AJFCA Newsletter
In This Issue
Agency Highlights

Young Adults with Special Needs: A Parent's Perspective


jcs baltimore

February is national Jewish Disability Awareness & Inclusion Month. The mission is to unite Jewish communities and organizations for the purpose of raising awareness and supporting meaningful inclusion of people with disabilities and their families in every aspect of Jewish life.

According to the National Organization on Disability, 54 million Americans have a significant disability... that's one in five Americans.  In 2010, the Baltimore Jewish Community Study revealed that more than 6,000 Jewish households had at least one person with a disability, be it physical, developmental, or a learning disability. Continuing reading this piece published on Jewish Community Services of Baltimore's website

FirstCall Donates to JFCS Louisville in Honor of Frank Weisberg


jfcs louisville 
Jewish Family & Children's Service of Louisville received a generous contribution from FirstCall in honor of local artist and real estate agent Frank Weisberg.
The contribution commemorates Weisberg's recognition for Outstanding Commercial Transaction of the Year in Kentucky. This award was given by the Kentucky chapter of Certified Commercial Investment Members in appreciation of a particularly complex commercial real estate sale.
Meghann Vamvas, a public adjuster from FirstCall, presented the donation to JFCS Executive Director Judy Freundlich Tiell and JFCS Board President Debbie Friedman. Afterward, Weisberg and Vamvas toured JFCS and learned more about the variety of services we offer to our clients.

AJFCA Staff News

Megan Manelli has returned from maternity leave with a new title to more accurately reflect her responsibilities and the role of her work within the network.

Effective immediately, Megan's new title is Director of Marketing & Communications.

Etta Gene, 3 months
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 Megan at 410-843-7327 with questions.

Pursuing Justice
March 6th, 2:30pm EST
JCSANA logo for contest 
The Three A's of a Successful Agency: Accountability, Accessibility, Affordability
March 11th, 2pm EST
Foothold Technology 

Health Care Reform: How Does It Affect Me?
March 18th, 8pm EST

Stay updated on AJFCA offerings, agency news & current trends . . .
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February 21, 2014 
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D'Var Torah

                                                          Lee I. Sherman

At an early age, I learned my limits, particularly in relation to my artistic (non)ability. In nursery school I could not draw a straight line, cut a circle using scissors, or even paste one piece of paper to another without that ugly white paste slithering out the sides. And, despite all attempts of teachers to improve my skills, they never got much better. So, when it came time to join group projects, I knew my proper place. For the betterment of all, and any grade we might hope to attain, I left the artwork to others and concentrated on the supporting words (and maybe running out for snacks).

In this week's parashah, Va-yakhel, we read about one of the greatest community art projects of all time, the construction and decorating of the Mishkan. Like any good community project, all who had a passion for the work were encouraged to contribute, but the intricacies and embellishments of the craftsmanship were led by the most skilled artisans, Bezalel and Oholiab. It was their strengths as artists that could ensure the Mishkan would meet its purpose as a sacred residence for the laws that connected the Israelites with God.

The lessons of this community project in Torah work well for us today as well. Whether art, or program design, or any number of group efforts, we want each person who shares the passion to contribute. But, we all gain by relying on those who are most skilled and gifted with the particular special talents that will move the project forward for the best results. I will continue to bring my passion, but rely on others to handle the scissors, paper, and paste.

Have a peaceful Shabbat..
Disruptive Innovation as a Framework 
A major challenge for the Jewish community is the fact that many professionals working to engage Millenials bring their own ejp full logoassumptions, norms and values to bear on experiences meant to engage the unengaged. The first competency recommended to these professionals is an understanding of disruptive innovation as an approach uniquely suited to taking on the challenge of engaging those who are currently not participating in Jewish life. Continue reading here.
Do We Have a Nonprofit Overhead Movement?
Opinions may differ as to what constitutes a movement-but when two different and influential groups hold noteworthy conferences on the same basic topic within three days of each other, you have to think something's up. Continue reading here and join AJFCA at this year's Annual Conference to hear Dan Pallotta address this issue.
Forget CRM Think Community 
CRM is a strategy for reaching donors, evaluating their interest in and capacity for giving, and then moving them through a funnel to convert them into donors. Since their interactions can be tracked, it is also possible to measure how effective different types of outreach are in pushing people through that funnel. Continue reading here.

