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The Changemaker Monthly | Cultivating Changemakers With Passion & Purpose | AJU's Graduate School of Nonprofit Management
Bring Compassionate Light to Darkness
It’s been a whirlwind of activities since we last connected in November. Students and faculty are doing well, energy is high, and the creative spirit is everywhere. And also, there is concern about the future.

As our country faces a large transition, I want to call our attention to what we can control.  We all know that the best leadership practice when all is said and done, is modeling what we believe in.  Through this practice our values are clear, we inspire all those around us, and we create a path forward where excellent character and the continued pursuit of justice light our way.

I am proud to serve as the Dean of this graduate school at AJU where diversity, equanimity and compassion are front and center in everything we do.  At a university founded to educate and further develop the Jewish people, we are required to do our part in perfecting an imperfect world with our neighbors of all backgrounds. We not only have a history of doing so but are committed to expanding this value passionately.  In 2016, students with Jewish, African American, Hispanic, Korean, Christian, and Muslim traditions and beliefs comprise our community and the richness they bring has made us far better and closer to one another. New collaborations are forming in and out of the classroom that are changing the nonprofit landscape around us. Whether it be David Clarke’s (last issue) or Mary Davis’s (this issue) new venture start-ups that bring more resources and volunteers to children on the margins of society, our grad school is modeling diversity and compassion. The word is getting out.  We are being contacted by individuals and organizations to be part of our program, which is proof to us that we are on a winning track. We stand on the dedication of those who came before us, modeling and more modeling.

The holidays of Chanukah, Christmas, and Kwanzaa bring us a season of great light.  As we move forward, let us continue to lead in integrity and bring strength and compassionate light where there is darkness. And together, raise up our communities and our world in the new year ahead.

All my best,
Paul Castro
Urgent Questions for Nonprofit Leaders
Paul Castro, President & CEO of Jewish Family Service

Following the recent election, the nonprofit sector is quickly faced with uncertain and likely turbulent times ahead.  At the same time there is little doubt that the new administration and Congress will act on long standing ideological policy that portends a dramatic shift for our sector and more importantly for the most vulnerable in our communities. If we are to take the new Congress at its word, we can anticipate seismic shifts in how the poor and elderly will access services and to what extent they can rely on the historical linchpins of the social safety net; Medicaid, social security and Medicare. In the first 100 days of the new administration, we are likely to see proposals that dramatically redesign the funding structures of these entitlements through limits on access and eligibility along with reductions in funding; all under the banner of fiscal responsibility.  In addition, uncertainty on how Federal domestic policy on immigration enforcement will be implemented should alarm all of us. 

For the many of us who serve immigrant populations, the real possibility we will be asked to participate in some way as an agent of immigration enforcement is not far-fetched. One needs only to remember the elements of Proposition 187 (click to learn about Proposition 187) to see what is in the realm of possibility. At Jewish Family Service, where I serve as President and CEO, we are experiencing a significant drop in participation by Latino clients since the election.

So how do we respond?  The article "Turbulent Times Ahead: 10 Questions for Nonprofit Boards to Urgently Ask and Answer" by Ruth MacCambridge, Editor in chief of the Nonprofit Quarterly, outlines a series of introspective questions nonprofit leaders should consider. Her questions urge us to focus on our ability and capacity to endure threats known and unknown and most importantly to be brave and active participants in a rapidly shifting civil society.
Read the Article
Who Is Worthy of Love?
Mary Davis, MBA Class of 2018

As the founder of Worthy of Love, MBA student Mary Davis is devoted to helping children experiencing homelessness feel loved and appreciated. Worthy of Love is a social venture dedicated to sponsoring unforgettable birthday parties for the children who live on Skid Row. The parties take place on the roof of the downtown Los Angeles Union Rescue Mission for children and families who would otherwise not have the opportunity to celebrate. The idea for the parties originated after Mary had a miscarriage; she and her husband decided to help improve other children’s lives rather than focus on their grief.

“This semester of the MBA program has been unbelievably helpful for Worthy of Love,” says Mary. “After class I am able to apply what we have learned immediately. I’m looking forward to Spring semester with our incredible cohort, and growing Worthy of Love’s huge potential to impact many more thousands of children in very challenging circumstances.”
Worthy of Love

Redesigned Colloquium Speaker Series Shines

Janet Schulman, Senior Consultant at the Executive Service Corps of Southern California and longtime MBA faculty,  joined the Colloquium speaker series to talk about excellence in practice and board leadership. Through exercises, the class explored the essential issues that comprise the recruitment, development, and ongoing sustenance of a strong and effective Board of Directors. 
Jenny Wolpert, Public Speaking Consultant at Own the Room, shared interactive practices and activities for public speaking excellence. The Colloquium class enjoyed learning and practicing how to create strong powerful messages by using storytelling, voice modulation and body language techniques.
Outstanding Professional Achievement Award for MBA Alumna

Congratulations to Alisha Pedowitz, who received the Alan J. Kassin Award for Outstanding Professional Achievement at the Jewish Communal Professionals of Southern California (JCPSC) 36th Annual Honors Dinner. She serves as the Director of the Center for Excellence in Teen Experiential Education at the BJE. Alisha is an alumna of the AJU dual program with an MBA in Nonprofit Management and an MA in Jewish Education.
From 2016 to 2017, What Can We Learn?

As 2016 draws to a close, what can we learn from the fastest growing social ventures this year. Here’s the article, what do you do you think? Join the coversation on our Facebook page!
Becky Blitz, the Emmy-award winning television producer of the hit show Shark Tank,

joined Tiffany Matloob's MBA Cause Marketing and Communications

class to share her experience and insights.
Visit the Graduate School of Nonprofit Management Facebook Page to see all of our photos and keep up to date on what's happening! 
Changemaker Monthly Editor:  Debbie Green, Assistant Dean, Graduate School of Nonprofit Mangement  
Graduate School of Nonprofit Management of American Jewish University
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