AJFCA Newsletter
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passover 2013 



Adrienne Ognibene
Jewish Social Service Agency 


JSSA logo
Adrienne Ognibene, VISTA member at the Jewish Social Service Agency in Rockville, Maryland has been accepted into 2015 Schächter Institute for Arts & Humanities Fellowship Program, hosted by The Defiant Requiem Foundation. Adrienne and other professionals, educators and individuals will come together in Prague for an intensive 4-day program dedicated to honoring the legacy and memory of Nazi prisoners in Terezín (Theresienstadt), who found hope and inspiration in the arts and humanities in the midst of suffering, depravity, and death. To learn more about the institute and the fellowship program visit link.

Adrienne has been an invaluable resource for JSSA throughout the inaugural year of their VISTA project, which aims to build organizational capacity to understand and address the needs of survivors from the Former Soviet Union.  In her role Adrienne has assisted in the creation of a training curriculum for home care staff and volunteers working with survivors, the development of the JSSA eye care program for Holocaust survivors, and acted as a key facilitator in JSSA's Good Deed's Day. Adrienne is also integral in supporting survivors through the coordination of the socialization program and volunteer recruitment and uses her knowledge as an attorney to develop legal documents and education opportunities to support both staff and the Holocaust survivors they serve.
Senior Resource Connect - AJFCA's New Older Adult Services Website

AJFCA is gearing up to launch our new older adult services website, Senior Resource Connect. The website aims to leverage the expertise of Jewish family services agencies assisting older adults in the community, increase referrals to member agency programs, streamline referrals between agencies, and act as an information hub on all matters of senior services.

Has your agency gotten involved? Don't miss the chance to be listed as a member on this new platform. Make sure we have your information and contribute your resources for older adults and their caregivers to the site by emailing Liz.

Please add and/or update AJFCA's logo on your agency website.

Contact Megan with questions.
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Passover as a Living Memory   
Passover as a Living Memory, March 31, 2015, Huffington Post, by Rabbi Will Berkovitz, CEO, Jewish Family Service of Seattle
Everything is on the line. Know it or not, our very survival hangs in the balance. With a few meager possessions, we hurry out the door running to an unknown destiny. Every year we are told to see ourselves as if we are leaving Egypt. The desert to which we fled isn't just a wilderness in a literal sense; it is the vast uncertainty that is before us whenever we abandon the lives that we have known and head into foreign places and a vague future. There is a reason we speak in the present tense about the Exodus from Egypt. It isn't the past. It isn't history. It is a living memory. And for some in our world, it is the only life they have known.

At the very moment we were fleeing from places like Europe, Ethiopia and today the Ukraine, we have retold the story of the Exodus from Egypt. From concentration camps, we echoed the four questions. In damp Russian cellars they declared, "Next Year in Jerusalem."   Continue reading Will's blog about Passover here
The Changing Face of Poverty
AJFCA's President/CEO, Lee I. Sherman was quoted in "The Changing Face of Poverty," an article published in the Baltimore Jewish Times on Thursday, March 26th. Read the entire article here.

"The Association of Jewish Family & Children's Agencies (AFJCA) also advocates at the federal level on poverty-related issues, including on the Farm Bill, which funds SNAP. The Maryland Food Bank advocates for these programs as well.

