AJFCA Newsletter
In This Issue

Jordan Wohl is an AmeriCorps VISTA (Volunteer in Service to America) serving jointly with Samost Jewish Family and Children's Services and the Goodwin Holocaust Museum and Education Center in Cherry Hill, NJ. Jordan currently works with these agencies to build capacity in the areas of Claims Conference compliance issues, grant writing, and socialization programming. Recently, Jordan helped his two centers secure close to $7500 in grant funding from the Jewish Community Foundation to fund a Yiddish class for JFCS social workers to help them better connect with their clients, an educational grant to help a local diocese implement Holocaust education into their curriculums, and a technology grant.

The technology grant will allow JFCS to buy 4-5 iPads and a mobile hotspot, which will be used in the field by social workers and as a socialization tool for Holocaust survivor clients who are unable to leave their homes. With the iPads, Jordan and JFCS social workers will coordinate usage to allow survivors who live far apart to video chat with each other as well as with their family members who do not live close by. Outside of his duties as a VISTA, Jordan is a credentialed sports writer and will begin medical school in the 2016 Fall. 

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.
JFCS Phoenix, MAZON Team Up To Fight Senior Hunger

jfcs phoenix logo  
Janet Arnold wears two hats at Jewish Family & Children's Service of Phoenix; besides being the senior concierge, she provides help to seniors in need who seek to enroll in the federal Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP), formerly known as the food stamp program.

This comes about through a partnership with MAZON: A Jewish Response to Hunger, which on Dec. 1 announced it was continuing for a second year its Solutions to Senior Hunger program, conducted in partnership with the Association of Jewish Family & Children's Agencies and funded by the Walmart Foundation. The local JFCS is one of 13 agencies nationwide that is participating this year. Read the entire article published in the JewishNews, on Decmeber 16th here.
Project Extreme's 2015 in Review

Project Extreme  
2015 was an especially accomplishing year for Project Extreme, an AJFCA member agency that provides unique, innovative and individualized attention and services to teens at-risk, their families and communities. In addition to our ongoing year-round programs, Project Extreme celebrated the one year anniversary of Miryam's House, a supportive living shelter for young women, 18 years and older. Miryam's House offers a safe and growth oriented home for those seeking additional encouragement, life skills, and healthy communication skills. Learn more here.
JCCA Has a New Look

Jewish Child Care Association as a new look and new tagline. The agency decided to change their name to JCCA to more accurately reflect who they are and what they do. They have been known as Jewish Child Care Association since 1940. While the name accurately reflected their work and the population they served then, it does not fully reflect their work and the population they serve now. Of course, they continue to serve Jewish children in a range of programs and remain committed to Jewish continuity, but they also serve a large population of African-American and Latino children, and young people with a range of needs, from foster care to mental health services. They have chosen to use JCCA, the acronym by which they are generally known, as their official name.
January 8, 2016  
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The Voice and Vision for Stronger Communities

D'Var Torah

Lee I. Sherman 
Two years ago, along with hundreds of others, I signed the following pledge produced by our colleagues at the Jewish Council for Public Affairs. We live in an age where our disagreements, both public and private, often are addressed in adversarial and disparaging rhetoric. For all of us, recognizing that disagreement is common and can be constructive, we should continue to pursue the civil discourse reflected in the following statement:

Statement on Civility

In American society, especially in our diverse Jewish community, we value robust and vigorous debate about pressing issues. Such debate is one of the greatest features of our democracy and one of the hallmarks of our people. We revel in our tradition of debate: A frank and civil exchange of ideas helps to inform our decisions, provoke new ways of thinking, and sometimes even change our minds.

And yet today, the expression and exchange of views is often an uncivil, highly unpleasant experience. Community events and public discussions are often interrupted by raised voices, personal insults, and outrageous charges. Such incivility serves no purpose but to cheapen our democracy. When differences spiral down into uncivil acrimony, the dignity of individuals and community is diminished, and our precious democracy is weakened. People holding diverse views cease to listen to each other. Lack of civility makes it more difficult, if not impossible, to open minds, much less find common ground.

Therefore we as a community and as individuals, must pledge to uphold the basic norms of civil discussion and debate at our public events. We do this not to stifle free expression of views, but rather to protect it.

We will discover civility in the guarding of our tongues and the rejection of false witness. We will find it wherever we show care for the dignity of every human being, even those with whom we may strongly disagree. We will find it by listening carefully when others speak, seeking to understand what is being said and trying to learn from it.

This pursuit has deep roots in Torah and in our community's traditions. Our Sages saw the fruit of arguments that were conducted l'shem shamayim, "for the sake of Heaven." They fervently believed that great minds, engaged in earnest search and questioning, could find better and richer solutions to the problems they faced. They refrained from insisting on uniformity. They sought to preserve and thereby honor the views of the minority as well as the majority. They did so through their understanding of the great teaching of Eilu v'elu divrei Elokim chayim, "both these words and those are the words of the living God."

As a community, we must commit ourselves and ask others to open their hearts and minds to healthy, respectful dialogue based on our love for our neighbors and our people.

We therefore agree to treat others with decency and honor and to set ourselves as models for civil discourse, even when we disagree with each other.

