AJFCA Newsletter
In This Issue
AJFCA Staffing Transition in Advocacy and Holocaust Survivor Services

As AJFCA's work in advocacy and in support to Holocaust survivor services grows, we have a transition in staffing to announce. Liz Leibowitz, Senior Legislative Associate at JFNA, has assumed the role of Director of Government Affairs for AJFCA and we are thrilled to have Liz working with the AJFCA team! Liz joined JFNA in January after working on Capitol Hill for Congressman Robert A. Brady (PA-01) for a number of years. She has also previously held roles at Rabinowitz/Dorf Communications' rapid response war room during the 2012 presidential election and the Human Rights Campaign. Liz attended our Annual Conference in Miami where she gained an understanding of our work and met many of you. Liz is looking forward to meeting more of you at AJFCA's Advocacy Day on Tuesday. Going forward, Liz will be your point of contact for issues related to advocacy.

Liz Leibowitz

As you may know, JFNA received the federal grant for support to organizations serving Holocaust survivors and AJFCA is a key partner in its implementation. Shelley Rood, who served as AJFCA's Washington Director for the past 5 years, has transitioned full-time to work on that grant. As Director of the grant, Shelley remains your point person for Holocaust survivor services. 

Shelley Rood

Please join us in welcoming Liz and congratulating Shelley. 

During the month of October AJFCA will share pieces pertaining to Domestic Violence Awareness
Month. Click here to read the what our agencies are sharing with their communities as they raise awareness surrounding Domestic Violence Awareness Month.    

If your agency has a piece to share with the network please email Megan.

Click here to access Senior Resource Connect and stay current on the latest trends in older adult services.

AJFCA launched our new older adult services website, Senior Resource Connect this summer. 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.

Share this great news with your community.
JFS Portland Joins the National Diaper Bank Network


Jewish Family Services Portland, Maine, the social services arm of the Jewish Community Alliance of Southern Maine, is the first pantry in Maine to become a member of the National Diaper Bank Network. 

Diaper need is defined as the struggle to provide babies with clean, dry diapers. On average, a baby could go through 6-10 diapers in a day, costing approximately $936 a year. Diapers are not covered by food supplement programs and are an essential need in maintaining a baby's health and well-being. 

JFS Food Pantry specifically focuses on the needs of families and young children in the services provided, and has seen a steady increase in need among families for diapers and other non-food baby essentials. By joining the National Diaper Bank Network, JFS has the opportunity to purchase diapers in bulk at a significantly reduced cost to distribute not only to the JFS consumer base, but to dispense to other local pantries feeling a similar pressure to provide much sought after items. All diapers are provided free of charge. 
JFS Metrowest's 2015 Report to the Community

jfs metrowest, ma  

How does a social service agency like Jewish Family Service of MetroWest, Massachusetts measure impact? It's a question we hear from
constituents and Board members, donors and foundation leaders and it's a challenging 
question to answer. 

We can and do track all the pertinent numbers- client visits in homecare, test scores at 
Framingham's Wilson School, visits to our in-house food pantry- to name just a few. Yet 
none of these measures can provide a cumulative understanding of the impact of services 
and programs within the Metrowest community.


This year JFS Metrowest has begun a multi-year program to devise and implement a performance measurement 
and management system that will function as both a planning and evaluation tool. 

It will be used across the entire agency to answer the questions, 'What works?" and "How can 
it be changed if it doesn't?" Click here to view the report. 
Stay updated on AJFCA offerings, agency news & current trends . . .
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October 23, 2015  
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The Voice and Vision for Stronger Communities
D'Var Torah

