AJFCA Newsletter
In This Issue



Did you know that 1 in 40 Ashkenazi (Eastern European) Jews - men and women, carries a BRCA gene mutation? That is nearly 10 times the rate of the general population, making Jewish families significantly more susceptible to hereditary breast cancer and ovarian cancer.  Partner with Sharsheret, the national Jewish breast cancer organization, to bring ongoing breast cancer and ovarian cancer programming to your community, at no cost to your agency.  We will help you develop education and support programs tailored to the needs of your community and connect you with dozens of other partners locally and across the country. For more information on how you can get started today, email Melissa K. Rosen, or call 866-474-2774. 


Midwest Jewish Professionals Hosted by JFS Columbus 


The Ohio Jewish Chronicle recently featured AJFCA's Midwest Older Adult Services Meeting. 


Jewish Family Services of Columbus

partnered with the Association of Jewish Family & Children's Agencies to host the first AJFCA Older Adult Services Midwest Meeting on Nov. 16th and 17th.



The gathering brought together over thirty Jewish Communal Professionals hailing from ten different AJFCA member agencies including . . . Continue reading here.

 Leo's Story:  A Therapy Dog

JSSA logo  

One of the Jewish Social Service Agency's Hospice volunteers recently wrote a piece about her (and Leo's) experience as pet therapy volunteers.  The piece was published by a local community's magazine, Inside Fallsgrove. 


Imagine a single physical therapy prescription that treated malaise, depression, melancholy and loneliness.  "Interact with one cold nose, four paws and a wagging tail once a week." Even the most needy of cases would look forward to their weekly treatment by a non-judgmental friend. A few JSSA Hospice and Transitions patients know this to be true, thanks to Leo, a standard poodle. Continue reading here.


 Do LGBT Seniors Have Special Caregiving Issues?


Jewish Family & Children's Service of East Bay's recent article about caregiving for LGBT seniors was posted on the National Resource Center on LGBT Aging blog. Click here to read the entire article. 

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.

Primary Care Standards

Financial Management Fundamentals for Board Members and CEOs
Dec., 16th, 2pm ET

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

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December 12, 2014 
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D'Var Torah

Lee I. Sherman 

In a few days, I will start to pull together some of our Hanukkiahs in preparation for the first night of Hanukkah next week. There's the one we received as a wedding present, the one my son made in second grade, the one I received from Baltimore's sister city of Ashkelon, and others with special memories. I don't know how many we will end up using, but, at a minimum, we like to light one for each member of the family each night. By the end of the festival, that makes for a lot of candles and a lot of light. 


There is an old Chasidic saying that you cannot dispel darkness with a stick, you must light a candle. We light candles to begin all of our holidays and each week for Shabbat. With each day of Hanukkah, as we light more and more candles, the intensity of the light increases so the darkness wanes even more. The light of the candles is mostly symbolic for us in our modern age, but it is a valuable lesson. Lighting a candle not only brings light to the one who lit it, but also to those nearby.

In the Talmud tractate Numbers Rabbah 13:10, we are taught that "Just as a person lights one candle from another and the original flame is not diminished, so too, we are never lessened when we pass on our eternal 'flame' to another person." In our roles as parents, family members, friends, teachers, social workers, community leaders, or more, we often pass on the light of a flame to others. The act of doing so not only strengthens us, but also those who receive it and the community as a whole. As we all light our Hanukkah candles this coming week, may the intensity of those flames be shared as broadly as possible.

Chag Sameach and Shabbat Shalom


House Approves New Savings Accounts for People with Disabilities  

House Approves New Savings Accounts for People with Disabilities, December 3, 2014, The Hill, by Cristina Marcos
The House of Representatives on December 3rd passed legislation to create tax-free savings accounts for people with disabilities. AJFCA has advocated for passage of the ABLE Act for the past six years and is hopeful that The Senate, where the legislation has 70 co-sponsors, will soon pass this important legislation.Passed by a vote of 404-17, the bill known as the ABLE Act is intended to help Americans with disabilities pay for the associated expenses, including medical costs and finding employment.


With Naming Gifts, 'Perpetuity' Is a Matter of Negotiation
With Naming Gifts, "Perpetuity" Is a Matter of Negotiation, November 27, 2014, New York Times, by Sam Roberts
Nonprofits and cultural institutions have often raised large gifts by offering perpetual naming rights to their buildings in exchange for financial support. Perpetuity has now become "a matter of negotiation" according to attorney William D. Zabel, which allows organizations to garner additional financial benefits after the terms of the original agreement expire. Continue reading here.

