AJFCA Newsletter
In This Issue

JFS Houston Awarded the Ruderman Prize in Inclusion

JFS Houston
On July 14th the Ruderman Family Foundation announced the winners for the third annual Ruderman Prize in Inclusion. Jewish Family Services of Houston was one of the recipients and will receive $50,000 to continue their work and pursue new opportunities for inclusion in their local communities. The Prize honors organizations worldwide who operate innovative programs and provide services that foster the full inclusion of people with disabilities in their local Jewish community.


Jewish Family Services Alexander Institute for Inclusion - The JFS Alexander Institute for Inclusion is a Houston based initiative dedicated to engaging local communities in vital discussions on how to meaningfully include people with disabilities and reduce related stigmas. The Institute develops the leadership skills of key players whose awareness of inclusion brings the conversation (and ultimately action) to the forefront of their work, academic, or communal environments. In its efforts to increase awareness across the board, the Institute uses arts and education programs to change perception and trains leaders to challenge organizations to embrace inclusion in a proactive way.

Learn more about the award here.
JCFS Chicago's Virginia Frank Child Development Center Publishes Book

jcfs chicago
Directors and staff at Jewish Child & Family Services of Chicago's Virginia Frank Child Development have realized a dream that has been incubating for many years: to publish a manual for early childhood professionals incorporating the work of over sixty years in the therapeutic nursery/kindergarten program and their experience in providing early childhood mental health consultation throughout the Chicago area.

 This guidebook for early-childhood professionals emphasizes the importance of building strong teacher and caregiver relationships with young children to promote a secure, healthy, and productive learning environment.

The relationship-based phase model was developed at the JCFS's Virginia Frank Child Development Center in Chicago by early-childhood professionals with backgrounds in education, social work, child development, psychology, and counseling. It's centered on the knowledge that having secure attachments with a caregivers is the basis of optimal cognitive growth and development for young children, and that their social and emotional needs change. Continue reading here.
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July 18, 2014 
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D'Var Torah

Lee I. Sherman

It is late at night (or mid-day, or early morning, or constant). The siren goes off.  A young mother rushes to pick up her two year old son, who is never out of her sight. They run to shelter and listen for the explosion. Perhaps 20 or 25 seconds have elapsed, and then it is a return to "routine." And if you are in Ashkelon or Moatza Ezorit Eshkol, or dozens of other communities in Israel, you can expect this to be repeated multiple times per day. And once the immediate threat has passed, hopefully for an extended period in the near future, what are the longer lasting effects?

Because of multiple wars and military actions, we have become all too familiar with Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD), an anxiety disorder that can occur after undergoing extreme emotional trauma involving the threat of injury or death. I worry that the constant barrage of rocket attacks in Israel over the past two weeks will result in a generation of children that will suffer from PTSD. Yes, Israelis are strong and resilient, but these are children who have yet to develop the internal resources that can help them cope. 

In Pirkei Avot, Sayings of Our Fathers, Rabbi Ishmael says:  "One who learns Torah in order to teach, is given the opportunity to learn and teach. One who learns in order to do, is given the opportunity to learn, teach, observe and do." Our network of agencies understands how to turn our Jewish values into action. As the article below describes (Crisis in Israel), we not only support those who are working so tirelessly in Israel to respond to the crisis, but our agencies in North America are responding to the needs of members of their own communities. Wherever we do our work, and however we can support  those who experience trauma, may we all continue to provide the resources that will allow our children to live in safety and have long, productive and anxiety-free lives.

May we all have a peaceful Shabbat. 
Crisis in Israel 
As we press forward with our daily work, serving people in need, we keep our hearts and minds with the people of Israel and Jewish communities around the world. With 80% of the country within range of Hamas' missiles, the trauma to children and adults in Israel is palpable. We applaud and stand in solidarity with the many social workers, nurses, doctors, and social service agencies in Israel who are responding to the crisis even as they struggle to protect their own families. In North America, we stand with communities that are peacefully organizing to support Israel and fundraising to provide needed services and respite to Israel's citizens under fire. In all times, and especially in times of crisis, AJFCA members are true to our values of tikkun olam, treating others with dignity and respect, compassion and caring for others, and our great sense of Jewish peoplehood.

