AJFCA Newsletter
In This Issue
ADVOCACY
AGENCY PROGRAMMING/OPERATIONS
AJFCA MEMBER BENEFITS
PARTNERS/SPONSORS
AJFCA Links
VISTA SPOTLIGHT
 
Michael Eisinger
JFS Detroit


Michael Eisinger
is an AmeriCorps VISTA serving at Jewish Family Service of Metropolitan Detroit, where he is helping the agency conduct a wide-ranging assessment of its services for the region's Holocaust Survivor community. The Survivor community in metropolitian Detroit and around the world is aging, and organizations that serve them must be adaptive and responsive to meet their needs.

jfs detroit

So far Michael created and sent out almost 400 needs assessment surveys in both English and Russian, and has held several town hall meetings in strategic locations around the metro-Detroit area to hear directly from the Survivor community about their concerns and the services that will best meet their changing needs. The needs assessment will provide input to allow the JFS VISTA team to seek out opportunities and avenues for adjusting current programs and adding new services.



In addition to his regular duties at JFS Michael is an accomplished blogger and speaker.  Michael will be delivering a lecture on Martin Luther King, Jr. Day, focused on the connection between the Holocaust and the Civil Rights Movement, and the need for service in one's community. Additionally, he will be traveling abroad in June as an invited lecturer at Justus-Liebig-Universitšt Gieβen in Germany, where he will speak on his recent trip to Rwanda to study the Rwandan Genocide on the 20th anniversary.

Click here to read Michael's blog about his year of service helping Holocaust Survivors with AmeriCorps.
AGENCY HIGHLIGHTS

JCCA Featured in the New York Times Neediest

 
   
The Jewish Child Care Association is pleased to share with you the inspiring story of Dejulaira (DJ) Lopez in The New York Times.  DJ is a JCCA client who has overcome great odds including serious illness, depression and abuse.

At 16 she came to JCCA. She said, "I learned to trust through JCCA. You changed my life." Today she is an optimistic, articulate, determined young woman living in her own home, going to college, writing poetry and socializing with friends.



After Years With Caregivers, Cherishing Her Independence

For Dejulaira Lopez, trust is in short supply. At 2 years old, she became a ward of the state and spent the next 18 years in more than half a dozen foster homes, where, she said, she often experienced physical and emotional abuse.

She joined the Jewish Child Care Association's Bridges to Health program, which helps foster children with special needs. Ms. Lopez learned independent living skills and was connected with a home health aide. It was also where she met Carline Noel, a social worker. Read the full article here.
Beyond the Lemonade Stand:  Raising Charitable Kids

JFS Colorado  
   
Audrey Friedman Marcus, a volunteer writer for Jewish Family Service of Colorado recently wrote a newsletter article and blog post about raising charitable children. It includes some great philanthropy and volunteer ideas for kids of all ages. Member agencies are welcome to re-post the article. Please note credit to JFS Colorado.

When Ari Levine was just eight years old, he asked his friends not to bring presents to his birthday party and, instead, to bring donations of food for the Weinberg Food Pantry at Jewish Family Service. Ari said, "I did something for a person that really helped them. It's like giving a million bucks!"



When Jamie Resnik was seeking a volunteer activity to do with her two young children, ages six and four, Nancy Benyamin, JFS Volunteer Services director, suggested they fill bags for the Weinberg Food Pantry with the ingredients for a tuna casserole. The project, done in assembly line fashion on the coffee table, was easy and fun, attests Jamie, and it also provided quality family time. "By giving my kids the opportunity to feed and care for others," she continues, "I'm also feeding their hearts and teaching them to be generous, giving people." Discussions have continued since, and the Resniks are planning to volunteer again for the pantry. Read the entire article here.
Calls & Webinars

Visit  AJFCA's Calendar
to learn more about free calls and webinars. For more information login to the Member Resources section of the AJFCA website, followed by Webinars. Contact Megan at 410-843-7327 with questions.

Child Care and Development Block Grant Reauthorization-Introductory Webinar for Child Care Stakeholders
Dec., 5th, 12pm ET
REGISTER HERE
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December 5, 2014 
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D'Var Torah

Lee I. Sherman 
President/CEO
 
I have always been a proud graduate of the University of Virginia. I had an amazing educational experience in one of the most beautiful academic settings in America. I still connect with The University on many levels (and I met my wife in graduate school there), but in the past two weeks I have not felt much pride. The most recent issue of Rolling Stone magazine features an article about a horrendous gang rape that allegedly occurred at a fraternity house party and a culture that is far from supportive of victims of sexual violence. Some have argued that this article could be (and does) describe the atmosphere and attitudes of many of our college campuses, but that is missing the point. Our leading colleges and universities should be setting examples and forming our future leaders, and the events and circumstances described at UVA fall far short. I am not proud.

