AJFCA Newsletter
In This Issue
JF&CS Atlanta Breaks Ground on Dunwoody Campus Expansion

Jewish Family & Career Services of Atlanta broke ground on March 17 to celebrate the start of construction on its Dunwoody campus expansion.

Leaders from the community, JF&CS' capital campaign cabinet and generous donors to the campaign attended the ceremony, held on a beautiful sunny day. JF&CS will be renovating and expanding its facility to improve services for all clients as well as to accommodate a growing waitlist for specialized services. The nonsectarian nonprofit just completed an 18-month capital campaign to raise money for the project. The initial goal was $5.1 million, but it ended up totaling $6.6 million, thanks in part to a transformative gift from the Walter and Frances Bunzl Family Foundation that will name the new clinical services wing. 
JFS Des Moines Joins AJFCA
Jewish Family Service of Des Moines is AJFCA's newest member agency. Jody Caswell is the Director of the agency. We're excited to welcome them to the network.
Groundbreaking Holocaust Survivor Care
JFS cincinnati  
Jewish Family Service of Cincinnati received a $60,000 grant from Jewish Federations of North America (JFNA) to help Cincinnati's Jewish Holocaust survivors reduce isolation. The funding will be used to teach a variety of tablet-based programs to stay connected to family and friends.

Jewish Family Service Cincinnati is one of only 23 organizations to receive this funding through the JFNA's Center for Advancing Holocaust Survivor Care, which was recently launched following an award from the United States Department of Health and Human Services for up to $12 million over 5 years to advance innovations in person-centered, trauma-informed services for Holocaust survivors in the United States.

A recent review of this program has shown that Holocaust survivors who have received care management services and participated in the programs offered by the Center for Holocaust Survivors have enjoyed a better quality of life, including timely attention to their healthcare needs, emotional support and encouragement to engage in life review and other counseling to help them deal with loss and memories of trauma. Learn more here.
April is National Volunteer Month
  April is National Volunteer Month! It is important that we honor the people who dedicate themselves to taking action and solving problems in our communities.

One of the greatest aspects of volunteerism is that there are so many different ways to do it, and sometimes, we volunteer without even making conscious recognition of it. 

Not only has the amount of volunteerism increased, but the impact of volunteerism is increasing as well. As corporations encourage their employees to engage in meaningful volunteer activities, long-term, skills-based volunteerism is becoming more popular. Learn more here

Please share your agency's involvement in National Volunteer Month with the AJFCA Network by emailing Jennie. We'll share your programming or event with everyone! 
March 25, 2016  
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The Voice and Vision for Stronger Communities

D'Var Torah 
Lee I. Sherman 

I understand that politicians need to make a case for themselves to get elected. And, certainly it takes some amount of self-confidence and ego to project the kind of person we want in our leaders. But, how much self-promotion is too much? How much vanity should we tolerate, instead of the reliance on the strengths of others?   
In the Haftorah to this week's parashah, Tzav, the prophet Jeremiah admonishes the people for their faults that will bring forth the crumbling of their society and the Temple. He admonishes and then we hear his words of possibility:

    Thus said the Lord:
    Let not the wise man glory in his wisdom;
    Let not the strong man glory in his strength;
    Let not the rich man glory in his riches.
    But only in this should one glory:
    In his earnest devotion to Me.
    For I the Lord act with kindness,
    Justice and equity in the world;
    For in these I delight.

Even if one does not have a deep belief in the Divine, there is a lesson in these words. We must go beyond the reliance on and egotism of the self.  Look to the greater meanings, our universal and community values. An important component of leadership is humility - the willingness to listen to and rely on others for their wisdom and knowledge. This spirit of collaboration is how we build a strong society. Let's hope that the leaders we elect will model these words.

