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News & Updates from JFS Houston


JFS Houston  

Hurricane Kits for Seniors

The Doctor and Siegel Families put together 25 Hurricane Kits for Jewish Family Service of Houston's Senior Adult Department that were delivered just in time before Tropical Storm Bill. Each bag was donated by Trader Joe's and contained granola bars, water bottles, crackers, fruit cups, tuna, flash lights, paper plates, and plastic ware. Hurricane bags are being distributed to home-bound senior clients by JFS case managers.

Polish Holocaust Survivors

JFS employees, Leah Mueller and Ruth Sherman have been helping Houston-area Holocaust survivors with a new application for a pension for those who were born in Poland. JFS Houston would be happy to speak with anyone who might have questions about this application. If you know of anyone in Texas that might be interested in this assistance, please feel free to let them know and ask them to reach out, 713-667-9336.
In addition, JFS Houston continues to assist survivors with the new Child Survivor Fund application, for those born after January 1, 1928.

Neighbors4Neighbors Network Launches

More than 100 participants attended the "launch party" for the Neighbors4Neighbors Network on June 14th at the Godwin Park Recreation Center.  Mayor Annise Parker and Council Member Ellen Cohen spoke to the need for new ways to help older adults as they age. 

They both praised the "village" concept as an innovative tool for helping seniors age-in-place and building caring neighborhoods.
Mayor Parker congratulated N4NN and JFS for establishing Houston's first village and described her own efforts to care for her grandparents as they grew older and less independent. Council Member Cohen also congratulated N4NN and introduced her 100-year-old mother who still lives independently.  In an adjoining room, information tables introduced guests to other partner agencies serving seniors including the Evelyn Rubenstein JCC JRide and some of their other senior programs, the Constables Office, and the City's Department of Neighborhoods Office of Persons with Disabilities and Citizens Assistance Office.

Also on hand were the leaders of proposed N4NN social and educational programs, including guided autobiography and legacy letter writing, Zentangle, Westbury Community Garden, and exercise classes.

View JFS Houston's Family Talk here.  
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July 10, 2015  
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D'Var Torah 
Lee I. Sherman

[In this week's parashah, Pinchas, we read about the selection of Joshua as successor to Moses because he was a man of "ruach," an inspired man. The post below was written by my son, Josh, two weeks ago as he was preparing to return from Israel and remembering his friend Andrew, who was brutally murdered two years ago while volunteering in Alexandria, Egypt. May we all be inspired.]

Over the past ten months I have been living in Jaffa and participating in a service-learning program. I have had the pleasure of teaching in schools that are mixed, both Jewish and Arab, and working directly with the populations. This year has given me hope, but also sent questions racing through my head, the type of questions I would often discuss with you, Andrew.

Earlier this year I traveled with a few friends to Bethlehem in the West Bank. The situation in Bethlehem is tense with occupation playing a role in the people's lives on a daily basis. While there I walked along the separation wall and stumbled across your name. With friends who did not have the pleasure of knowing you, I nearly broke down into tears, unable to fully explain how I was feeling.

Today marks the day that the world lost Andrew Driscoll Pochter. Although it is easy to be overcome by the thoughts and the raw emotions that were ever-present that day, I would rather celebrate your life and thank you for your love, passion, and commitment to us all. Whether it was your infectious smile, warms hugs, or thought provoking conversations that lasted far too long into the night, you had the ability to make people feel loved and respected. To me you were a friend, a colleague, and a Brother. I miss you dearly. We miss you. One love. Peace. Shalom. Salaam. 