This week's Torah reading from parashah Vayishlach, contains an equally disturbing story concerning rape. Dinah, the daughter of Jacob and Leah, makes a visit to the nearby town where she is raped by the son of the town's leader. He purportedly then falls in love with her and wants to take her in marriage. Her brothers, Levi and Simeon, cut an apparent deal with him, whereby they promise their sister as long as he and all of the men of the town are circumcised. When the circumcisions are complete and the men are at their weakest, the sons of Jacob slaughter them all. Have they avenged their sister's rape? Are we comfortable to such a violent response to sexual violence? At any point, were the feelings of Dinah considered?

The Torah is not only a guide to us, but also a reflection of our world. And, as we can see from the details of the horrific rape at the University of Virginia, our world is not always fair or kind or just. Hopefully, these stories, whether in Torah or in Rolling Stone, can help us and our society change for the better. That would make us proud.    

Shabbat Shalom.
ADVOCACY
New Protections for Needy Holocaust Survivors' SSI Benefits
AJFCA is pleased to share an announcement from Bet Tzedek Legal Services regarding the handling of Holocaust-related compensation by the U.S. Social Security Administration. As you know, by law, Holocaust compensation should not be included as eligibility determinations for Supplemental Security Income or other federal government programs. Sometimes, these funds are mistakenly included. Bet Tzedek has worked with the Social Security Administration to take steps to prevent this mistake from happening in the future. Click here for the details of their work. AJFCA congratulates Bet Tzedek for this accomplishment which will remove unnecessary obstacles for Holocaust survivors and their families. If you have any questions, please contact Bet Tzedek's Holocaust Services Program at (323) 549-5883.
Each of Us Has the Capacity to Fight Poverty
In 2008, Dalia Margalit-Faircloth, AJFCA's Canadian Director was hired by a coalition of Jewish organizations to co-ordinate an initiative called the Jewish Poverty Action Group project. The idea was inspired by a conference on Jewish poverty held in Ottawa in 2005. On the train ride back to Toronto, a group of Jewish professionals decided to take action. They conceived of the project, found funding and made it happen. Continue reading here.
Ten Years Online: Central Database of Shoah Victims' Names
Ten years ago Yad Vashem uploaded the Central Database of Shoah Victims' Names to the Internet. The event, a revolutionary milestone in the history of Holocaust commemoration, triggered a tidal wave of world interest in the victims and their personal stories. Today over 4.3 million victims are commemorated in the Names Database - an astonishing achievement of monumental significance for Yad Vashem as well as collectively for the Jewish people. Continue reading here.
AGENCY PROGRAMMING/OPERATIONS
Wexner Field Fellowship Program
The Wexner Field Fellowship Program is an opportunity for promising full-time Jewish communal professionals who are seeking professional development. In partnership with the Jim Joseph Foundation, three Wexner Field Fellows will be accepted as part of incoming classes of the Wexner Graduate Fellowship/Davidson Scholars Program. Watch this video for more information on the Field Fellows program. To learn more about the eligibility requirements and awards, and to submit a pre-application for the Field Fellowship, please click here.
Grant Makers Channel More to Charities' Operating Costs chronicile of philanthropy
An increasing number of foundations are providing unrestricted funds and multiyear grants-two giving strategies that many nonprofit leaders and experts believe are key to helping nonprofits thrive, according to a study released today. Continue reading here.
AJFCA MEMBER BENEFITS
Jewish Leadership Institute on Disabilities and Inclusion
Last month professionals from Jewish communal service agencies in the U.S., Canada, England and Israel convened in Reisterstown, MD at the 2nd Jewish Leadership Institute on Disabilities and Inclusion hosted by the University of Delaware's National Leadership Consortium on Developmental Disabilities and the Ruderman Family Foundation. The institute aims to prepare participants to promote and support inclusion of people with disabilities in all aspects of community and Jewish life.

