AJFCA Newsletter
In This Issue
JFNA Grants Bulletin
April 4, 2016
Please click here to view funding opportunities. Kindly let Liz Leibowitz, Director of Government Affairs, know if you intend on applying for any of them or if you have any questions.

Amanda Jarvis
Ruth & Norman Rales JFS  
From the east coast to the west coast, and back again, Amanda has volunteered in a plethora of communities. As a member of AmeriCorps NCCC, she was privileged to mitigate fire damage in Oregon, remove invasive species in California, landscape in Washington, and perform community outreach in Utah. 

Amanda is currently the AmeriCorps VISTA member serving at Ruth & Norman Rales Jewish Family Services, a nonprofit agency serving the community of South Palm Beach County. Amanda works in the Holocaust Services department, assisting the case managers with event coordination and continuous care.  Through her time at Ruth & Norman Rales JFS, Amanda has discovered a passion for working for Jewish non-profits, and would love to work at a JFS after her VISTA term is complete.
April is National Volunteer Month
When It's Just Too Difficult to Choose an Outstanding Volunteer! 

At Gulf Coast Jewish Family and Community Services there are so many outstanding volunteers it's difficult to focus on just one. Their fortunate situation was the catalyst for a Facebook Campaign they are putting on in April in honor of their volunteers. Rather than just highlight one volunteer, Gulf Coast JFCS is highlighting volunteers throughout the entire month on their Facebook Page

Each post includes a picture, details on how the volunteer assists JFCS, and compliments from staff as to how they appreciate the volunteer. It's been rewarding to the staff, lay leadership and community to read the shared compliments and the reactions on the Facebook page especially since they have been very positive.  Leveraging Facebook for Volunteer Recognition in this way allows the volunteer to see how they are appreciated by the agency, in part, due to the community reaction on the page. Volunteers are also able to see how the community values their service.

Gulf Coast JFCS Announces
 Sandra Braham, New CEO

gc jfs  
Gulf Coast Jewish Family and Community Services (GCJFCS) announced the appointment of Dr. Sandra E. Braham as the organization's new President/CEO, effective March 21st. Dr. Braham will replace Interim President/CEO Eric Feder,who has held the position since January 2015.

Dr. Braham, selected through a national search, brings more than 20 years of leadership experience in the not-for-profit sector. Most recently, she served for 10 years as Chief Executive Officer of the Young Women's Christian Association (YWCA) El Paso del Norte Region, the largest YWCA in the nation. In this role, she led 450 employees, managed an annual budget of more than $30 million and supported a $9 million foundation. Learn more here.
April 8, 2016  
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The Voice and Vision for Stronger Communities

D'Var Torah 
Lee I. Sherman 

This past Tuesday evening, I attended a lecture by Marc Gopin, Director of the Center for World Religions, Diplomacy, and Conflict Resolution, and a professor of Conflict Analysis and Resolution at George Mason University. A graduate of Yeshiva University and Brandeis, Dr. Gopin has been active in conflict and peace interventions throughout the world, and in the past 15 years, in particular, throughout the Middle East.  During his talk, Dr. Gopin examined how the inability to respect and understand the "other" is the key barrier to the achievement of peace and justice.  He highlighted the Torah's most frequently repeated commandment, to accept the stranger, because we were once strangers in the land of Egypt (so core to the teachings of our upcoming Seders), as reflective of the Jewish perspective on justice.
At times in Torah, the directive to accept and include the "other" is revealed in the broader text.  This week's parashah, Tazri-a, is an example of this.  There is extensive discussion of how one can be cleansed after the emission of various bodily fluids.  Are these commandments for the purpose of health concerns?  Perhaps on the surface, but, more importantly, they provide instructions on how to include even those once tainted into our larger society in as effective and expeditious a manner as possible.
Dr. Gopin's talk was sponsored by the Institute for Islamic, Christian and Jewish Studies, for its series on "Imagining Justice in Baltimore".  Our city has been challenged by societal inequalities for a long time, much of which have risen to the surface in the past year.  As we learned from Dr. Gopin, if we are to find peace and justice, we must start by recognizing and working to understand the "other," and, then maybe we can include all in our larger community.  A Torah lesson for us all.
Have a peaceful Shabbat.
April is Autism Awareness Month
About 1% of the world population has autism spectrum disorder (ASD), the fastest-growing developmental disability in the United States. Autism Awareness Month aims to "promote autism awareness and acceptance and to draw attention to the tens of thousands facing an autism diagnosis each year." On April 2nd, World Autism Awareness Day, communities in nearly 150 countries participated in the Autism Speaks Light it Up Blue Campaign.