Jewish Family Service of MetroWest NJ has formed a free support group for friends and family who have loved ones in Israel. On Tuesday, July 22nd at 7pm ET the group will meet in a safe environment to express emotional issues, meet with others in the same situation and learn coping skills. For more information contact Lee Dagger.
Passage of Workforce Innovation and Opportunity Act jfna logo
Last week, the House passed the Workforce Innovation and Opportunity Act (WIOA), the compromise legislation meant to replace the Workforce Investment Act (WIA). The House approved the measure 415 to 6, following the Senate's overwhelming approval two weeks ago by a vote of 95 to 3. The final language in the bill was the result of months of negotiations and compromises by leaders in both parties in both houses of Congress. For more information regarding the direct impact on the work of many of our agencies and the clients they serve click here.
Unaccompanied Children at the U.S. Mexico Border
Twenty national Jewish organizations, including AJFCA signed on to the Jewish statement on Unaccompanied children at the U.S. Mexico border. HIAS also sent a press release and the story was picked up in JTA and The Forward. Also last week President Obama requested that Congress enact a $3.7 billion Emergency Supplemental Appropriations bill which includes $1.83 billion for the Department of Health and Human Services' Office of Refugee Resettlement (ORR). Click here to learn more. 
Is Your Nonprofit Ready to Play a Leading Role?
Is our organization relevant? If you work for a nonprofit, you've probably asked yourself that question more than once. Concerns about relevancy stem from the most challenging aspect of organizational sustainability.  Continue reading here.
If You Build It, Will They Come? ejp full logo
Leadership is the single most meaningful force for success. Whether it is in politics on a global, national, or local level; in the corporate or private sector; or in the nonprofit world, accomplishment is propelled by the impetus and inspiration of one, or a small group of individuals, who develop creative mission and market-driven ideas, build plans of action around them, and effectively animate those plans through effective execution. Continue reading here.
Survey Links Fundraising Results to Annual Campaigns
Charitable organizations in the U.S. and Canada are more likely to raise funds successfully when they have a formal, annual fundraising drive, according to survey results released by the Nonprofit Research Collaborative. Click here to view some of the first research and see how annual funds are conducted and the role the annual fund plays in helping an organization reach fundraising goals.
Annual Foundation Center Renewal foundation center
AJFCA will be renewing the annual Foundation Center subscription. If you are interested please email Zahava by Friday, July 18th. For more information regarding the Foundation Center click here or contact Megan.

Boost Fundraising Results through Branded Web Portal Sales - RESCHEDULED 

AJFCA is pleased to announce a partnership with REMCAP, 2014 AJFCA Annual Conference sponsor. The REMCAP Buying Portal, powered by Deem, provides a web-based buying portal for not-for-profit organizations that serves as a source for donations. AJFCA member agencies and local community donors and supporters sign on to use the portal to make purchases for home, leisure, travel or business needs. A portion of the sales value made by users is transferred to the local AJFCA member agency as a donation. The buying portal is branded with your agency's logo. Users make their purchases and in the settlement process REMCAP's system redirects funds to your organization. You determine the level of promotion to your community that you wish to generate. The result is a lasting, ongoing source of funds for your organization with no start-up or ongoing costs to participate for agencies or users.

Boost Fundraising Results through Branded Web Portal Sales

Thursday, July 31st, 2pm ET - REGISTER HERE

Up to 20% off a Complete EHR Foothold Technology

Special Offer for AJFCA Members - OFFER EXPIRES SOON!

To help members transitioning to electronic record-keeping, AJFCA has partnered with 2014 Annual Conference sponsor, Foothold Technology, a leading provider of web-based software developed specifically for behavioral healthcare and human services organizations. For a limited time, Foothold is offering all AJFCA members the opportunity to review its software and receive a discount of up to $6,000 (20% off) on Foothold's service package. More than 850 agencies across the country are currently using Foothold's federally certified and fully interoperable AWARDS software to manage and track all types of clinical data related to the services they provider to people in need.

To learn more about how your agency can save, click here. Act Now! Offer expires on Thursday, July 31st!  

Why Nonprofit Donors and Boards Must Get Over social velocity Overhead
Traditional wisdom is that nonprofits should keep "overhead" (administrative, fundraising, systems, technology, staffing) costs as low as possible. This is a really destructive idea, and we need to move beyond it. But we will only get there if nonprofit leaders across the country start having that conversation with their board members and donors. Because if we can move beyond overhead, we will have a much stronger, more effective nonprofit sector. Click here to view the video and learn more.
Balance Small Wins and Long-Term Goals in Your chronicile of philanthropy Storytelling
Click here to learn answers to common questions about motivating your audience with summer storytelling.

Used strategically, Twitter can help you bond with supporters, raise awareness for your cause, and promote fundraising campaigns. Despite this fact, many small nonprofits fail to take the time to implement a Twitter strategy that drives results. Luckily, by using the following four steps as a guide, you can make sure that your organization does not fall into this group. 

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