AJFCA Newsletter
In This Issue

JFS Harrisburg Welcomes New Executive Director

Jewish Family Service of Greater Harrisburg welcomed new Executive Director, Barry Stein in August.

Barry has experience as a consultant with a focus on enhancing organizational effectiveness and increasing market share. Specific projects included promoting geriatric services, developing training materials for a senior care coaching initiative and analyzing statistical reporting and benchmarking.
Still Facing Hunger Here at Home

jfs seattle  
When Jana Lissiak, Jewish Family Service of Seattle's Polack Food Bank Manager, looked at the 2013 city-wide food bank usage numbers she did a double-take, checked her math and then connected with colleagues in the food bank network to confirm her interpretation of the data.

Years after the official end of the Great Recession, food banks across Seattle continue to see record-breaking use. There were 750,000 visits to food banks in 2013, demonstrating a need that surpassed even the depths of the recessionary years. If the current 2014 trend continues, city-wide usage will blow past last year's record and exceed it by an additional 90,000 visits. Continue reading here.
JCFS Chicago Employee Wins Prestigious Jewish Federation Award

jcfs chicago  
Jessica Schaffer, 29, a 2007 graduate of McGill University, received the 26th annual Samuel A. Goldsmith Award at the Jewish Federation of Metropolitan Chicago's 114th Annual Meeting, which took place Sept. 11.

The Goldsmith award is given to exceptional young professionals who have shown outstanding performance in their work at a Jewish agency in the Chicago area. Schaffer, who now resides in Chicago, Ill., is the Safer Communities Project Coordinator at Jewish Child and Family Services of Chicago, where she works to prevent and combat abuse in Chicago's Jewish community.

In that role, Schaffer has developed training curricula for the Safer Communities program which have been critical to helping schools and synagogues implement new safety protocols. Under her leadership, the Safer Communities Initiative has become one of the most comprehensive programs of its kind in the country. Continue reading here.
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September 19, 2014 
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D'Var Torah

Lee I. Sherman 
Recently, there have been news reports of a study conducted by a team of respected geneticists and other scientists on the genetic ancestry of Ashkenazi Jews. Apparently, all Ashkenazi Jews descend from 350 people living in Europe some 600-800 years ago. This is of immense significance in identifying disease-causing genetic mutations, and maybe a little unsettling thinking that all Ashkenazi Jews are no further than 30th cousins. But, it has also caused me to think about what this says about our global Jewish community, how we identify as Jews, and our responsibility for one another.

This week's Torah reading (Nitzavim-Vayelech) illuminates this very discussion on Jewish identity. As Moses emphasizes the importance of the covenant with God to the Israelites standing before him, he states that this covenant is also with those "not here with us today." (28:1314). We know that all of his contemporary Israelites are actually present, so who are those to whom this covenant also applies? It is us, the future generations.  We, too, are present for the origin of the covenantal relationship, and it continues to inform and affect our Jewish identity.

I have to rely on others to research and explain the genetic relationship of Jews (and, don't worry, those original 350 Ashkenazi Jews were an equal blend of Ashkenazi and Sephardi, the European and Middle Eastern roots colliding). I do understand that this finding reinforces the lessons of Torah that we are all part of the continuing Jewish narrative and that this is core to Jewish identity.  Our sages tell us that "It is not your duty to complete the task, but neither are you free to desist from it." It is truly in our DNA, literally for many and figuratively for all, to work together, to connect with one another, to make the world right and whole. What a great way to begin a New Year.

Shabbat Shalom and Shana Tova.   
Fall Prevention Awareness Day ncoa logo
Join the National Council on Aging and Jewish family social service agencies across the country in recognizing Falls Prevention Awareness Day on September 23rd to bring attention to this pressing public health issue. Click here to access NCOA Fall Prevention resources.
How to Build a More Positive Workplace linkedin logo
Research has shown the inherent power of a positive mind set has far-reaching potential to enhance not only psychological well-being - but the achievement of valued workplace outcomes. Continue reading here.
Can an Established Nonprofit Still Be Innovative? huffington post
Can an established nonprofit still be innovative? It's a question that any "blue chip" company has to be ready to respond "yes" to in order to ensure continued growth. So if being innovative is viewed as being critical to a for-profit company's success, why wouldn't such a standard also apply to nonprofits? Continue reading here. AJFCA tackled this issue in 2013. Take a look at Innovation and the Jewish Family Services Network, an article published by AJFCA's Lee Sherman and Lisa Budlow in the Winter/Spring edition of the Journal of Jewish Communal Service.
2015 Annual Conference Workshop RFP
building community together

AJFCA needs YOU! Come to Miami to share your expertise in providing high quality human services. Share your best programs, leadership ideas and creative solutions with your colleagues-and together, we can build healthier, more inclusive communities.

AJFCA is seeking workshop proposals that will enhance the 2015 Annual Conference theme: connect|miami: building community together, by focusing on leveraging the collective impact of our network, with an eye toward building resilience in our agencies amongst the following areas of focus:
  • Executive Leadershipajfca logo-resized
  • Agency Services
  • Fund Development & Marketing
  • Board Leadership
  • Volunteer/Young Adult Engagement
Click here to view the RFP Guidelines and Workshop Proposal Form. The proposal deadline is TODAY. This document contains important information on the Conference and detailed guidelines for each of the areas of focus.
President Obama Launches Employers of National Service
AJFCA has joined the Employers of National Service, a new initiative to build a talent pipeline to connect AmeriCorps and Peace Corps alumni with leading employers from the private, public, and nonprofit sectors. Through this initiative, employers will have new access to a dedicated, highly qualified, and mission-oriented pool of potential employees and national service alumni will have additional opportunities to apply their skills in the workplace.The announcement was made by President Omama as a part of the AmeriCorps 20th anniversary celebration on Friday. AJFCA encourages member agencies to join the list of charter employers prior to Decebmer 31st.
The Golden Rule of Board Engagement ejewish philanthropy
"Our board is so engaged in fundraising, we can't imagine how they could possibly do more."

Wait ... what? Why is it so rare to hear nonprofit leaders making this kind of statement? Well, it's because very few people think their board members are doing enough to attract, retain, and deepen the commitment of major donors. Continue reading here.
Are You Using Too Many Social Media Tools? social fresh
The number of tools, services and software that we use for marketing these days has increased exponentially. From publishing to analytics to creating images and lead generation and plenty of other categories. Really quickly there starts to be some overlap and we start accumulating logins and monthly fees for tools that we don't necessarily need or use. And some tools just don't work out, and need to be replaced. Continue reading here.
Transforming Jewish Communities Through Legacy Giving
Maintaining the vibrancy and strength of Jewish communities across the country continues to be a concern for those of us involved, whether professionally or as lay leaders, in the Jewish communal enterprise. How do we ensure that the variety of Jewish organizations that make up the fabric of our communities continue to exist for future generations and are financially stable to meet current and emerging needs? Continue reading here.
Cashing in with Crowdfunding Now 
AJFCA has joined forces with Give2gether, a revolutionary new program to help you raise more money online. Give2gether has helped many small social service agencies like Orr Shalom, as well as Hadassah and the FIDF. The program works best with agencies that have at least 5,000 email addresses and are looking to raise $50,000 or more a year online. Join Give2gether for a 30 minute webinar to learn about how you can raise money for your agency.

Give2Gether:  Cashing in with Crowdfunding Now - REGISTER HERE
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