50th Anniversary of Medicare & Medicaid Programs
This year, CMS is commemorating the 50th Anniversary of the Medicare and Medicaid programs. CMS will be tweeting (@cms.gov) and posting on Facebook (www.facebook.com/medicare.gov). In late July, regional CMS offices will host public events in addition to a national event in Washington, D.C.  cms

Want to help and join the celebration? CMS has drafted a drop-in article for you to share with your community and partners though newsletters, listservs, or other communication strategies. The PDF version can be found here. Please email Partnership@cms.hhs.gov if you need the Word version for formatting purposes.
Ruderman Inclusion Summit - Registration is Open 
The Ruderman Inclusion Summit will bring together all stakeholders in our community to foster strategic advocacy and awareness, peer to peer learning, best practice, networking and more. The Summit will feature internationally recognized leaders in the field, speaking and engaging with attendees on the critical issues of education, housing, employment, community and religious life. Five hundred people from around the world are expected to participate in the conference. Learn more here.
JOIN for Justice 
For the first time, starting this fall, JOIN for Justice will be offering a class that will engage Jewish leaders across the country that are hungering to get involved in effective, meaningful justice work. AJFCA is co-sponsoring this course because we think this training is an essential part of strengthening the Jewish community's involvement in the social justice issues of our society.There will be opportunities to engage on-the-ground working for social justice in your community. You can learn all about it here. Spots are filling up fast. We hope you'll check it out and register
5 Lessons Every Business Can Learn from the Non-Profit World
Nonprofits can improve their marketing, build important relationships and raise more money by operating like small businesses. "Many aspects of a non-profit organization can translate to a small business counterpart," said CURE Childhood Cancer Executive Director Kristin Connor. Read the entire article here.
Social Impact Fund Report Finds Less than Overwhelming Results  NPQ
When the feds' Social Impact Fund (SIF) started, it was heralded as a way to promote the scaling of innovative practice in the nonprofit sector. It was to lay ground for a brave new world of measurable results in social programs. Six years later, findings about the results are deemed merely "promising" and is the major finding really that putting more money into already relatively large, well-capitalized organizations creates quicker movement forward for them? Read the entire article here.
Advocacy Day  capital
The 2015 AJFCA Advocacy Day will take place on Tuesday, October 27th in Washington, DC. Join AJFCA for a day on Capitol Hill followed by meetings at the White House (lunch included). More details to come.

Reserve your room at the Renaissance Washington, DC Dupont Circle Hotel (via the link) by calling 888-803-1298. Please identify yourself as part of the AJFCA group when making your reservation. The group rate is $219.00 per night, plus tax. Reservations must be made by October 3rd. Please contact Zahava at 410-843-7487 with questions.
PurchasingPoint Update purchasing point
PurchasingPoint saved AJFCA agencies $131,000 last year. AJFCA member agencies spent more than $550,00, an increase of 46% from 2013.

Take advantage of the savings on office supplies, food, furniture, shipping, copiers, postage equipment, facility maintenance supplies, employee and volunteer screening, rental cars, web and audio conferencing services, and more. Contact Kaitlyn Hudgins, 202-347-2080 x32 to enroll.
Annual Foundation Center Renewal foundation center
AJFCA will be renewing the annual Foundation Center subscription. If you are interested please email Zahava by Friday, July 10th. Invoices will be emailed in late July. Service will begin in mid-August. We will be attempting to keep the subscription fee close to this past year's amount of $390. For more information regarding the Foundation Center click here or contact Megan.
2015 AJFCA Regional Meetings
Join professionals for AJFCA's Domestic Violence Professionals Fly In
and Midwest Older Adult Services Meeting this summer. Click here to learn more and register today!
Ethics for Giving Circles  ejewish philanthropy
In thinking ethically, we typically ask one of two kinds of questions. We may ask: What should we do? Alternatively, we may ask: What sort of people should we strive to be? Learn more here.
Using Brands for Impact stanford social innovation review
Most individuals are influenced by brands -- a fact that nonprofits can use to their advantage. Branding can increase use of nonprofit services, as well as involvement and donations. "Leaving the brand discussion on the sidelines only disserves its missions of impact," writes Populist CEO Grant Tudor. Read the entire article here.
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