AJFCA Newsletter
In This Issue

During the month of October AJFCA sent pieces pertaining to Domestic Violence Awareness
Month. An archive of these emails can be found here. Our agencies were so busy raising awareness within their communities we couldn't share all their work in October. Learn about Jewish Family Service Association of Cleveland's work below.

Attendees report learning new information and how to be an informed active bystander. Click here to view Clothesline Project photos.

Know Abuse, JFSA's peer to peer teen domestic violence prevention program, performed its educational drama at Hawken (an independent upper school) on October 21st.  Hawken's student body viewed the live performance whose characters are played by trained teens and then broke up into small groups for further education and discussion facilitated by JFSA trained teen advisory panel members.
November is National Family Caregivers Month

Over 50 million Americans are recognized this month during National Family Caregivers Month. The estimated value of the "free" services provided by these family members caring for loved ones who are frail, chronically ill or disabled is conservatively estimated to be $306 billion each year. Read the full post from Jewish Family Service St. Paul here.

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 Richmond Honored for Work by Virginia Center for Inclusive Communities


The Virginia Center for Inclusive Communities honored five individuals and Jewish Family Service of Richmond for their work at its annual Richmond Humanitarian Awards Dinner on Thursday.
The organization honored two judges, a college professor, a newspaper publisher, the head of the agency on aging and a 167-year-old agency started to help Civil War orphans.

The awards include three humanitarian awards, a distinguished merit citation and the Distinguished Virginian Award. Learn more here.
10 Years Strong; JFCS Pittsburgh is Once Again a "Best Place to Work"

jfcs pittsburgh  

The Pittsburgh Business Times announced the winners of their annual list of the Best Places to Work in Western Pennsylvania. For the 10th consecutive year, Jewish Family & Children's Service of Pittsburgh was named on that list. We are honored to be named among those selected for the award!

Additionally, JF&CS earned a place earlier this year on the annual Pittsburgh Post-Gazette list of Top Places to Work for the fourth consecutive year. The results of both awards are determined by the results of an anonymous survey of employees of companies and nonprofits throughout the region.
An Introduction to Suicide Prevention:  Key Facts, Best Practices, and How You Can Make a Difference


December 1st, 2pm ET

In this live webinar, the Council on Accreditation (COA) will partner with the American Foundation for Suicide Prevention (AFSP) to engage a broad range of stakeholders in a discussion on suicide prevention. Doreen S. Marshall, PhD, Senior Director of Education and Prevention at AFSP will provide a review of suicide statistics, information on what contributes to suicide risk, warning signs that a suicidal crisis is emerging, suicide-prevention strategies, and an overview of AFSP's work. Anna Simonsen-Meehan, Standards Associate at COA, will discuss how COA strengthened its accreditation standards in response to this public health crisis to include best practices in suicide prevention.  
November 6, 2015  
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The Voice and Vision for Stronger Communities
D'Var Torah

Lee I. Sherman

Earlier this week, I had the pleasure and privilege of attending the inaugural Ruderman Inclusion Summit. Over 500 professionals and advocates gathered in Boston to share information, resources, and stories to promote the inclusion of people with disabilities in all aspects of our global life. There should be no debate that a fully inclusive society benefits all of its members, regardless of their individual abilities, but how we make that happen deserves our attention and diligence. We need to be active, persistent, and cooperative to build a community that reflects and includes each person.

In this week's parashah, Hayyei Sarah, we are introduced to Rebekah, the future wife of Isaac. Abraham sends his servant to his kinsman to find a wife for Isaac. The servant devises a test in which he can determine the true nature of a prospective wife for Abraham's son. Rebekah passes the test with flying colors - she offers the servant a drink from her jug and then keeps filling her jug until all of the camels have had their thirst quenched. Rebekah exudes a spirit steeped in kindness, and during the scene she also exhibits modesty, sensitivity, and responsibility. Moreover, in vigorously pursuing her goal of making certain that all of the camels are watered, Rebekah demonstrates the work ethic necessary to complete this arduous task. She is not only a worthy wife for Isaac, but a role model for all who seek to make a difference.

Ensuring a fully inclusive society is hard work. It requires a change of attitudes and a commitment to justice. But, as our matriarch Rebekah taught us, hard work is in our natures and it makes the goal possible.  Join us in working to move the inclusion agenda forward.