Lee I. Sherman

When I was first attending Hebrew School, my favorite part was reading the Bible stories. As I later learned, many of these stories were not actually found in the Biblical text, but were formed later to fill in background or offer interpretation, our great tradition of "Midrash." One of my favorite stories was about Abraham and his destruction of his father's idols, his early commitment to monotheism. I imagined Abraham to be about my age (and the drawings in our text likely encouraged this thinking), so his act of defiance was particularly exciting. Regardless of his age at the time, this was a bold move by Abraham.
When we begin the reading of this week's parashah, Lech L'echa, we find that Avram is actually a mature man of 75. He answers God's call and launches his mission to create a community and build a home in a new land. The commitment by Avram to uproot himself and his family for an unknown adventure is remarkable. Had he known of the dangers and obstacles ahead, would he have left the comfort of his father's home? What was it about Avram that caused God to choose him? And, how did Avram recognize that spark within himself so he could, not only, convince himself to jump start his life in his eighth decade, but also convince those around him to follow?
This week and in coming weeks, we will read about Abraham's triumphs and challenges. He had successes, demonstrated grace under pressure and compassion in his actions. He also made some poor decisions and undoubtedly had regrets. But, above all Abraham was bold, he listened to his own inner thoughts and did not conform for the ease that might bring him. Any child with rebellious thoughts can relate to this, as should we all as we are asked to fulfill our responsibilities in relation to others.
Have a bold and peaceful Shabbat.
Points of Light National Conference on Volunteering & Service  
Several professionals from AJFCA member agencies met up in Houston, Texas this past week for the Points of Light National Conference on Volunteering & Service. Repair the World convened participants for a Jewish Community Delegation, which included a Summit on Sunday to kick-off the conference and a closer look into the sharing of best practices, followed by a dinner to further the networking that is so key in learning from one another. Highlights of the conference included a presentation from The Jewish Board's Director of Board and Volunteer Relations, Hannah Moore on shifting your organizational culture to better engage volunteers as part of the Key to Mission Advancement session, an appearance by George H. W. Bush (who founded Points of Light 25 years ago), as well as many sessions on topics such as "Making Your Nonprofit Attractive to Business Sponsorship", "Strengthening our Nonprofits by Reaching Across the Aisle to Our Fundraising Colleagues" and "Leveraging Volunteer Talent for Organizational Change." The conference closed with the announcement that Detroit will host the next NCVS June 27-29, 2016. For more information contact Jennie Gates Beckman.
Last Chance to Comment on Draft Voluntary Adult Protective Services Guidelines - New Listening Sessions Added
ACL is committed to supporting states in developing effective Adult Protective Services systems to ensure all older Americans and people with disabilities have similar protections and access to services, regardless of where they live. As part of these efforts, ACL released Draft Voluntary Consensus Guidelines for State APS Systems developed by experts in the field of APS and adult maltreatment. ACL wants to hear from you. The deadline for submitting public comments on the draft guidelines is Friday, October 30th.
Building Wellbeing: Unveiling a New Narrative on Human Services
Building public understanding of human services, and the will to support it, is arguably one of the most important advocacy tasks for the field in a time characterized by deep funding cuts. Understanding the urgent need for a new narrative about the contributions human services make to a thriving society, the National Human Services Assembly has engaged the FrameWorks Institute to develop an evidence-based strategy for reframing the work of the sector.

The final results of a series of framing studies are in, and you will be among the first to hear the recommendations. Julie Sweetland, FrameWorks VP for Strategy & Innovation, will walk through these key recommendations, model their potential applications, and open the virtual floor for discussion.

Building Wellbeing: Unveiling a New Narrative on Human Services
Tuesday, November 10th - 1:30pm ET - REGISTER HERE
Economic Impact: A New Approach for Proving Outcome
Impact. Defining it is often difficult. Measuring it can be harder yet. And the final step-communicating impact-remains a formidable challenge for many organizations. Read the entire article here.
2016 AJFCA Annual Conference - Hotel Announcement
Travel to San Diego, Sunday, May 5th - Tuesday, May 17th for AJFCA's 2016 Annual Conference;  2.5 day interactive and informative experience for professional and lay leaders from AJFCA Jewish human service agencies. Share common experiences in leading Jewish family service agencies and learn interesting and innovative ideas from the field.  

San Diego embodies laid-back California culture. Breathe in the fresh ocean air at Sunset Cliffs Natural Park, then enjoy a fresh fish taco in La Jolla. The naval aircrafts at the USS Midway Museum will have you standing at attention. A free Sunday concert at the Spreckels Organ Pavilion is the perfect way to unwind after a Saturday evening in the Gaslamp Quarter. 

Secure your room at the WESTIN SAN DIEGO (400 West Broadway | San Diego, CA 92101 | 619.239.4500) before April 26th under the AJFCA group block. The room rate is $209 and will be honored May 12th - May 20th on a space available basis.
Samost JFCS's 'Right In Our Backyard' Proves to be a Replicable Award-Winning Program Among AJFCA Member Agencies
On May 3, 2015, 'Right In Our Backyard' was the proud recipient of AJFCA's 2015 Goodman Award, which recognizes programs that are creative, sustainable and responsive to a community problem. Being the honoree entitled Samost Jewish Family & Children's Services to make a 90-minute 'train the trainers' presentation to colleagues at the AJFCA Annual Conference in Miami, Florida. The presentation focused on the creation and development of the addictions awareness program, and provided JFCS with a valuable opportunity to draw attention to a grassroots attempt to combat a growing, national problem. The education succeeded in fostering considerable interest in 'Right In Our Backyard' from AJFCA member organizations located outside of South Jersey.  