Join AJFCA & IAJVS for the 2014 Annual Conference
Register today for the reduced rate of $495 



This year's conference theme is Inspiring Creativity in a Changing World, which will challenge attendees to examine current practices and adapt to compete today and in the future. The Conference will have five areas of focus. Click on the links below to view the conference programming in

 more detail.

Please book your hotel room at Fairmont The Queen Elizabeth by Friday, April 14th. You can secure a room at the group rate using the AJFCA/IAJVS group code. Room rates start at $169 CDN standard. This group rate will be honored 3 days prior and post conference dates, on a space available basis. Please secure your room as soon as possible.  

  • Reserve your room via this link.  
    (The website default language is French. Use the drop-down menu on the top-right corner of your screen to switch to English.)
  • Call Fairmont The Queen Elizabeth, 800-441-1414 

Please contact Megan Manelli with questions.


We look forward to seeing you in Montreal, Quebec (Canada) May 4-6, 2014. 

2014 Annual Conference Luncheons
Four optional luncheons designed for smaller group networking and discussion will take place on Sunday, May 4th at the 2014 AJFCA & IAJVS Annual Conference. Learn more about each to see if you'd like to participate.

  • Board Leadership Luncheon
  • Fund Development & Marketing Luncheon
  • Volunteer/Adult Ambassadors Luncheon
  • Small Agencies Luncheon
New Enhancements to Foundation Directory Online

Foundation Center upgrades will be available next week. Stay tuned for:

Power Search will deliver results ranked by relevance so you can zero-in on the best information even faster.

Guided Search
features will help you find the perfect search terms as you type and give you easy-to-use options for narrowing your results, which means less time searching and more time finding the perfect funder.
Mobile-friendly design will make it easier to use Foundation Directory Online on tablets and smart phones so you can take it wherever you go.

Foundation Ceter renewal takes place in August. Please email Megan Manelli if you are interested in this AJFCA member benefit.

A Board Member Speaks Out board source
Post your open board positions on LinkedIn - it works! Wary of recruiting board members through LinkedIn? Chris Carlton, chair of the board development committee at the American Red Cross of Silicon Valley (ARCSV), shares her positive experience with the service. Read more here.
Boards and Public Displays of Disaffection
Internal strife comes in many forms. Some of the more fundamental breakdowns occur when there is a lack of a shared vision among the board and chief executive, an inability to form a constructive partnership, or a disagreement over strategic direction and how to proceed. Read more here.
Fundraising Tip: Ditch the Pitch Habit #3 - Create a Series of "Yeses" ejewish philanthropy
We all love it when a donor says "yes" and agrees to a gift. But this "big yes" is rarely the only yes you hear. Securing a gift is actually a series of "yeses." If you deliver pre-written pitches and presentations to donors you won't have much success. Fundraising effectiveness requires you to ditch the pitch and engage donors in improvised persuasive conversations. Read on here.
Endowments Climb in 2013 chronicile of philanthropy

2013 brought good news to the nonprofit world. On average, nonprofits earned between 7-11% returns, pushing many to their prerecession values.

  • Nearly 50% invested in the stock market - find out how gifts, and not the stock market, propelled endowment growth in 2013.
  • 8.4% was the median return on investment - learn how 18 organizations grew more than 20%.
  • 95% of major gifts come from 5% of the richest donors - read valuable tips on how to enrich your relationships with them.

View the report here.


2014 Volunteer Professional Cohort Selected

AJFCA is proud to announce the 2014 AJFCA/Repair the World Volunteer Professional Cohort. This year over 20 people submitted applications for 9 slots, making the selection of the group very difficult. This group will gather at the annual conference to discuss topics including engaging millennial volunteers and introducing Jewish service learning components to volunteer opportunities. Leading up to and following the conference, the cohort will receive ongoing support from Jennie Gates Beckman, AJFCA's Director of Volunteer Strategy & Repair the World Programming.


Kathryn Winogura, JFCS East Bay
Taly Yeyni, JFS Greater Kansas City
Todd Sandler, JFCS Minneapolis
Janice Heft, Agence Ometz
Matthew Bolton, JFCS Pittsburgh
Tara Booker,  JFCS Suncoast, Inc.

Einat Keynan, JCFS Winnipeg

Rabbi James Kahn, JSSA
Masha Gutkin,  JFCS San Francisco

For more information on how you can get involved in the Volunteer Initiative, contact Jennie Gates Beckman
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