AJFCA Newsletter
In This Issue

Easter/Passover Denver Community Food Drive Benefits JFS Food Pantry

JFS Colorado

Jewish Family Service of Colorado is partnering with Calvary Baptist Church, The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, Mile High United Way, and Rose Medical Center on the second annual Easter/Passover Denver Community Food Drive to benefit the JFS Weinberg Food Pantry. The food drive will run March 21-29 at various synagogues, churches, and businesses throughout the Denver metro area that are joining this interfaith effort. The goal is to collect 10,000 pounds of donated food to feed the hungry at a time of year when food donations are traditionally low.

The Weinberg Food Pantry serves people of all faiths. It is the largest food pantry in southeast Denver and an important source of food and sustenance for people who have nowhere else to turn.
JFS Volunteers to Deliver Passover Items to Food Pantry Clients as Part of Good Deeds Day

JFS Volunteers will be participating in International Good Deeds Day, March 15th, to do good for the benefit of others and the planet, 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.

Ruth & Norman Rales Jewish Family Services is coordinating the effort of delivering Passover items to clients of the Jacobson Family Food Pantry which serves residents in need in the Boca Raton, Highland Beach and Delray Beach areas. The effort is expected to impact between 125 and 150 clients. The food purchase and bagging will be done in advance and donated by Addison Reserve Country Club. Event Co-Chairs for the Good Deeds Day event are Lisa Goodman, Patti Jacobs and Robin Siegal.

Good Deeds Day is an annual, global tradition that includes countless good deeds being done all around the world. Last year, over half a million participants in 50 countries worldwide gave over 2 million volunteer hours, making Good Deeds Day the largest and most far- reaching day of good deeds. People from all backgrounds, cultures, and ages have united around the simple idea of Good Deeds Day, and many continue to volunteer all year round.

Millions of viewers across the globe learned about Good Deeds Day through joint campaigns with MTV Global and ABC Network, In addition, NASDAQ honored the day in its Closing Bell ceremony.
How to Become a Voice for Victims of Domestic Violence

Shalom Bayit means peace in the home. The Shalom Bayit Program provides short- and long-term assistance to those facing physical violence, or emotional or sexual abuse in their families or intimate relationships. We strive to prevent abuse and to mobilize the Jewish community to create the social change needed to end domestic violence. We provide educational programming, advocacy and consultation, and we work to dispel the myth that abuse does not occur in Jewish homes. Learn about Jewish Family & Career Services of Atlanta's Shalom Bayit program here.

Dementia Outreach to Hard-to-Reach Populations

Thursday, March 12th
3-4pm ET

Join the National Alzheimer's and Dementia Resource Center (formerly the ADSSP National Resource Center) next week for a webinar on outreach to and engagement of people with dementia and their caregivers in hard-to-reach populations. The webinar will include practical examples from experts working in rural areas and in the lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender community.

Click here for more information and to register.
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March 6, 2015  
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D'Var Torah
Lee I. Sherman

Last week, about 100 volunteers and professionals from across the U.S. gathered in Washington, D.C., for Jewish Disability Advocacy Day. One of the issues for which we lobbied Congress was the continuation of full funding for Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI). Created to provide income supplements to individuals who are restricted in their ability to be employed due to significant illness or impairment, SSDI has been a critical component of the Social Security system for over fifty years. The recipients of SSDI have either themselves been employed or their parents have been employed, during which time they contributed to the Social Security system. 


In this week's parashah, Ki Tissa, we read about the mandatory half-shekel contribution of each member of the community. The Hebrew word used to describe how "each shall pay" (vi-natenoo) is a palindrome, that is it reads the same whether starting from the right or left (like Mom or Dad). Among the scholars who have addressed the significance of this word, the Vilna Gaon explained that you give tzedakah now and ultimately you, or your children, will have others give to you.  What you give will return to you. 


In the debate in Congress about the full funding of SSDI, I have been struck by one Congressman's consistent use of the word "you" in addressing advocates from the disability community, as if the funding of SSDI was about someone else. But, all of us who have contributed to Social Security during our employment history are potential recipients, whether we age into the system or become disabled. Torah teaches us that we must think of ourselves as an inclusive community, where all contribute and all may receive. There is a continuum and a reciprocity that connects us all. 


Shabbat Shalom.              

