AJFCA Newsletter
In This Issue
As Aging Population Grows, So Do Robotic Health Aides 

Though fully functioning robot caregivers may be a long way off, roboticists and physicians predict that a new wave of advances in computerized, robotic and Internet-connected technologies will be available in coming years to help older adults stay at home longer. Learn more 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.
Paula Goldstein, CEO of JFCS Philadelphia

Hanukkah begins at sunset Sunday, and there will be six menorahs to light at Paula Goldstein's house.

"So we actually could set a nice little fire," said Goldstein, 58, president and chief executive of Jewish Family and Children's Service of Greater Philadelphia, a $13 million organization celebrating its 160th anniversary this year.

"One menorah somebody gave us, one we got when we were married, and then my children each have their own menorah, so we light them all," she said.

Jewish life is central to Goldstein, and in an unexpected way, her volunteer work helped her rise from social worker to chief executive. Read the entire article here.  
JFS Milwaukee Hires Interim CEO

Jewish Family Services of Milwaukee has hired Tom Martin, former President & CEO of Family Services of Northeast Wisconsin (FSNEW) in Green Bay, WI as an Interim President/CEO of JFS starting January 1, 2016.  Martin will
fill in for current President/CEO Sylvan Leabman, who is retiring at the end of December.

Martin retired from FSNEW in March 2014, after serving the agency for 27 years as Executive Director. Under his leadership, the organization grew from seven programs and 89 employees to more than 35 programs and a staff of nearly 400.

The JFS Board's Transition Task Force is continuing to search for a permanent replacement and while that process continues the Board wanted to  assure that executive leadership was in place so that there would be  no gaps in service to clients and the community. 
December 11, 2015  
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The Voice and Vision for Stronger Communities
D'Var Torah

Lee I. Sherman 
In our house, we use, at least, one Hanukkiah for each person present for the candle lighting. All are welcome to be part of the ceremony - they don't need to be a family member or even Jewish. Hanukkah is a festival of freedom, resilience, and light, something anyone should be able to relate to. And, as Jews, it is our privilege and responsibility to share that message with the broader communities in which we live. 

Lately, this message of welcome seems to be lost in words of hate and fear. Certainly, we all can feel threatened by acts of terror that strike at the very heart of our culture by targeting our most routine activities. But, rather than react by building walls of exclusion, we need to focus on bridges of inclusion. I feel so fortunate to live in a country that welcomed my grandparents when they were fleeing persecution and gave them the opportunity to live full lives and grow their families, as Americans and Jews.
On Wednesday, I was once again fortunate to attend the White House Hanukkah Celebration, hosted by the President and Mrs. Obama. This is not a political event, present are Jews from all across the political and religious spectrum. It is a time to be welcomed into our nation's house, into a United States that we can call home. From the moment we entered to the sounds of the Maccabeats performing Leonard Cohen's "Hallelujah" in English and Hebrew, we were home. This year I took my son as a representative of our family's next generation, so he, too, can appreciate our country and all it represents as a home to many faiths, nationalities, and cultures. It was a privilege for us to share the spirit of Hanukkah with the President, President Rivlin of Israel, and Jews from across our country. This is the meaning of the light of Hanukkah.

Shabbat Shalom and Chag Sameach.
Congressional Omnibus Spending Bill Update
On September 30 of this year, Congress passed a short term continuing resolution (CR) that kept the government funded through December 11. It was hoped that members of Congress would be able to pass legislation this week, known as an omnibus spending bill, to set funding levels through fiscal year 2016. Unfortunately, as of Thursday, December 10, members in the Senate and the House have still been unable to agree on certain aspects of the legislation.

On Thursday afternoon, the Senate passed a five day CR, and it appears likely that the House will pass the measure as well. This CR would give lawmakers until midnight on December 16 to finish work on the fiscal 2016 omnibus spending bill. One of the biggest roadblocks that Congress will have to overcome is the desire of some members to include controversial add-ons, known as "riders," to the bill to advance major policy objectives. The most high-profile rider debate has focused on whether or not to include language that would restrict entry of Syrian refugees into the United States.

AJFCA encourages members of Congress to reach a final agreement by December 16 and to not include divisive riders that could lead to a government shutdown.
New German Restitution Program for Former Soviet Prisoners of War
The German Bundestag decided on May 21, 2015 that former Soviet prisoners of war should receive a symbolic payment in recognition of their time in German detention. Members of the Soviet armed forces who were detained as prisoners of war by Germany in the Second World War may receive a one-time payment. Learn more here.
Early Planning and Offline Engagement Lift Giving Tuesday Totals
Fundraisers must engage millennials in the real world as well as on social media to win their support on Giving Tuesday and other days devoted to philanthropy, according to a report released Monday. Read the entire article here.
How One Charity Engages Women Through Events
Each year the Jewish Federations of North America, a network of Jewish nonprofits across the United States and Canada, raises more than $900 million, much of it from women. The Federations established the Lions of Judah, a key component of its women's philanthropy program, 45 years ago. Today's Lions contribute at any of nine different giving levels ranging from $5,000 to $250,000. The nonprofit offers a variety of other programs to attract female donors at lower levels as well. Learn more here.
Help AJFCA Choose the 2016 Annual Conference Image
Help AJFCA choose an image for the 2016 Annual Conference. Click here to "Like" the one image (of three) you like best and encourage your colleagues to do the same. The photo with the most "likes" by Friday, December 18th will be declared the winner and will be used in marketing and on the AJFCA mobile app.

