AJFCA Newsletter
In This Issue

JFS Detroit Program Coordinator Accepted to Brandeis Jewish Leadership Incubator

jfs detroit  
Olga Semenova, a Program Coordinator and Certified Marketplace Navigator at Jewish Family Service of Detroit, has been accepted to the Brandeis Jewish Leadership Incubator. Ms. Semenova started the program with a four-day seminar at Brandeis University last week.

The Brandeis Jewish Leadership Incubator is a 12-month fellowship that strives to nurture a cadre of effective Russian-speaking Jewish communal professionals, fortified by superior management skills, Jewish knowledge, systematic understanding of the Russian-speaking and American Jewish communities, and commitment to the future of the Jewish people. The fellowship combines distance learning with residential seminars at Brandeis University and in New York City along with an overseas mission.

The program is designed for Russian-speaking professionals with up to five years of experience working at Jewish communal organizations in the U.S. and Canada. Ms. Semenova is a member of the first cohort of fellows. For more information, please visit the BJLI website.
JFS Seattle Receives Major Grant from Covenant Foundation for Educational Initiative

jfs seattle  
Jewish Family Service of Seattle received a major grant from The Covenant Foundation to support a new educational initiative that will recharge connections to the organization's Jewish values-driven mission.  

The $109,245 grant, over three years, allows JFS to design, develop and implement Project Kavod, providing staff, board members, volunteers and others with opportunities to examine the Jewish roots of the organization's work and enhance their capacity to serve the community.

"Jewish is in our name, but that is no guarantee that the Jewish values that historically guide our work are discussed and reflected upon," said Will Berkovitz, JFS Chief Executive Officer.

"For people to process what they are doing within a Jewish framework, it is important that Jewish values are infused into the DNA of our agency. Project Kavod gives us a structure to launch this critical conversation."

Broadly, Project Kavod will create the organizational space for JFS officers, employees and stakeholders to discuss religious, philosophical and cultural concepts and texts with each other, within and across all levels of the organization's structure, and to create a shared language and consciousness. In its first year, the program is expected to directly involve approximately 300 people and will reach 7,000 households through the agency's communication platforms.
Black Lives Matter, All Lives Matter

by Avi Rose, CEO, JFCS East Bay

On the first night of Chanukah, I was glad to join a large and spirited public gathering of Jews. We greeted old and new friends, we sang, we prayed, we heard words of wisdom and inspiration about this holiday of resistance and rededication . . . and then we marched together in the cold and rainy San Francisco night, calling out for justice for African American men and boys. We said Kaddish for those whose lives were ended far too early, and we stood in a silence that reverberated powerfully in the middle of Market Street. It was a proud, sobering, and altogether fitting start of this year's Chanukah season.

There are so many reasons why hundreds of us gathered together in the rain that night. Continue reading Avi's blog here.
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January 23, 2015  
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D'Var Torah

Lee I. Sherman 
It is cold here in Baltimore. We had a few inches of snow yesterday, with more snow and ice predicted over the next few days. It is dark when I awake in the morning and when I get home in the evening. All in all, good for the power company, but not so much for the natural source of Vitamin D, the Sun. Essentially, we are in the midst of what is known as "the dead of winter." So, we have to look elsewhere for the promise of the coming spring.

Fortunately for us, this week's parashah, Bo, gives us a glimpse of the promise of spring. After the final three plagues and Pharaoh finally relenting to let the Israelites go, we read about the preparations for the journey and instructions on how this momentous event is to be remembered and celebrated going forward. In 13:3 and following, we are told that when we went out of Egypt it was "in the month of Aviv." Aviv has become the Hebrew month of Nisan, when we celebrate Pesach, but it is translated as "spring." Thus, we know that the Exodus occurred in the spring, fitting for the renewal that is marked by the release from slavery to the freedom of the birth of the Jewish nation.

So, even on these cold days, we have the words of Torah that can warm our thoughts. For me, next Shabbat I will be in Israel, hopefully feeling the actual and spiritual warmth of that special place. This Shabbat, I will just have to rely on the text we read.

