Tuesday, November 11, 2008

Tips for Grant Applications

From Phyllis Adler

I recently had an opportunity to hear Peter Kiernan speak. Mr. Kiernan founded the Robin Hood Foundation and the Christopher Reeve Paralysis Foundation. Mr Kiernan offered some sound advice for our grant writing efforts. Have a strategic plan, where do you want to be in one year or three years? Create a roadmap explaining how you plan to meet your goals. Secondly, have measurable outcomes. How do you measure success? What does success look like? Lastly, know what your "competition" is. How is your agency different, what is your niche population and how does your particular expertise address a specific need.

Mr Kiernan indicated that it is essential to have these three elements in a grant. Proposals may be considered, or not, simply on the presentation of such information.

Friday, November 7, 2008

From a colleague:

Dear Lynne and Dawn,
This sounds like it must have been an eye-opening experience for all involved. I would be fascinated to know specifically what were the some of the most surprising elements of your work together with Dr. Phillips...
Do you have a plan in place to meet again? Thank you for continuing to include me in this valuable dialogue! I am often a silent participant simply because of the demands of my work, however I am learning more all the time about a new side of the Jewish tracks here at B'nai Israel
and am actively engaged in the work of Outreach as your partner even when you don't hear from me!!!
Thank you to all who attended the conference and for all the good work you are doing!
Very best,
Jane N. Young
Executive Director
Congregation B'nai Israel
Millburn, New Jersey

Jane -
We will indeed be sharing some of the fascinating information we learned over the coming weeks and months. There was SO DARN much that we'll be putting it on in manageable pieces.

We are hoping to plan another gathering. In fact that was the number one concern of the participants. They felt that it was so valuable to be together. We really are never together as experienced professionals. When there is a conference we are in the role of teachers and workshop leaders. We grab each other over meals and in hotel rooms to exchange ideas and experiences. This is the first time we were together for the sake of our own empowerment and education.

Dawn & Lynne

Thursday, November 6, 2008

Using Films at Programs

There are a number of good films that can be used in an outreach program. Many of us co-sponsor films in our local Jewish Film Festivals. Phyllis Adler of Stepping Stones Family has a social work intern who shares these comments after viewing the film, Out of Faith.

* * *

I am a Catholic raised graduate student in the school of social work here in Denver. At the suggestion of my supervisor I attended a movie showing at the Aish synagogue in Denver. The movie was entitled Out of Faith and was a feature-length documentary that follows three generations of a family torn apart by conflicts over interfaith marriage. The family’s matriarch, Leah Welbel, and her husband Eliezer, both survived nearly three years in Auschwitz; however, in their minds, their grandchildren marrying non-Jews represents a posthumous victory for Hitler. Out of Faith examines the complex and emotionally charged issues surrounding assimilation and interfaith marriage. The film compels Jew and non-Jew alike to reconsider the classic query of “melting pot or salad bowl?” Does this country of immigrants gain its strength from homogeneity or heterogeneity? Out of Faith examines these issues by capturing the intimate details of one family’s attempt to persevere in the face of a heart wrenching interfamilial conflict; a conflict that impacts countless families in multicultural societies. I was a bit hesitant to go to this event since I had never been to a synagogue and did not know how people would react (if at all) to my presence. However, I found myself in a friendly and warm place. People present at the event were friendly and greeted me when I arrived and when I left. The film itself was extremely moving and while my personal history allowed me knowledge about the holocaust and the controversy around intermarriage, being surrounded by people that were so profoundly moved and affected was a great cultural experience. The discussion that followed the film was equally moving with comments from the young and old about their perspectives. One woman offered that she felt pressure from her family to marry Jewish but in reality you cannot help who you love, another man said that the intermarriage rates as well as rates of children being raised Jewish were a sad reality and something to be concerned about. The facilitator made an excellent point that as parents if you want your child to marry Jewish you better have a good reason, and that reason should not be “because” or the “holocaust.” I left having mixed feelings, first I was so touched and found new meaning about the holocaust and its effects and the realities for Jewish people, I was pleased with how I was received at this event, and at the same time I was saddened by the struggles of this family, and had a new understanding of intermarriage and the implications that it has on the Jewish community.