As a result, this year, in addition to local programming, JFCS is joining with other agencies to bring this critical information to their communities. On October 27th, in collaboration with Jewish Family Service of Atlantic & Cape May Counties, and the Kulanu School of Jewish Studies, JFCS will be presenting Right In Our Backyard at Congregation Beth Israel, in Northfield, New Jersey. On November 8th, in conjunction with Jewish Community Services of Baltimore and Congregation Oheb Shalom, JFCS will be presenting in Baltimore, Maryland. Inspired by the JFCS program presentation in Florida, Jewish Family Service of Somerset, Hunterdon and Warren Counties created their own model of 'Right In Our Backyard', and will be presenting it to their community on October 28th. Click here to learn about The Drug Addiction Epidemic in Suburbia- Community Awareness Program:  'Right in Our Backyard'

The value of sharing resources among the AJFCA network is visible through programs like 'Right in Our Backyard,' which has proven to be a sustainable, replicable and most needed program.
2015 Annual Conference Webinar:  Data Informed Practice: Making the Shift for Improved Agency Impact 
In the last decade, the landscape of human service delivery has changed dramatically and funders have pushed organizations to improve the way they evaluate their work. Non-profits are asking themselves questions like "What difference did our programs make in the lives of our clients?" and "How much better off are clients after participating in our programs?" Organizations struggle between the need to evaluate the impact of their work and recognizing that the work is done by human beings for human beings and all of the unknown accomajfca logo-resizedpanies those factors. As a result, answering these questions is no small feat. Representatives from JFS Detroit and JF&CS Boston will talk about their agencies' efforts and lessons learned from measuring impact in the past few years. The 2015 AJFCA Annual Conference presentation will include suggestions for choosing evaluation tools to demonstrate your impact; improving the quality of your data; monitoring basic outputs to ensure fidelity to your program model; analyzing and interpreting your data; and shifting the culture of your agency to become more focused on outcomes. This presentation will offer valuable information on how to incorporate data into your practice and get started down the path toward demonstrating impact.

  • Presenter Noah Schectman Manager of Data Strategy and Database Consulting, JFCS Greater Boston
  • Presenter Yuliya Gaydayenko Senior Director of Older Adult Services, JFS Metropolitan Detroit 
  • Presenter Kirsten Mack Director of Counseling Services, JFS Metropolitan Detroit
Data Informed Practice: Making the Shift for Improved Agency Impact
Thursday, November 12th - 2pm ET - REGISTER HERE
AJFCA's Fall 2015 Older Adult Services Newsletter
AJFCA's Fall 2015 Older Adult Services Newsletter is now available. This newsletter includes information about AJFCA's new online platform, Senior Resource Connect, the older adult services initiatives, questions and answers for the network, and news and events related to aging services.
AJFCA Member Benefit: ALCA Membership Discounts
AJFCA is proud to support the work of Aging Life Care Association (formerly NAPGCM), which works to bring together professionals working to support older adults and caregivers through a holistic, client-centered approach. Kaaren Boothroyd, ALCA CEO, and her team recently shared information about their association and this new benefit to AJFCA members on the webinar "Aging Life Care: Why you? Why now?". Access a recording of the webinar here and download the webinar slides here to learn more about ALCA. 

Professionals from AJFCA member agencies with at least one full dues-paying ALCA member at the Advanced Professional or Professional level are eligible for a 50% discount on new membership for 2016. Applications and supported documents must be submitted to ALCA by November 13, 2015. Download the membership application here and email Liz with questions. 
Why Boards are Integral to Success of the Nonprofit Sector huffington post
The nonprofit sector would eventually cease to exist without boards because they are responsible for instilling public trust, ensuring strong leadership and enabling staff and CEO transitions, writes BoardSource President and CEO Anne Wallestad. "The nonprofit sector is too critical to our society and our communities to have a cavalier attitude about its sustainability and survival," she writes. Continue reading here.
One Year Begins, Another Ends: What is Your ejewish philanthropy Organization Doing to Engage Donors?
This is the time of year when many Americans sit down and review their finances, examine tax implications and allocate their charitable dollars. No Jewish organization should miss the opportunity to maximize year-end giving. Of course, organizations don't have a lot of time between to act between the High Holidays and December 31st. Read the entire article here.
COA Updates Standards with Suicide Prevention Best Practices coa
On October 7th, COA released updated standards promoting best practices in suicide prevention, including staff training, screenings and assessments, safety planning, continuity of care and follow up, peer support services, and staff support in the event of a suicide. These strengthened standards will increase COA accredited organizations' capacity to identify and serve individuals at risk for suicide. Click here for the updated standards.
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