Disability Advocates from Across Country Convene on Capitol Hill
Disability insurance and transportation needs were Wednesday's top agenda items as disability advocates from across the country converged on Capitol Hill for the fifth annual Jewish Disability Advocacy Day. The Jewish Disability Network's members and advocates met with congressional representatives to convey the necessity of passing Social Security Disability Insurance and disability transportation programs. Learn more here.
Ruderman Family Foundation Announces $250,000 Global Innovators in Inclusion Competition ruderman
The Ruderman Family Foundation has announced the launch of the fourth annual Ruderman Prize in Inclusion global competition. The Prize aims to recognize organizations around the world who have demonstrated their commitment to the full inclusion of people with disabilities into the Jewish community through innovative programs and services. The $250,000 prize will be split equally by five organizations. Learn more here.
Three Trends in Jewish Philanthropy trend

  1. There is growing interest by Jewish foundations in making program-related investments (PRIs).
  2. Jewish programs that are successful in one city are expanding to other cities around the country, with national, multi-regional, and local funders working in collaboration.
  3. Many major Jewish donors who are less traditionally-observant are reframing all of the philanthropy they do as inspired by Jewish values, and therefore as expressions of Jewish giving.
Read the entire article here.
Giving Is Expected to Rise Nearly 5% This Year and Next, Study Predicts chronicile of philanthropy
Philanthropic giving is expected to increase 4.8 percent this year, and 4.9 percent in 2016, exceeding the average rate of growth in gifts since the recession, according to a forecast released Tuesday. Continue reading here.
2015 AJFCA Annual Conference

Click here to REGISTER

Click here to book your room at the Hilton Miami Downtown.

Click here to view a tentative schedule, list of sessions and descriptions, optional Monday luncheons and details surrounding the Sunday evening Host Community Event and CEO Council.
AJFCA would like to offer a complimentary yoga class to conference   attendees, as well as a walking/running group. If you are interested in teaching a yoga class or leading a walk/running group please email Megan
The Changing Landscape of Community and Residential Supports for Persons with Disabilities Webinar Series
Professionals, self-advocates, and family members are invited to this 4-part webinar series presented by the Task Force on Jewish Residential Alternatives for Adults with Disabilities outlining the changing landscape of community and residential supports for persons with disabilities. Spring (March 18th) and summer (June 17th) sessions will provide participants with an understanding of self-advocacy and best practices related to life planning and transitions from school to emerging adulthood. Fall (October 21st) and winter (December 16th) sessions will focus on changing policy impacting the creation of and access to residential services as well as changes to Medicaid and other policies that impact access to an array of support services.

The series is offered free of charge to all AJFCA network professionals and available to clients of AJFCA members and professionals and clients at non-member organizations for a fee. Read more and register for each session individually or sign up for the entire series here

Share these webinars with your network. Click here for a flyer to share with your network. Contact Liz with questions.
Introduction to Legal Shield: Benefits for Employees & Clients
Join Legal Shield, AJFCA's newest partner, for a 30 minute presentation. We will discuss the services Legal Shield has to offer AJFCA Member Agency employees and clients served while highlighting how Legal Shield can specifically support your agency's domestic violence and other programs. Additionally we'll go over:
  • Vision of the partnership between AFJCA & LegalShield
  • Introduction to LegalShield
  • How Legal Shield will serve the employees/community of AFJCA
Introduction to Legal Shield: Benefits for Employees & Clients
Thursday, March 12th, 2pm ET - REGISTER HERE
Assessment of the Chief Executive board source
Assessment of the Chief Executive, February 26, 2015, Board Source
Assessing the chief executive is one of the board's primary governance responsibilities and is critical to the success of the chief executive and to the organization as a whole. An assessment clarifies the chief executive's responsibilities, job expectations, and annual goals; confidentially captures the board's perception of the executive's strengths, limitations, and overall performance; and fosters growth and development of the chief executive and the organization. Learn more here.
The New Communications Imperative stanford social innovation review
Today, communications is not just an opportunity for nonprofits; it's a necessity. Whether we're fundraising or trying to influence policy, how we reach the right person with the right message has changed profoundly. Read the entire article here.
How to Build Stronger Donor Relationships Righnetwork for goodt Now
Donor retention is at the top of many fundraisers' to-do lists, as it should be. There's no better investment than keeping close to the folks you've already invested in to get them there. Continue reading here.
Give Better. Give Together. Part 2 of a Series on  ejewish philanthropy Launching and Sustaining a Successful Jewish Giving Circle
The first thing most people think of when they hear "giving circle" is money. That makes sense: as I discussed in Part I of this series, giving circles are about giving money and empowering givers to give proactively and thoughtfully to effect real change in the world. Learn more here.
The DC Design Workshop ejp full logo
The value of products and experiences is reflected in the emotional response of the consumer - how does it make you feel? What does this mean for young adult Jewish programming? It suggests that it doesn't really matter what happens at your Chanukah party. What's more important is how we make community members feel by attending our programs. Read the entire article here.
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