Greetings from June Gutterman and Jim Kahn, Co-Chairs of the Steering Committee tasked with building the Network of Jewish Human Services Agencies, the new association is being formed to replace the existing AJFCA and IAJVS organizations and enhance what they do for member agencies. This email is the first of periodic bulletins which will advise on the progress of these efforts. This focuses on the timetable and steps to create the new entity. Later bulletins will discuss some of the new activities being considered for the new organization.

The work is proceeding on several fronts. There are many people from the Steering Committee, the Boards of IAJVS and AJFCA, and from both of the Associations' members who are now involved in the efforts of over a dozen committees. Genie Cohen, CEO of IAJVS, and Irv Katz, interim CEO of AJFCA, are also very much involved. The consultants from Conscient Strategies, Nancy Kaplan and Hanna Romick, are guiding our efforts.

It is anticipated that the new association, which is referred to as NJHSA or, for now, simply
the Network, will be formally running by the beginning of 2017. There are many tasks that are necessary to reach that goal, and most of them are underway. Let us provide highlights and also suggest ways you can help with the efforts:

Irv and Genie have met twice with their staffs and are working closely to integrate the programs of the two organizations. The staffs of the two organizations have demonstrated a fully collaborative orientation that will allow this to proceed smoothly. You have probably already noticed that the IAJVS semi-monthly blog and the AJFCA Friday newsletter have been combined into one publication, and are in the process of refining a joint and fully integrated newsletter. Additional consolidation will follow. It is generally intended that the activities of the two Associations for the benefit of members will be continued by the new entity.

New fundraising consultants, Marsha Hurwitz and Richard Rubin, have been retained and started work. Both are highly experienced and deeply entrenched in the Jewish fundraising world with many deep contacts with funders. They have already reported a welcome reception from many persons contacted. Efforts are now underway to craft proposals which address the funders' interests. Initial funding for this effort has come equally from both Associations supplemented from the Alliance of JFNA. Both Associations have contributed a second round of funding and the Alliance has also invited a second grant request. Money is being raised to pay consultants and other costs needed to create the new Association, but also for start-up funds for the Network to allow it to function in an expanded role.

CEO Selection
Given that several highly qualified candidates from within the two Associations have already expressed interest in leading the Network, and we expect others, we are going to conduct an internal search without retaining a search consultant. We are relying on the expertise and connections among our members. A job description is being finalized and will soon be circulated among members. A selection committee has been formed to interview selected candidates and make recommendations to the Steering Committee. It is anticipated that this process will proceed through the summer and an offer extended by sometime this fall.

Budget and Dues
A committee is examining the budgets of the two existing Associations with the aim of creating capacity for existing permanent staff as well as the new CEO. For 2017, it is anticipated that dues will be the same, without any increase or decrease, and that merged agencies will still be paying what is the combined dues they are currently paying both Associations.

Joint Associations Meetings and Closing the Existing Entities
The Boards of both Associations will be meeting both jointly and separately in Phoenix in October. It is anticipated that the necessary legal steps will be taken at those meetings to allow the new entity to be created legally and the existing entities to be closed.

Communication and Retention
This is the first of what will be many communications about our efforts, which will include personal contacts, fostered by a designated committee, as well as electronic bulletins and more opportunities to ask questions. Naturally, our goal is to ensure that all present member agencies continue with the new Association, and we are optimistic about that given that we are already offering expanded and enhanced resources to our members though collaborative efforts. We anticipate that this will continue in the future and that the Network will eventually become less dues oriented while providing even greater benefits.

Outreach to New Members
Another committee is reaching out to Jewish human service agencies and small associations that are not members of AJFCA or IAJVS but could be candidates for membership in the NetworkIf you have suggestions of such agencies, please let us know.

Launch Conference
A committee and the staff of both associations are starting to plan the launch conference which is planned for the Fall of 2017. A city has not yet been selected and we do hope to have more details soon.

Governance and Culture
It is anticipated that the Steering Committee will become the initial board of NJHSA. However, it is also planned that this board will eventually be replaced by a board which is composed not only of professional and lay leaders from member agencies but also with leaders from the philanthropic, social service and academic communities. There are committees reviewing not only the governance of the new entity but also its structure and culture.

Legal and Other Logistics
Other committees will be studying the legal and accounting aspects of formation of the new entity as well as other logistical questions such as location of offices as this has not yet been determined.

New Revenue Sources
The effort to find additional revenue sources for NJHSA other than via dues and grants via entrepreneurial services, as well as to expand support from corporations and foundations, will be starting soon.

Another committee will be studying ways to enhance the advocacy abilities and activities of the existing Associations by raising our profile when the new Network is formed.

We welcome your interest in being involved in the work of these committees, and certainly invite any questions and comments.

June Gutterman                                                                                           Jim Kahn