Shabbat Shalom.   
AJFCA Attends 2015 Ruderman Inclusion Summit
AJFCA was proud to be a sponsor of the inaugural 2015 Ruderman Inclusion Summit on November 1st and 2nd in Boston. The summit featured many notable speakers including Senator Tom Harkin, Special Olympics Athlete Loretta Claiborne and Justice Richard Bernstein. More than 500 professionals, self-advocates and family members participated in sessions on topics such as:  housing, education, employment, and policy. The summit demonstrated the strength of the disability community and success of programming and advocacy efforts, while also illuminating how far we still have to go to reach a truly inclusive society. The Summit aimed to increase collaboration between organizations serving individuals of all abilities and develop a stronger inclusion movement. 
AJFCA's Social Injustice Statement
The social injustice statement below was adopted by AJFCA.

"It is not your responsibility to complete the work, neither are you free to desist from it."

Pirkei Avot (Ethics of our Fathers) 2:16

As a people who have experienced and understand the implications of being a minority, it is a defining value to speak out on behalf of the disadvantaged and work toward justice wherever possible. In the daily work of Jewish social service agencies, we serve many people who struggle with poverty, hunger, and lack of opportunity. Events that have occurred throughout North America and globally in the past year inspire us, once again, to raise our voices in support of social and economic justice. We believe that every person carries a divine spark within, and as such deserves dignity and respect. We believe that the path to a stronger community rests on building connections among us that promote collective strength, not isolation. This is the time to grow in understanding and compassion, and to act to address these concerns. Together, our actions will take root so that poverty, hunger, and prejudice no longer have a place in our communities.

As members of AJFCA there are many ways that you can act locally to address these concerns.
  1. Start your board, staff, and management meetings with a statement or moment of silence against economic and social injustice.
  2. Send out a written statement on economic and social justice that is tied in content and timing to a Jewish holiday.
  3. Have your board adopt a position that supports economic and social justice for all members of our communities. Share this position with your local media.
  4. Post this position and/or your agency's position on your website and Facebook and/or produce a short video clip about it.
  5. Start a blog on the topic.
  6. Hold a meeting with members of your diverse community to facilitate a conversation, networking, and action about economic and social injustice.
  7. Join together with staff, board members, or other diverse members of the community for a walk of unity on behalf of social justice. Invite the press to attend.
  8. Coordinate a unified and diverse prayer vigil with other members of the community.
  9. Lend support to a local community building organization in some of their activities.
  10. Include a reflection on justice in your group volunteering projects.
Transgender Day of Remembrance
Observed annually on November 20th, Transgender Day of Remembrance (TDOR), was established fifteen years ago as a day set aside for remembering the lives of those gender expansive and gender non-conforming individuals who were viciously murdered for being themselves. Please join Keshet in advancing transgender inclusion in your Jewish community by observing Transgender Day of Remembrance. Resources and events taking place across the country can be found here.
Health Insurance Marketplace  health insurance marketplace
Are your clients having trouble finding health insurance that fits their needs and budget? Look no further than the Health Insurance Marketplace. All plans in the Marketplace cover essential health benefits and pre-existing conditions. Visit HealthCare.gov to find the latest, most accurate, information about the Marketplace. Learn how the Marketplace works, who can apply for coverage, how to lower costs, and more. When you're ready to apply and enroll in coverage, HealthCare.gov is the place for that, too!
San Diego, CA
May 15-17, 2016

Click here
to learn more (including link to book hotel room).
JFNA Center for Advancing Holocaust Survivor Care Announces Request for Proposals jfna logo
We are pleased to share this announcement from our colleagues at the Jewish Federations of North America for requests for proposals for the enhancement of person-centered, trauma-informed supportive services for Holocaust survivors throughout the United States. These grants are intended for providers of direct services to Holocaust survivors, those who currently receive funding from the Claims Conference and those who may not. Follow this link to learn more about the RFP process and dates and times for two informational conference calls to answer questions about the process. We are thankful to the U.S. government for these grant funds that will assist in keeping Holocaust survivors living in their communities for as long as possible.
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 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 13th. Download the membership application here and email Liz with questions. 
3 Benefits of Tracking Foundation Board Practices
Tracking the practices of foundation boards is an important signal of transparency, writes BoardSource CEO Anne Wallestad following a recent study from the Center for Effective Philanthropy. It also gives board members a chance to reflect and shows where they are thriving and where improvement is needed. "Foundations have the power to send powerfully positive messages about the importance of strong and effective board leadership that is committed, invested, intentional, and inspired," she writes. Continue reading here.
#GivingTuesday and Year-End Fundraising: How to Do Both network for good
Are you still trying to decide whether your organization should dive into a #GivingTuesday campaign? Each organization is unique, and you need to be realistic about your resources and your donors, but don't let the idea of doing two campaigns in one month scare you away. We've seen that organizations who kick off the year-end giving season with a #GivingTuesday campaign raise more overall in December than organizations who focus on the last-minute push alone. So, having a successful #GivingTuesday as well as a year-end push can be done. (Even by organizations with a small staff or a small list.) Learn more here.
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