AJFCA Newsletter
In This Issue
Agency Highlights
JFCS Director of Programs Wins Kesher Award

Toronto JFCS    
The State of Israel Bonds Kesher Award is presented each year at the Golda Meir Circle Luncheon to remarkable role models in the community who demonstrate an unbreakable Kesher (connection) to the State of Israel and the Jewish people.

One of this year's three recipients is Jewish Family & Child Services of Toronto's own Director of Programs, Wendy Wolfman. Learn more here.

Kids Kosher Food Bank Program 

JCS south florida  

Jewish Community Services of South Florida has received numerous requests for more information regarding their Kids for Kosher Food Bank
program, which was featured at the 2014 AJFCA Annual Conference session Cultivation Across the Generations:  Reaching Younger Donors.

Bonnie Schwartzbaum, Director of the JCS Kosher Food Bank has revamped the Kids for Kosher Food Bank website, which includes detailed information about the program, including start up tools. Visit the website here or contact Bonnie.
Grant Helps Educate Seniors About Food Aid

JFS MetroWest NJ  
The Jewish Family Service of MetroWest  is pressing for senior citizens in its catchment area to sign up for the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program, the federal food stamp program.
JFS received a $25,000 grant from MAZON, the Los Angeles-based anti-hunger group, to recruit needy Jews and non-Jews to apply for food aid.
MAZON, in partnership with the Association of Jewish Family & Children's Agencies and with funding by the Walmart Foundation, has offered grants to JFS agencies in seven states.

MAZON says about 1.5 million adults aged 55 and older are eligible for supplemental nutrition.
"That number is staggering," said Reuben Rotman, executive director of Jewish Family Service of MetroWest. "We are proud to be involved in a project to address such a pressing need that ensures adults in New Jersey are feeling food-secure."
Calls & Webinars
Visit  AJFCA's Calendar
to learn more about free calls and webinars. For more information login to the Members section of the AJFCA website, followed by Webinars. Contact Megan at 410-843-7327 with questions.

An Introduction to SafeLink
June 17th, 1pm  ET
Phone:  888-453-4395
Passcode:  2022632930

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June 13, 2014 
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D'Var Torah

Lee I. Sherman
President & CEO


I confess that one of my "guilty pleasures" is reading spy novels.  Particularly when I am traveling, relaxing with the fast-paced intrigue of a good thriller is a wonderful way to pass the airplane and train miles.  My favorites are the novels of Daniel Silva, with the complex narratives involving Gideon Allon, Israeli super-spy, fine art restorer, and demon-filled citizen of the world.  Beyond the challenging and often dangerous plot situations, I think what is so appealing to me are the ethical and moral dilemmas faced by these often flawed characters.  Doing good and being good are not always in sync.


As revealed in this week's parashah, Shelah Lekha, spies are a part of Torah as well.  Moses appoints 12 individuals to scout the land the Israelites are about to enter.  The spies report on a land of abundance, "of milk and honey," but also home to physically intimidating and fierce people.  Ten of the spies, while reporting the facts, recommend against entering the land and their report incites the fear and anxiety of their fellow Israelites.  Only Caleb and Joshua, working from the same set of observations, are encouraging about the Israelites fulfilling God's promise and finding a home in this land.  And only Caleb and Joshua will be permitted to enter the new land.


The reports of the 12 spies are based on the same facts but lead to opposite recommendations.  As in the spy novels I enjoy, it is the character variations of the actors that drive the plot and lead to the ultimate outcomes.  Caleb and Joshua, like Gideon Allon, are committed to their cause and have the faith to pursue the right path.  We can all learn from their strength of character and the positive outcomes that result from their actions and words.

Shabbat Shalom
From Nursing Home to Stay at Home: Jewish Organizations Try to Shift Senior Living

For many Jewish organizations, it has become clear that older adults are happier if they can live independently and "age in place," in their own homes rather than in nursing homes. "It has been a longstanding priority of Jewish federations and affiliated agencies to encourage aging in place, the feeling being that when older adults age in place, as distinct from being in an institution, they are able to live healthier and fuller lives," says William Daroff, senior vice president of public policy and director of the Washington Office of the Jewish Federations of North America (JFNA). 

It is also more cost-effective to age in place because medical costs skyrocket for seniors who move to nursing homes or other facilities, Daroff explains.

