions and more detail.

Please share your agency's excellence 

with your colleagues in our network!

Pay-for-Success Projects Spread to More States
chronicle philanthropy In pay-for-success projects, donors, foundations, or other investors provide money for social programs that are expected to produce results that in the long run will save money for government agencies. If the programs achieve specific results, the government repays investors with a profit generated from those savings. If not, the government pays nothing.  The concept is being explored in more than a dozen states, but only a few programs are now under way.  Read more here.
Jewish Community Day of Action - February 18
To raise awareness about access to health coverage, the National Council of Jewish Women has declared a Jewish Community Day of Action on February 18.  Individuals and families across our country have just over 50 days left - until the March 31 deadline
hhs logo
 - to explore their options in the health insurance marketplace and to select coverage that works best for them, under the Affordable Care Act (ACA).  Please note that HHS has released the new 2014 Federal Poverty Levels, which will be used by states and the marketplace to determine a consumer's eligibility for Medicaid and CHIP.
Rereading "Collective Impact": Fresh insights gleaned from the article that started it all

stanford social innovation review All collaborations go through cycles.  To sustain the collaboration beyond the first journey through the cycle requires that participants constantly reassess the rationale and value proposition of the collaboration-to learn and affirm why they are committed to working with others.  We live in an age where instant gratification isn't nearly fast enough. Who is willing to work "several years" to develop the trusted relationships and capacity required to achieve collective impact? How do we create a several-year view when so many funders consider three years long-term? The disparity between time required and patience available is one reason why collaboration for collective impact is so elusive.  Read the full article to discover the three lessons the author has learned during his personal collective impact journey.

Boards and Discussions of Public Opinion
nonprofit quarterly If you want your board to have substantive discussions, some say to throw some red meat on the table. There is plenty of it out there, and discussions of organizational direction should never be confined to strategic planning processes. So what if you chose some content from the many studies and public opinion polls available? Even if the last thing you want to do is to follow public opinion, it is useful to have conversations about those elements of your operating environment. Continue reading here.
Fundraising Tip: Ditch the Pitch Habit #1 - Think Input Before Output
ejp full logo Let's face it; most people look at fundraising solicitations and other forms of persuasion more as processes of telling and convincing than as processes of listening and observing.  This is not an effective way to raise money, because the odds that a preconceived pitch will be right for the donor you are trying to persuade, at the moment you are trying to persuade her, are about one in a billion. To ditch the pitch, we first need to shift from an output-driven to an input-driven mindset. Read more here.
Do's and Don'ts of Digital Fundraising 
Do's and Don'ts of Digital Fundraising, January 27, 2014, The Connected Cause, by Monika McMahon
cause connected Digital technology enables us to venture into a dialogue with donors and potential donors along loads of new interesting channels, but it does not allow us to abandon the old school fundraising methods or mediums - quite the contrary. Our digital fundraising must be firmly integrated to work. Digital media has changed and is continuing to change the way the world works, and we charities are going to have to follow suit.  Read the full article for a list of digital fundraising do's and don'ts.
Mutual of America Community Partnership Award 
mutual of america
The application period for the 2014 Mutual of America Community Partnership Award is now open. This award recognizes outstanding nonprofit organizations in the United States that have shown exemplary leadership by facilitating partnerships with public, private or social sector leaders who are working together as equal partners, not as donors and recipients, to build a cohesive community that serves as a model for collaborating with others for the greater good. Click here to view the application. 
For more information and to view the 2013 CPA winner's video, click here.
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