The AFJCA also focuses on seniors, and successfully got $2.5 million in this year's federal budget for services to Holocaust survivors; it also has worked on reauthorization of the Older Americans Act, which helps with a variety of services for the nation's senior citizens."
Cardin Leads Effort to Increase Funding for Holocaust Survivor Assistance Fund
U.S. Senator Ben Cardin (D-Md.), a member of the Senate Finance Committee, is urging Senate appropriators to increase assistance to the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) so that the federal government can better support American Holocaust Survivors and their families. In a letter addressed to Labor, Health and Human Services, Education, and Related Agencies Appropriations Subcommittee Chairman, Roy Blunt (R-Mo.) and Ranking Member Patty Murray (D-Wash.), Cardin and five other Senators called for the inclusion of $5 million in the Fiscal Year 2016 Labor, HHS, and Education Appropriations bill to fund the Holocaust Survivor Assistance Fund under Aging Network Support Activities. Learn more here.
Toward a More Inclusive Definition of Diversity in the Disability Community
As Developmental Disabilities Awareness Month draws to a close, it is important that we take time to reflect on the values embodied within the Developmental Disabilities Assistance and Bill of Rights Act of 2000. The DD Act, as it is commonly known, ensures that people with developmental disabilities in the United States and their families have access to services and supports that promote self-determination, independence, and inclusion in their communities. Continue reading here.
Ask the Fifth Question
Each year, we read the traditional Four Questions at our Passover seder tables. And each year, MAZON: A Jewish Response to Hunger offers The Fifth Question as a way to encourage Jewish families across the country to discuss the pervasive issue of hunger in America. Read more about the fifth question here.
Most Charities Exceeded Fundraising Goals Last Year, Study Finds chronicile of philanthropy
Sixty-three percent of charities exceeded their fundraising goals last year, an annual survey has found. The percentage of organizations exceeding their fundraising goals in 2014 was the highest since 2007, when donations surpassed the goals of 65 percent of charities. Continue reading here.
AJFCA Seeking to Identify VISTA Alumnus Employed in Member Agencies
Have you or anyone in your agency served as an Americorps VISTA member? AJFCA would like to know! VISTA has been around for 50 years now, so we are hoping we'll be able to identify a few alumni amongst our ranks. Please contact Jennie Gates Beckman for more information.
AJFCA Partners with Hays Affinity to Bring Member Agencies Insurance Products & Services
AJFCA has partnered with Hays Affinity to offer you a broad range of customized and comprehensive coverage designed to protect your organization. Every day your agency fulfills its mission to the community by serving others. Hays Affinity wants to serve you and provide you with the insurance products, services, advice you need to protect your organization, and control your insurance costs. Click here to learn more.
Aging in America 2015
AJFCA members were well-represented at the American Society on Aging's 2015 conference in Chicago, IL last week. More than 3,000 attendees gathered to learn about the state of aging services in America and globally.  AJFCA's Director of Older Adult & Disabilities Services, Liz Woodward, joined executives, directors and professionals from JFS Metropolitan Detroit, JFS Kansas City, JFS Cincinnati, JFS Greater Charlotte, JFS San Diego, AJFCS West Palm Beach, Syracuse JFS, JFS Columbus and JFS Indianapolis to discuss older adult services and reflect on the conference from a Jewish family service perspective.

AJFCA members presented on a range of topics at the conference including Holocaust survivor support, the NORC model, caregiver support, aging in place services, mental health and outcomes measurements. To read the descriptions of sessions presented by professionals within the AJFCA network click here.
Save the Date - Domestic Violence Professionals Meeting
Domestic Violence Professionals Meeting
August 9th & 10th
Chicago, IL
Join AJFCA member agency domestic violence professionals as we gather to share best practices. AJFCA is thrilled to announce the first ever Domestic Violence Professionals Meeting beginning Sunday, August 9th with a casual networking get together. Programming will take place Monday, August 10th and include lunch. Please stay tuned for details (including hotel, cost and rfp). 
Thorough Vetting Needed When Hiring Nonprofit huffington post Consultants
A good nonprofit consultant should have experience, references, work samples, good work ethic, flexibility and a fair price. A nonprofit consultant can help nonprofit boards through difficult times but board members must take care to choose the right person for the position. Continue reading here.
How An Informal Nonprofit Employee Champion Program Can Benefit A One-Person Communications Dept.
Are you an one-person communications department? If so your workload, which includes doing the social media, is always increasing. Your most valuable resource, your time, is a finite resource - even if you forgo getting enough sleep which you know doesn't work to your advantage.  Consider creating an informal employee champion program. Learn more here.
Guiding Donors Through the Philanthropy Loop  
Being a fundraiser is kind of like acting as a sherpa; it's Rabbi Jay Stein's job to guide people on their philanthropic path. The problems facing the world can seem like insurmountable Everests, but fundraisers can help make those problems much more approachable. Read the entire article here.
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