AJFCA Newsletter
In This Issue

My name is Sydney Gorodetsky and I am an AmeriCorps VISTA at Goodman Jewish Family Service in Plantation, Florida. My agency's main goal for me was to provide socialization for the Holocaust survivors of Broward County. Our program currently has over 700 Holocaust clients that are seen by our Care Managers. Throughout my year, I have built relationships with synagogues and senior centers to host our programs, donors to contribute to our programs, and the survivors themselves to find out their interest in different events.

The county is divided into four sections, and each section has a Café Europa once a year. Café Europa is the annual luncheon that we hold. Originally, it was the only event that our survivors have had to look forward to. Throughout the year, I have expanded our programming to put on five brunches, four Café Europa's, two laughter yoga classes, one flower arranging class, one afternoon tea, and one painting class. The Care Managers have given back many positive responses to these events.

In addition to planning these programs, I reached out to high school students in Holocaust study classes to engage them with our clients. The students fundraised and planned an event, and participated in our many volunteer programs (friendly visitor, telephone reassurance, food delivery). In addition, the students also volunteered at the events they planned, and even bonded with many of the survivors that were in attendance. Many of the survivors were so moved that high school students would take time out of their day to be with them, they spoke to them as a group and told their story. The students were so excited to hear a story first-hand from someone who had been through what they have been learning this past year.    
Senior Resource Connect - AJFCA's New Older Adult Services Website

AJFCA recently launched 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.
Stay updated on AJFCA offerings, agency news & current trends . . .
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July 17, 2015  
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D'Var Torah 
Lee I. Sherman

[Recently, I have been spending considerable time working on increasing funding in support of Holocaust survivors. As we read the concluding parashot of B'midbar this week, I thought about this Shabbat message that I wrote in July, 2008.]

This week as we near the end of the Book of Numbers with our reading of Parashah Mattot, I have been thinking about the English word "numbers" and all of its connotations. Two days ago, I attended the funeral of my friend and board colleague Felix Kestenberg. Those of you from Baltimore may have known Felix better than me and we can all agree that he was a remarkable man. Felix was born in Poland and during the war he survived eight concentration and labor camps and two "death marches." Felix lost all of his immediate family to Nazi persecution, but he never lost his faith and his will to survive. He came to Baltimore and built a successful life with a wonderful family. Moreover, Felix was always there to help others and for many years he was a devoted volunteer and board member for HIAS, JFS, and Hebrew Free Loan Society. I want to share one story about Felix that I think of when I reflect on the meaning of "numbers."

A little over three years ago, my daughter came home from her freshman World History class with her concern about the class discussion of WWII. She felt that the portrayal of Hitler was a bit too positive, that it emphasized the growth of his power and popularity in Germany and not the horror of his treatment of many segments of the population, particularly Jews. My daughter had attended Jewish day school through the 8th grade, but she was now in a Baltimore City public high school, one that is over 90% African-American, and she did not feel that her classmates had a true picture of the Holocaust in the context of the war. So I asked Jordan if she wanted me to arrange for a speaker on the Holocaust to present to her class and she received permission  from her teacher to do so.

I called Felix for I knew that he had spoken to classes and groups hundreds of times through the years. Felix came and told his compelling story to the class. They were spellbound. After he completed his talk and answered a few questions, many of the students rushed to the front of the room to speak individually with Felix and to shake his hand. Then, a group of students asked Felix if he had numbers tattooed on his arm. He told them that he did and they asked if he would show them. I was quite taken aback. But, Felix was unruffled and took off his jacket, rolled up his sleeve and displayed his number from Auschwitz. The students asked to touch the numbers and Felix agreed. For the students, Felix and his numbers were a visceral connection with a piece of history that was otherwise remote for them. They were also demonstrating their respect and affection for a man who had suffered so horribly, but had lived to bring the message to them. As young inner-city residents, many of whom had known much tragedy and deprivation in their own lives, they related to Felix in a real and personal way that they will always remember, and that touched me as I watched.

Felix Kestenberg, of blessed memory, was a relentless advocate for Holocaust survivors, new immigrants, and all vulnerable populations. He will be missed, but it is comforting to know that he will be long remembered by all of those that he touched and who literally touched him. Many were destroyed by the Nazis, but because of Felix and many survivors like him, the "number" who have been touched and will remember is so much greater.

Shabbat Shalom.


White House Conference on Aging 

AJFCA was proud to take part in the White House Conference on Aging Federal Inter agency Watch Party at the U.S. Department of Transportation in Washington D.C. The event kicked off with a panel on enhancing inter agency collaboration for older adults with key leaders at the U.S. Departments of Transportation, Labor, Health and Human Services, Housing and Urban Development and the Social Security Administration, followed by a live stream viewing of the WHCOA opening panel and presidential address. Liz Woodward, AJFCA's Director of Older Adult & Disabilities Services represented AJFCA in interactive discussion on advancing collaboration, policy and programs for older adults along with leaders and professionals of both governmental and non-governmental organizations.


How did you get involved with the White House Conference on Aging? Email Liz with your agency's event and next steps for improving the lives of older Americans now and into the future.  

IRS Plans to Begin Releasing Electronic Nonprofit Tax Forms Next Year  chronicile of philanthropy
On June 30th, The Internal Revenue Service said it is working on a technology that should allow it to release electronic versions of Form 990 tax filings by early 2016, a move that would make it far easier for the public to search for information about nonprofit finances and operations. Read the entire article here.
4 Simple Ways to Stay More Productive 
Making small improvements to your workplace habits can over time have a dramatic effect on productivity, writes Sandhya Venkatachalam. Regular sleep, scheduled breaks, the elimination of distractions and the use of lists to prioritize tasks can each help. "Almost every habit is the result of small decisions over time. Very small improvements can lead to big success," she writes. Continue reading here.
Planning & Delivery of Older Adult Services: Supporting Holocaust Survivors
Join us for this conversation on supporting Holocaust survivors to age with health and dignity in our communities. Masha Pearl, Executive Director of The Blue Card, will present on the work of this national organization and AJFCA member professionals will come together to share their knowledge and experience on innovative or best practices for funding services for Holocaust survivors, the emerging needs and growing requests for services, and utilizing volunteers in implementing programs.

Supporting Holocaust Survivors
Thursday, August 6 - 2pm EDT - REGISTER 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.
Annual Foundation Center Renewal foundation center
AJFCA will be renewing the annual Foundation Center subscription. If you are interested please email Zahava by TODAY - 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!
Stand For Your Mission Pushes Board Advocacy
BoardSource released the third edition of its seminal document "10 Basic Responsibilities for Nonprofit Boards," and readers will notice some fundamental changes. The document has a stronger focus on board members' advocacy. That's not an accident. Read the updated document here and learn more.
Why Endow the Annual Campaign? Or "How Did they Do That?"  ejp full logo
"We hold these truths to be self evident" ... just as one of the great speeches of our nation makes its truths clear to the listener, those of us who have been insiders in the world of Jewish federation philanthropy see the need to continue the role and the strength of our annual campaign as our most important objective. There is only one problem with this statement. The campaign has relied for its strength on larger and larger gifts from a smaller and diminishing group of aging and committed donors over a long period. Read more here.
How to Setup Google Analytics Goals 
If you want to be smart about using Google Analytics, the first thing you have to do is setup Google Analytics Goals. With goals, Google Analytics starts making a whole lot more sense. Learn more here.
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