Participants met for 4 days of lectures, interactive learning, and facilitated discussion to gain insight on the history and future of developing inclusive supportive services for people with disabilities and a variety of means for influencing change in the community. AJFCA Director of Older Adult & Disabilities Services, Liz Woodward, attended the institute along with AJFCA members Debbie Gardner, Division Director at JFCS of Greater Boston and Wendy Strauss, Assistant Executive Director at JFS of Rochester.
Jewish leadership institute
AJFCA looks forward to seeing how we can support efforts to promote inclusion among our members. Do you have policies and programs focused on improving the inclusion of people with disabilities in your community? Share them with our network by emailing Liz Woodward.

Addictions Practice Group Conference Call
Professionals from AJFCA member agencies are invited to join your colleagues from across North America in a discussion of current trends and key issues in addictions services in your community.
 

Addictions Practice Group Conference Call
Wednesday, December 10th, 2pm ET - REGISTER HERE

CEO Council Quarterly Conference Call:  Alternative Work Space
Have you hired additional staff members at your agency but don't have enough office space to house them? Does some of your staff share desks? Are you looking into satellite work space that will allow your employees to spend more time in the field? Do you have staff members requesting to telecommute certain days of the week? On AJFCA's next CEO Council quarterly conference call, we will discuss ways to create and use work space for agency employees outside the typical solution of adding another office, desk or cubicle to your current space. We will discuss cost-effective office designs and their impact on agency culture.

Alternative Work Space
Thursday, December 11th, 1pm ET - REGISTER HERE
Facilitator: Erin Minior, CEO, Jewish Family Service of Rhode Island
Development Quarterly Webinar - Passive Revenue Sources 
Join Daniel Goodman, President of Special Kids Fund and Co - Founder of CharityChoice Gift Cards for AJFCA's Quarterly Development Conference Call as we discuss generating revenue from existing systems. CharityChoice Gift Cards was born in 2004 and is a nonprofit pioneer in creating charity gift cards that can enable your communities to participate in helping your Jewish family service agency. This program makes it possible for everyone to add a charitable dimension to their special occasion; by giving a charity gift, whenever ...meaningful matters. CharityChoice is an Official Donation Site for the American Red Cross. They recently launched a turnkey solution, 'Donate Your Card', converting unused retail gift card balances into cash donations. Forty percent of merchant gift card recipients do not use the total value of card. American households have an average of $300 in unused gift cards. This 30-minute webinar will showcase three examples of passive revenue sources just in time for Hanukkah. The last 30 minutes of the webinar will be devoted to Q&A and professionals sharing what existing revenue generating systems they currently employ at their agencies.

Passive Revenue Sources
Thursday, December 11th, 2pm ET - REGISTER HERE
Boost Fundraising Results through Branded Web Portal Sales
As the holidays grow closer, consumers spend more and more on gifts. As an added AJFCA member benefit, REMCAP Buying Portal powered by Deem provides a web-based buying portal that serves as a source for donations. Learn more about the portal in time for Hanukah. AJFCA member agencies and local community donors 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. 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. Contact Bryan Kornreich for details.
PARTNERS/SPONSORS
Good Deeds Day - March 15, 2015
Good Deeds Day celebrates doing good for the benefit of others and the planet. All over the world, hundreds of thousands choose to give of themselves, putting into practice the simple idea that every single person can do a good deed, be it large or small, to improve the lives of others and positively impact the world. International Good Deeds Day is March 15th.  Organize a project in your own community and activate your goodness. Learn more here.
 
The Three A's of a Successful Agency

To assist members in their transition to electronic record-keeping, AJFCA has partnered with Foothold Technology, entitling AJFCA agency members to a discount on Foothold's software and service package. Learn more about the changes facing nonprofit agencies at the webinar, The Three A's of a Foothold TechnologySuccessful Agency: Accountability, Accessibility, Affordability.This online session offers specific strategies for using technology and metrics to help agencies operate more efficiently and economically while improving their quality of care.
   

The Three A's of a Successful Agency
Tuesday, December 9th, 2pm ET - REGISTER HERE
Council on Accreditation:  Primary Care Standards coa
COA's new Primary Care Standards have been released. These standards will apply to organizations providing primary care services as part of an integrated health program.  

Overview of the New COA Primary Care Services (PCS) Standards
December 17th, 1:30pm ET - REGISTER HERE

Financial Management Fundamentals for Board Members and CEOs
December 16th, 2pm ET - REGISTER HERE
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