On April 29 through May 1, Jewish Child & Family Services (JCFS) hosted more than 400 lay and professional leaders, service providers, philanthropists, academics, direct service volunteers and agency board members from the United States, Canada and Israel at the Sheraton Grand Hotel in Chicago for the first annual Network of Jewish Human Service Agencies (NJHSA) Conference: "Unifying Our Human Service Voice."
As described by Reuben D. Rotman, founding CEO of NJHSA, the conference featured plenary gatherings and breakout sessions, which focused on the Network's four pillars: advocacy, collaboration, innovation and best practices. Attendees gathered to share successes and challenges, establish new partnerships, reinvigorate programming and discuss funding models.
To begin the conference, WGN reporter Kim Gordon facilitated a discussion with David Axelrod, Chief Strategist for Barack Obama’s presidential campaigns, Director of the Institute of Politics at the University of Chicago and a senior political commentator for CNN. The conversation centered around today’s political climate and its impact on the human service sector. In addition, Jeff DeGraff, often called the “Dean of Innovation,” spoke about best practices for driving organizational change through innovation.
Our President and CEO Howard Sitron was presented with an award thanking JCFS for serving as host community. JCFS also received the Pillars of Excellence Award for our Synagogue Community Partnership initiative featuring an innovative model of congregational engagement and service delivery that allows JCFS to meet the wide range of needs in a diverse Jewish community.
This conference marked an important time for Jewish human service agencies to come together, share ideas and join forces to better serve their communities.