2015 AJFCA Annual Conference
AJFCA staff paid a visit to Miami earlier this week to better familiarize themselves with the Hilton Miami Downtown, site of AJFCA's 2015 Annual Conference. CEO, Lee Sherman and Director of Communications, Membership & Events, Megan Manelli were pleased with the hotel accommodations and conference space. The two also joined JCS Miami CEO, Fred Stock at the site of the Conference's Sunday evening Host Event which is sure to bring out the animal in you. Check out AJFCA's Facebook page for more pictures and stay tuned for an email announcing the venue.
Good Deeds Day Webinar
Good Deeds Day, held on March 15th 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. Good Deeds Day, held March 15, 2015. Learn how to organize a project in your own community and activate your goodness.

Good Deeds Day Webinar
Thursday, January 15th, 12pm ET - REGISTER HERE
The Role of Nonprofit Boards in CEO Transitions board source
The Role of Nonprofit Boards in CEO Transitions, December 1, 2014, BoardSource, by Don Tebbe
Vernetta Walker, the chief governance officer at BoardSource, discusses in this interview how nonprofit boards can help guide their organizations through CEO transitions. Boards need to build foundations of trust and mutual respect in order to have honest conversations with their organizations'. Listen to the interview here.

Philanthropy's New Release stanford social innovation review
Philanthropy's New Release, December 2, 2014, Stanford Social Innovation Review, by Kimberly Dasher Tripp
Understanding this new wealth and its philanthropic leanings continues to be the subject of great interest overall, but especially in light of this region's two realities: escalating wealth and steadfast poverty. Many feel that a place with this much wealth should be closer to tackling its local social problems. So it begs the question: Who are these new donors? How do they think? Continue reading here.

Hatch:  A Tool for Digital Storytelling for Social Impact Launches
Hatch:  A Tool for Digital Storytelling for Social Impact Launches. December 5, 2014, Beth's Blog, by Beth Kanter
Hatch is a concierge that connects you to a suite of tools and a growing community of storytellers to help you leverage your stories to drive social impact. Each of Hatch's five sections are designed to help you craft, curate and share impactful stories. As you build your storytelling profile, Hatch will suggest tools, case studies and resources customized to your needs. These recommendations will always be saved to your profile so you can access them later.

Counting the Costs of a Bad Volunteer
Volunteers "work" for your organization for free. So how can they end up costing you money? A bad volunteer can result in a number of painful and costly outcomes, including:
  • Theft or embezzlement
  • Damaged volunteer relations and morale
  • Endangerment of employees, volunteers and other constituents
  • Litigation
  • Public scandals and negative publicity  

The main challenge for volunteer managers is that the volunteer pool is peppered with people who appear to be suitable candidates but who, in reality, may not be. Download Counting the Costs of a Bad Volunteer, to learn about some red flags to look out for and how you can avoid onboarding some less than stellar volunteers.

Mourning the Loss of Jill Friedman Fixler  JFS Colorado
Mourning the Loss of Jill Friedman Fixler, December 1, 2014, JFS Perspectives Blog, by Nancy Benyamin
Over the Thanksgiving weekend, volunteer professionals around the world lost a powerful voice and strong advocate. Jill Friedman Fixler, a Denver native, lost her battle with cancer surrounded by her loving family. Jill's close family will undoubtedly mourn the profound loss that comes from losing a mother, a wife, and a daughter. In addition to her family, Jill's loss will be mourned by literally tens of thousands of followers of her progressive thoughts and forward thinking in the volunteer engagement field. Continue reading here.

Employers of National Service

AJFCA is proud to be an Employer of National Service, committed to actively seeking out AmeriCorps and Peace Corps members for future employment opportunities. As a current sponsor of an AmeriCorps VISTA program, AJFCA has seen first-hand the talent, commitment and creativity AmeriCorps VISTA members bring to their work. VISTAs in 10 cities across the United States are working to build the capacity of local agencies to serve Holocaust survivors in their communities. Get to know our incredible VISTA members in our biweekly VISTA Spotlight in the AJFCA newsletter. There are three weeks until the December 31st deadline for charter members to join. Learn more here.

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