How is your agency working to build awareness in your community? Share your programs and events on the AJFCA Disabilities Service Professionals Facebook page. Learn more about Autism and about Autism Awareness Month.
NCADV 2016 Webinar Series:  How To Be "The One" For A Child Living With Childhood Domestic Violence (CDV)
Childhood Domestic Violence (CDV) is growing up in a home with domestic violence. It can have a profound impact on one's life and hopes for the future. It negatively wires a developing brain and the formation of the cognitive belief system, encoding a series of negative beliefs in childhood that, if unaddressed, become the foundation for a person's life. Learn more about the call here.

How To Be "The One" For A Child Living With Childhood Domestic Violence (CDV)
Thursday, April 14th, 12:30pm ET - REGISTER HERE
Urge House Leadership to Reject Anti-Refugee Bill
AJFCA was saddened by the House Judiciary Committee's vote earlier this month to advance H.R. 4731, the Refugee Program Integrity Restoration Act, out of Committee. House Leadership must now decide whether or not to bring this bill, which AJFCA believes would have disastrous effects for U.S. Refugee Resettlement Program, to the House floor for a vote. It is vital that constituents who support refugee resettlement reach out to their House members, as well as House Leadership, and express opposition to this bill. Click here to read more about this bill and review talking points for those wishing to express their opposition to it.
May is Older American's Month
May is when we celebrate Older American's Month (OAM), acknowledging the perennial contributions of older adults to our nation. The 2016 OAM theme is Blaze a Trail. Let's use this opportunity to raise awareness about important issues facing older adults, in addition to highlighting the ways that older Americans are advocating for themselves, their peers, and their communities. Learn more about what the Administration for Community Living is doing for OAM and check out their resources here. Share what your agency is doing with the AJFCA network by emailing Liz.
Data to the Rescue: Smart Ways of Doing Good
For a long time, data served one purpose in the nonprofit world: measuring program results. But a growing number of charities are rejecting the idea that data equals evaluation and only evaluation.Of course, many nonprofits struggle even to build the simplest data system. They have too little money, too few analysts, and convoluted data pipelines. Yet some cutting-edge organizations are putting data to work in new and exciting ways that drive their missions. Continue reading here.
2016 AJFCA Annual Conference  
Join AJFCA for a dynamic and informative conference full of networking opportunities and engaging speakers in sunny San Diego. Learn more about  the conference here. Contact Megan with questions.  
Liability Issues, Volunteer Screening & Recruitment
Liability and screening protocols for volunteers are two very hot topics. AJFCA member agencies will share their experiences and Verified Volunteers and will share information about their platform, as well as insights from their survey of the sector. Participants are encouraged to ask questions regarding volunteer screening and its effects on recruitment.

Liability Issues, Volunteer Screening & Recruitment
Wednesday, April 13th, 2pm ET - REGISTER HERE
AJFCA Domestic Violence Professionals Call: 
Domestic Violence Legislation & Advocacy

When caught up with the day-to-day details of providing critical services and/or education on domestic violence, it's easy to forget that decisions at the state and federal level can directly impact agencies' abilities to serve the most vulnerable. As such, we hope you will join us on Tuesday, April 26th for a domestic violence public policy informational call with Liz Leibowitz, Director of Government Affairs at JFNA and AJFCA. Liz will discuss recent federal domestic violence legislation that's been introduced or is pending, as well as over-viewing steps that agencies and individuals can take to advocate on behalf of domestic violence issues locally and federally. Professionals are encouraged to prepare questions and to share any advocacy efforts with which they may have been or currently be involved.

Domestic Violence Legislation & Advocacy
Tuesday, April 26th - 2pm ET - REGISTER HERE
Board Members Need Not Fear Fundraising
Fundraising comes in many shapes and sizes, and shouldn't be feared by nonprofit board members, writes Center for Community Innovation President Phil McCorkle. Board members can directly ask for a donation if they feel comfortable with that approach. Or, writes McCorkle, they can bolster fundraising in other ways, like storytelling, sincerely thanking previous donors or simply being present at fundraising events. Learn more here.
Making the Case for Stories and Data Together
Human beings are funny when it comes to numbers and narratives. On the one hand, we know that we must apply rigorous measures to serious problems such as homelessness, unemployment, and climate change. And yet, when the data come in, we are often numbed by the numbers and fail to respond to impending crises. Tell us a good story, on the other hand, and tears will fall, crowds will form, and money will flow - and sometimes in the wrong direction. Continue reading here.
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