We commit ourselves to this course to preserve an essential element of a community - the ability to meet and talk as brothers and sisters.
The Other Holocaust Survivors
They live under the radar, 330 Russian-speaking Jews who survived World War II and ended up in Montgomery County. They range in age from 72 to 94; three were in utero when their pregnant mothers fled the Nazi armies. Technically, they are all considered Holocaust survivors, though they escaped the most infamous death camps and shooting squads by traveling east, away from the front lines, where the Nazi war machine tried and failed to conquer the Soviet Union. Read their amazing story here.
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International Holocaust Remembrance Day in Your Community  
International Holocaust Remembrance Day is recognized by AJFCA member agencies each year. On January 27th we will remember the brave victims of the Holocaust and the liberation of Auschwitz-Birkenau, the largest Nazi death camp, by Soviet troops, in 1945. What will you be sharing with your community about this international day of remembrance. Did a member of your agency write a blog or organize a program? Please share your work with the network by emailing Megan.
White House Report on 2015 Conference on Aging 
The White House has released their report for the 2015 Conference on Aging. This past July the Administration held the 6th White House Conference on Aging, which was intended to focus attention on the issues and needs confronting seniors and those who serve them. Click here to view the report.
Intersection of Domestic Violence & Guns 
The Interfaith Coalition Against Domestic and Sexual Violence, of which AJFCA is a member, will host a briefing call on Thursday, January 21st, at 12pm EST for coalition members, clergy, and lay leaders to learn more about the intersection of domestic violence and guns, as well as current legislation that has been introduced to deal with this issue. The call will feature a policy expert and a clergyperson. To sign up, click here.
Jewish Disability Awareness & Inclusion Month - February 2016
People with disabilities have many gifts and talents to share, as well as the need for community, support and comfort provided by Jewish organizations.

Participating in Jewish Disability Awareness and Inclusion Month in February gives your organization the opportunity to engage your entire community in the important work of ensuring that ALL Jews, without regard to ability, have access to Jewish life-to work, live, love, play, learn and worship as they choose, where they choose, and to contribute to this wonderful place we call our Jewish community.

The Jewish Disability Awareness and Inclusion Month Guide provides many resources and ideas to assist you in programming, whether in your own organization or as community-wide initiatives.

Please share your plans for JDAIM with the AJFCA network via the AJFCA Disabilities Services Professionals Facebook page.
A 2016 Annual Conference Image Has Been Chosen
YOU chose this year's image to represent AJFCA's host city of San Diego. Thank you to all who participated on Facebook.

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

Please contact Megan with questions.
AJFCA Planning & Delivery of Older Adult Services: Alzheimer's & Dementia Programming 
Join your colleagues at AJFCA member agencies for this one hour discussion on programming for individuals with Alzheimer's disease and related dementia and their caregivers. Beth Soltzberg, Manager of the Alzheimer's/Related Disorders Family Support Program at Jewish Family & Children's Service of Greater Boston will share her organization's programs including the memory café and interagency café network and the recent Dementia-Inclusive Communities symposium. All AJFCA member agency professionals are invited to share their programs and discuss the challenges and strategies involved in providing these services.

AJFCA Planning & Delivery of Older Adult Services: Alzheimer's & Dementia Programming
Tuesday, January 26th - 1pm EST - REGISTER HERE
StoryTelling:  Blog Your Way into Their Hearts
As a development, marketing and communications professionals, our job is to connect our community of supporters and potential supporters to the life-changing work that happens in our agencies every day. But if you find, as we did at JFS Seattle, that you need a way to breathe new life into your storytelling, develop a stronger online presence, and offer more robust resources to your fundraising team, a blog may be just what you need.  In this workshop, we'll let you know how we got started; what we did to bring our staff on board; what we've learned about compelling content; and how we partner with our donor relations team to transform our digital compendium into a customizable conversation starter that's effective with supporters of all ages.  This session will include discussion and some exercises to help jump start your blog adventure.

Presenter:  Deb Frockt, Director of Marketing & Communications, Jewish Family Service of Seattle

StoryTelling:  Blog Your Way into Their Hearts
Tuesday, January 26th - 2pm ET - REGISTER HERE
Senior Resource Connect Incentive Program 
The Senior Resource Connect Incentive Program is off to a great start! 25 agencies received a discount to the 2016 AJFCA Annual Conference by becoming Friends of Senior Resource Connect by the end of 2015. New agencies are always welcome to join and existing Friends of SRC can climb the incentive ladder to get more rewards at the annual conference. Learn more here and get involved!
ALCA Membership Discounts for AJFCA Members
The Aging Life Care Association (ALCA) is offering a 50% discount on 2016 membership to AJFCA members. Are you looking to grow your care management programming and attract new client populations? ALCA membership can help your agency expand its aging life care program and build credibility through business development, education, and opportunities for promotion and networking. Apply now to take advantage of the full 2016 membership year, starting January 1st. Email Liz for more information.
The 5 Questions to Ask When Redesigning Your Nonprofit Website  ejewish philanthropy
Websites, much like a few key items in the creative field, are what I like to think of as "a leap of faith." Despite seeing a revised sitemap, wireframes, flat images, and having a number of meetings it definitely feels like you won't really know what you are getting until that final site is up on the web being tested. Read the entire article here.
What is Your Agency Doing for MLK Day?  
Click here to learn more about how you can contribute to Repair the World's National Campaign to act for racial justice. Please note that if you are interested in applying for the 2016 AJFCA/Repair the World Young Ambassador Program, you'll want to be sure you are engaging with the campaign. Please don't hesitate reaching out to Jennie if you have any questions. 
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