Read more here

Strategic Planning or Strategic Thinking?
The well-known French expression attributed to Jean-Baptiste Alphonse Karr, "plus ça change, plus c'est la même chose" is often translated "the more things change, the more they stay the same." Anyone living in the world of nonprofit organizations (NPO's) could say that in fact the exact opposite is true. We live in an age where not only does the world continue to change, but the rate of change increases exponentially. For NPO's trying to keep track of their operating environment, the ferocious and unending pace of change can be dizzying. Continue reading here
Sustainability by the Numbersejewish philanthropy
Sustainability by the Numbers, June 2, 2014, eJP 
In 2014, it is the Pew Report on the practices and beliefs of American Jews that has stimulated much debate, some hand wringing, and an evaluation of our communal priorities. What changes and adaptations will mark our Jewish life and institutions in light of Pew have yet to be seen. But this much is clear: The Jewish community is now deeply entrenched in the 21st century preoccupation with big data. We are now extremely reliant on data: to make decisions, track our success, better understand our constituencies, and demonstrate the power of our product. Read more here

New CNCS AmeriCorps VISTA Partnership    

AJFCA is thrilled to announce a new partnership with the Corporation for National & Community Service's AmeriCorps VISTA Program. On May 30th AJFCA was officially awarded 14 VISTA members to serve one-year terms specifically in the area of Holocaust Survivor Services in 13 agencies across the United States. The project will place full-time volunteers focused on building the capacity of local organizations to meet the growing needs of some of our most vulnerable community members in the Baltimore/ Washington area, Southern New Jersey, metropolitan New York, Chicago, Detroit, Los Angeles, and Southern Florida. CNCS

Recruitment is underway for all positions as of June 1st. As the sponsoring organization AJFCA is seeking a VISTA Leader who must have already completed a one-year VISTA project at the start of service in August 2014. If you have any connections to qualified candidates who may be interested in this fantastic opportunity to gain experience working with a national nonprofit, please share this listing or direct them to the AmeriCorps VISTA web portal
Domestic Violence:  Update & Ideas Exchange
Domestic violence professionals are invited to participate in an update and idea exchange Tuesday, June 24th at 2pm ET. During the conference call we will regroup and discuss programming in your city, specific events that have engaged professionals or community members, new grants received, etc. Please email your updates and ideas to Amy Rubin by Thursday, June 19th.

We are always striving to include domestic violence professionals in our quarterly calls. If you would like to add someone or be added to the group please email Zahava.
Update & Idea Exchange
Tuesday, June 24th - 2pm ET - REGISTER HERE
Residential Alternatives for Adults with Disabilities Survey ajfca logo-resized
Does your agency provide residential services to individuals with disabilities? Is there an organization in your community that you refer individuals and families to for residential services? The National Task Force on Residential Alternatives for Adults with Disabilities in the Jewish Community is looking to learn more about the residential services our network provides, partners with, or refers to.

Please fill out the survey here. Feel free to forward the link to others or contact Liz about other service providers.
Ships Passing in the Night? Connecting with Emerging Major Donors ejp full logo
Avrun Lapin, President of The Lapin Group, a prominent fundraising consulting firm is surprised, even after three decades in the fundraising industry, by the often slow and resistant responses from many leading organizations in the Jewish community to the demands of the new circle of lead and major donors. Emanating from an ill-perceived notion of history and position, or from a sense of entitlement, many organizations are slow to recognize that the emerging "class" of major donors - increasingly entrepreneurs and creators of ideas and solutions - is quite different from those who preceded them, and expect different things from the organizations and causes that they support. Learn more here
Key Takeaways for the Internet Trends Report network for good
The 2014 Internet Trends report is full of useful nuggets, including key stats and opportunities for innovation. As fundraising and nonprofit marketing evolves in an increasingly digital world, this type of insight can help you understand how the landscape is changing and how these changes may affect and inform your efforts to acquire and engage donors over the next few years. Click here for a few highlights.  
An Introduction to SafeLink 
Have you heard about SafeLink, but aren't sure how to go about providing your low-income clients access to it? Good news, information about SafeLink and how to enroll clients is now available on the AJFCA Partner Programs page of the AJFCA website. In this section you will find a link that will direct you and/or your clients to the SafeLink enrollment site.

SafeLink Wireless provides your eligible clients the opportunity to apply for a free cell phone with free monthly minutes through the Federal Lifeline program.
An Introduction to SafeLink
Tuesday, June 17th, 1pm
Phone: 888-453-4395
Passcode: 2022632930
AJFCA Volunteer Newsletter
AJFCA's quarterly Volunteer Newsletter is now available. Click here to view the Summer 2014 AJFCA Volunteer Newsletter.
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