Book your hotel room at the Westin San Diego here. Learn more about the session topics here

Please contact Megan with questions.
You Should Know . . . Liz Leibowitz 
Liz Leibowitz loves living on Capitol Hill. The 27-year-old Philadelphia-area native helped found Moishe House Capitol Hill two years ago while she was working as a legislative correspondent and press assistant to Rep. Robert A. Brady (D-Pa.).
She currently serves as the director of government affairs for The Jewish Federations of North America and The Association of Jewish Family and Children's Agencies. Advocating for the legislative interests of 125 Jewish family agencies and 151 federations, her portfolio includes legislation impacting older adults and the disabled, and issues such as poverty, domestic violence and human trafficking. Click here to read more about Liz. 
New Online Support Group for Children of Holocaust Survivors 
Jewish Family Service of Greenwich is expanding its online support group programming to include a support group for Children of Holocaust Survivors. This group will be run by experienced, licensed social workers and the services are being provided using secure, state-of-the-art live video conferencing technology. Participants will discuss concerns unique to aging holocaust survivors and their adult children; exploring topics such as: holocaust rememberance day
  • increased vulnerability to stressful events and the impact of PTSD on the aging process;
  • transmission of Holocaust trauma;
  • the burden of being "replacements" for lost relatives;
  • unresolved conflicts around anger complicated by guilt;
  • acceptance of parents' mortality;
  • best care-giving practices for Survivors;
  • resilience.
The support group will meet on the third Thursday of each month at 8:00pm ET beginning Thursday, December 17th. All you need is a computer, tablet or smart phone with Wi-Fi access. For more information please contact Naomi Kohl, LMSW, Online Video Support Group Project Manager at 203-622-1881.
Agency Showcase: Engaging Young Adults in the Work of Your Organization 
Young Adults, ages 21-39, want to make a meaningful, direct impact on their community. This webinar, presented at AJFCA's 2015 Annual Conference, will feature a panel of AJFCA member agencies sharing how they involve this sought after demographic. Discover how member agencies have found success (and failure) in engagement through volunteer opportunities, social programming, leadership development, advocacy, board appointment and philanthropy. Learn how to effectively collaborate in executing an ambitious calendar of diverse events that balances volunteer leaderships' aspirations with agency goals, limited resources and staff time availability.

Ashley Harrington, Manager, Public Affairs & Young Adult Initiatives, JFS San Diego
Melanie Blumental, Board Member/Volunteer, JFS Greater Cincinnati
Sandee Golden, Food Pantry & Volunteer Program Manager, JFS Greater Cincinnati
Marian Mendelsohn, Director, Special Projects, JCS South Florida
Hinda Adler, JCS Alliance Co-Chair, JCS South Florida
Laura Raiffe, JCS Alliance Co-Chair, JCS South Florida

Engaging Young Adults in the Work of Your Organization
Tuesday, December 15th, 12-1:30pm EST - REGISTER HERE
The Impact of Changing Legislation & Court Decisions on Supports for Individuals with Disabilities
As we celebrate the 25th anniversary of the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA), landmark civil rights legislation, and the 40th anniversary of the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act, we are experiencing a rapidly changing landscape shifting to the alignment of policies, best practices, and funding that promote accountability and outcomes consistent with the goals of the ADA. During this webinar, Allan Bergman, a nationally recognized thought leader and expert in disability policy and practice with over 40 years of experience, will highlight the following substantive policy changes complemented by national and state data on best practice, and discuss the impact on the provision of services and supports:
  • Title II of the ADA and funding services in the "most integrated setting" and how that differs from "least restrictive environment";
  • The Olmstead Supreme Court decisions and subsequent federal court decisions;
  • The Melville  Supportive Housing Act and Section 811 funding;
  • The separation of housing from supports and Medicaid funding for supported living 
  • Medicaid funding and Integrated Employment, the Medicaid "settings" rule, and Medicaid rules on person-centered planning and "informed choice";
  • Employment First and the myth of losing benefits; and,
  • Closing the "front door" to sheltered workshops through the Workforce Innovations and Opportunities Act (WIOA)
The Impact of Changing Legislation & Court Decisions on Supports for Individuals with Disabilities
Wednesday, December 16th - 1 pm EST - REGISTER HERE
Increased Donor Expectations Make Fundraising Challenging chronicile of philanthropy
Forty-seven percent of nonprofit leaders say increased donor expectations are making fundraising more difficult, according to accounting firm Marks Paneth. A growing number of donors want to see the social impact of their gift, but most do not allow nonprofits to use part of their gift for tracking results. Learn more here.
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