Have a peaceful Shabbat.
Jewish Disabilities Awareness Month
February is Jewish Disabilities Awareness Month. JDAM started 7 years ago when a small cadre of Jewish Special Education International Consortium colleagues decided to create a unified effort to raise awareness and promote inclusion of people with disabilities in Jewish life. Since then JDAM has united Jewish communities worldwide to raise awareness and champion the rights of all Jews to be included and to participate in all aspects of communal life. Download the JDAM Program Guide here. To learn about how to recognize and celebrate in your community and more, click here. If your agency is sponsoring an event or program please share it with Liz.
Jewish Disability Advocacy Day  
February 25th marks Jewish Disability Advocacy Day, an opportunity for professional and lay leaders from Jewish organizations and communities across the nation to come to Capitol Hill in Washington to raise awareness on their work and passion relating to individuals with disabilities and their families as a part of Jewish Disabilities Awareness Month. It is also an opportunity for participants to celebrate passage of important legislation, to learn about relevant public policy issues, and to advocate on these issues with their elected officials.To learn more and register click here.
What Do We Say No To? ejewish philanthropy
Strategy should be tight, focused. The concept of strategy comes originally from the military (the Greek word strategos means "to think like a general") where if resources are not directly focused in a complementary way on a target, and if that target is not addressed successfully, lives are lost. Read the entire article here.
To Keep Jewish Professionals, Let Them Go ejp full logo
Adam Simon, Director of Leadership Initiatives for the Charles and Lynn Schusterman Family Foundation recently attended a farewell party for someone switching jobs from one Jewish organization to another. Among many accolades, one person giving a toast said, "While we are sorry to lose him, at least he is still committed to working in the Jewish world." Read the entire article here.
Wrap Up:  Solutions to Senior Hunger
MAZON gave the group sweatshirts that read: "I'm working to transform how it is into how it should be. "

Lisa Budlow, AJFCA's Chief Program Officer and 13 AJFCA member agencies who participated in the Solutions to Senior Hunger program through MAZON:  A Jewish Response to Hunger convened this week in Los Angeles, CA to round out the 2014 project year.  Discussions surrounded what was learned through the program and ideas and steps for continuing the important work of senior SNAP outreach. Click here to view additional photos.
2015 AJFCA Annual Conference Awards - DUE TODAY 
AJFCA is pleased to announce the guidelines of the 2015 Annual Conference Awards. Click here to view guidelines for the following awards:
  • Goodman Award
  • Kovod Award
  • Joseph S. Kaplan Memorial Scholarship Award
  • Distinguished Service Award
  • Leadership Award
All awards submissions are due TODAY - Friday, January 23, 2015. 
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. 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, February 5th, 2pm ET - REGISTER HERE
Disabilities Services Discussion Call
All agency professionals interested in engaging in a conversation on serving persons with disabilities are invited to the first ever agency-wide discussion call on disabilities and inclusion services. During this one-hour call agency professionals working in existing programs and those looking to learn more about serving this population will share their experiences, ideas and questions with other network members. This call will focus on developing an understanding of the range of services available in our network and the topics of interest among agency professionals.

Disabilities Services Discussion Call
Thursday, February 12th, 2pm ET - REGISTER HERE
PurchasingPoint Discount Program Webinar -
AJFCA partners with the National Human Services Assembly to provide our members access to the PurchasingPointŪ program, an exclusive discount program for nonprofits that leverages group buying power to get access to significant savings from your everyday vendors. The program is designed to help nonprofits reduce overhead costs by providing access to discounts on a vast range of products and services including, but not limited to: office supplies, shipping, copiers, postage equipment, furniture, cleaning supplies, promotional merchandise, car rental, cell phones, and more.  

PurchasingPoint Discount Program Webinar
Thursday, February 19th, 2pm ET - REGISTER HERE
Bench Warmers or Change Makers? board source
It's time to engage the next generation in nonprofit board service.
Earlier-career professionals are a valuable - and largely untapped - talent pool for the boards of directors of nonprofit organizations in our country. As a sector, nonprofits are leaving a powerful resource - energized and ready-to-serve business professionals - sitting on the sidelines. Learn more here.
Board-Staff Relationships: For-Profits Take Cue From Nonprofit Model huffington post
The hierarchy-organized business is declining in importance. Senior business CEOs, as board members and senior managers, are now blogging or tweeting messages directly to staff. The two founders of Google have frequent company-wide forums that personally or electronically allow every employee to address direct questions to the founders. Continue reading here.
10 Thank Yous that Delight Donors network for good
Year-end is over! Now what? First, take a deep breath and give yourself a few moments of calm. Second, start showing those donors some love with a thank you. Read more here.
Donor Aspirations and You NPQ
Yes, it's all about me, not your organization... I give through organizations to achieve my desires, to fulfill my aspirations. That's what all donors do. It's about them, not you. Forget this at your peril. Continue reading here.
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