Shabbat Shalom
Weinberg Foundation - Veterans Program Area Announcement

The Harry and Jeanette Weinberg Foundation, one of the largest private foundations in the United States, announced a new priority area for its grants, supporting servicemen and servicewomen. Beginning on March 1, 2016, the Weinberg Foundation will consider grant requests from programs serving military members and their families in the categories of workforce development, physical/mental health, and barrier elimination.The addition of the Veterans program area represents the first change to the Weinberg Foundation's grants structure since 2005. The Foundation plans to award up to $2 million in grants this fiscal year supporting military members and their families. Learn more here. Please contact Lee if you would like more information.
Older Americans Act Reauthorization Act Update
AJFCA and JFNA applauded the passage of the Older Americans Act Reauthorization Act, S.192, in the House of Representatives on Monday, March 21. The House passed version of S. 192, the Senate's version of the bill that passed in July 2015, included language related to Holocaust survivors for which both organizations have long advocated. In advance of the vote, AJFCA and JFNA sent a joint letter to the Chairman and Ranking Member of the House Committee on Education and the Workforce voicing strong support for the legislation.

Because of changes in the House's version of the bill, S.192 will now return to the Senate for a vote. Should it pass there, it will head to the President's desk. We will continue to follow this bill and provide updates. If you have any questions regarding this bill, please email Liz Leibowitz
Engaging with Aging
You're invited to participate in Engaging with Aging, September 18th-20th in Montreal, Quebec, sponsored by the Jewish Federations of Canada-UIA. This is an exciting opportunity for professionals and lay leaders to collaborate with colleagues and peers from across Canada on topics relevant to those invested in improving the lives of seniors. The learning tracks are Community Action, Active Aging and Support Models. Learn more here.
AJFCA at the 2016 Aging in America Conference
AJFCA member agency representatives and JFNA staff met for dinner on Monday, March 21st during the ASA Conference.

AJFCA was honored to take part in the 2016 American Society on Aging Conference where Director of Older Adult & Disabilities Services, Liz Woodward, joined Alpert JFCS's Jenni Frumer, JSSA's Ellen Blalock and CJE SeniorLife's Yonit Hoffman to present on services for Holocaust survivors. This important population was also recognized by ASA in a special plenary, "Stories of Resilience and Hope," during which 3 survivors shared their stories and discussed the connection between their early life experiences and the impact of aging on their lives. AJFCA members presented on a range of older adult services topics and came together as a group, along with JFNA staff, to discuss their work in aging services. Read about sessions presented by AJFCA members here.
2016 AJFCA Annual Conference  
Join AJFCA for a dynamic and informative conference full of networking opportunities and engaging speakers in sunny San Diego.         
  • View the final schedule, complete with dates, times, descriptions and presenters here
  • Join the Conference Facebook page here. Feel free to discuss logistics (sharing cabs and planning off-site meals), ask questions regarding sessions, and share agency materials (annual reports, marketing brochures).
  • Award winners can be viewed here.
  • Book your hotel stay here
Contact Megan with questions.     
Opening Plenary Lunch - Guest Speaker
Elena Rossini, Writer & Director, The Illusionists  

AJFCA is delighted to announce that Elena Rossini, Italian filmmaker, DP, photographer, multimedia producer and speaker will present at the Opening Plenary Lunch on Sunday, at the 2016 Annual Conference. Elena works at the intersection of creativity and social justice, highlighting issues that permeate our global culture.
Her latest film project is The Illusionists, a feature-length documentary about the marketing of unattainable beauty ideals around the world. Elena's presentation will use clips from her film to explore how being "uncomfortable in our own skin, in our own bodies" underlies the pervasive sense of unworthiness that many teens and young adults so want to mask. This often leads to negative self-assessment or less than healthy behaviors meant to take away that uncomfortable feeling. Learn more about Elena, The Illusionists, and the 2016 AJFCA Annual Conference here.
Lay Leaders Conference Call: Assessing Community board of directors Needs
Please encourage your agency board leaders to participate in an interactive discussion on assessing community needs.
  • How do you gather information on your community's pressing needs?
  • How do you gauge which needs are on the rise, declining or holding steady? 
  • And most importantly, how do you determine what role the agency should take in working to meet particular community needs?
Many communities engage in periodic community studies, often the product of collaboration among several agencies in order to reach a wide audience and address comprehensive issues.
  • How often does your community engage in a wide-range study and how do you monitor changing needs between the larger studies?
  • What methods are most effective for reading the pulse of your community?  
Join us for a discussion on assessing needs and determining the role of the agency as lead, partner or supporter in meeting the needs of your community. We will also discuss how you begin to reach out to a previously unserved or underserved population when beginning to work in a new service area.  

Lay Leaders Conference Call: Assessing Community Needs
Thursday, March 31st -  1pm ET - REGISTER HERE  
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