Your IAJFL Newsletter

January 15, 2020
18 Tevet 5780
Issue No. 6

President's Message

by Cindy Rogoway

IAJFL President and
Executive Director, Hebrew Free Loan of San Francisco

Dear IAJFL members,

I have worked at Hebrew Free Loan in San Francisco for nearly 17 years and been active with the International Association for almost all of that time. With much joy, I’ve watched the International body flourish with greater attendance at our annual conferences and utilize more sophisticated tools for communicating with one another throughout the year.
One of the strongest benefits of involvement in IAJFL is working together to identify best practices and fresh solutions that can be adapted to work in each of our own communities.  We have amazing talent, both professional and volunteer, across the globe, engaged in continuing the practice of interest-free lending for the purpose of helping people regain their financial footing and pursue their dreams. Why not learn what’s working for another agency? Why not offer each other support?
This year, my goal is to engage more of you in the work of IAJFL. No need to wait to be tapped on the shoulder. Consider this your invitation…
  • Are you willing to serve on one of the three task forces we’ve established – Marketing, Software, and Advocacy? (See the “Task Forces” section elsewhere in this newsletter.)
  • Would you like to participate on a panel at our upcoming conference in Philadelphia next October or have a topic you hope will be included? Contact Cheryl Barish Erlick (, Executive Director of the Hebrew Free Loan in Philadelphia.
  • Do you have an idea for a topic for one of our upcoming Small Agency Group (SAG) conference calls? Perhaps you can be the presenter or offer to find another expert on the topic to lead the session. Please contact Maura Roberts ( and Nancy Weissman (, co-chairs of our SAG group.
From its inception 37 years ago, IAJFL has always been driven by volunteer participation. Please step up and offer support to your colleagues. I encourage you to be an active member of this wonderful organization and make a few friends.
Feel free to contact me with any questions or suggestions.
Thanks in advance,
Cindy Rogoway
(415) 546-9912

IAJFL 2019 Conference Recap

by Michal Marcus

IAJFL Vice President and
Executive Director, HFLA of Northeast Ohio

HFLA of Northeast Ohio was thrilled to host the 2019 IAJFL conference and highlight some of the exciting work happening in the region with interest-free lending. Conference attendees had the opportunity to learn and network with each other.

One focal point of the conference was the importance of establishing credit for our borrowers. We heard firsthand impact accounts from a borrower and from the president of the local NAACP, and had a presentation from Credit Builder’s Alliance, a nonprofit agency in Washington DC that facilitates credit reporting for alternative lenders.

On another current topic, Gabe Kravitz from Pew Charitable Trusts, Amy Hanauer from Ohio Policy Matters, and David Rothstein of Cities for Financial Empowerment Fund shared about the importance of advocating for change at a higher level when we see our borrowers dealing with issues such as “Payday” lenders.

IAJFL members also received information on the power of grants and the different sources of foundation funding from The Cleveland Foundation, Huntington Bank Community Foundation, and the Cleveland Jewish Federation. 

Additionally, one-on-one interactions allowed different communities to share and learn from each other. On Sunday evening, a great time was had by all when we played shuffleboard at Forest City Shuffle. See the photos below and click this link to watch a video!

Thank you, Cleveland! We hope to see everyone again in Philadelphia, October 18-20, 2020!
Photos from top left to right: Cindy Rogoway and Nicky Madoff; Lisa Arlyn Lowe, Shuli Tropp, Ellen Sacks, and Cheryl Barish Erlick; David Contorer, Debbie Shaw, and Michal Marcus; and the IAJFL executive committee: Ellen Sacks, Michal Marcus, David Contorer, Cindy Rogoway, Tina Sheinbein and Terry Borer.


Mannie Druker, A True Mensch

by Diane Friedman

Past President, HFLA Vancouver

In December 2019, after 33 years on the board of directors, Mannie Druker retired as a board member from the Hebrew Free Loan Association of Vancouver (HFLA). Not only did Mannie serve 33 years on the board, he was also the board President twice, for a total of 10 years.
During his time with HFLA, Mannie served as a mentor to many. He was known as an effective leader who gave everyone an opportunity to ask questions and to be heard, after which, more often than not, he brought board members to a consensus.
Mannie served as the Treasurer of the International Association of Jewish Free Loans (IAJFL) for 15 years. He participated in monthly Executive Committee conference calls - even when his work took him to all corners of the globe. Mannie worked hard to make connections between agencies, he strengthened the coordination and communication amongst the Canadian Free Loan agencies, and he attended almost every IAJFL annual conference. Today, the IAJFL Executive Committee has a Growth and Development team working to help communities establish new free loan agencies, but for many years, Mannie single-handedly pursued the launching and support of new free loans around the world.
Mannie was probably the longest serving volunteer leader on the IAJFL Executive Committee. In his time with the IAJFL he has earned the love and respect of his colleagues and built enduring friendships throughout the free loan network.
Cindy Rogoway, Executive Director of the Hebrew Free Loan in San Francisco, said, “Mannie is an institution and a mensch! Thousands of loan recipients around the world owe a debt of gratitude to Mannie for his vision, his dedication, and his leadership. He has worked relentlessly to make all of our free loan agencies stronger and we are all the better for it.”
Nicky Madoff, Executive Director of the Hebrew Free Loan Association in Montreal, said, “Mannie was as warm and welcoming as can be and we developed a friendship over the past dozen years, sharing stories of our personal lives, our kids, and our grandkids.”
Diane Friedman, Past President of HFLA Vancouver, said, “I really appreciate how Mannie has always been quietly passionate about HFLA. In the years I have known him, I have observed that Mannie is not a man who demands to be the center of attention. To the contrary, he has always worked quietly in the background, giving generously of himself. On behalf of all past, current and even future board members, I extend my thanks and gratitude to Mannie for his years of service. He will be missed.”

Milwaukee Turns 10 and Reaches $1,000,000 Loaned

by Ginny Gendelman
IAJFL Vice President and Executive Director, Milwaukee Jewish Free Loan Association

Exciting things have been happening in Milwaukee in the past year!  In February of 2019, after all these years with only an executive director, MJFLA hired a second (part time) staff person - Felicia Miller, Development Director - to lead outreach and fundraising efforts.  In August, with almost 500 loans made, the agency passed the $1,000,000 loaned mark. Then, in October, MJFLA celebrated its 10th Anniversary at our annual Movie Night fundraiser.  Attendance doubled this year, partially thanks to a move from Thursday to Saturday night, the efforts of two co-chairs and a committee of 35 women, dinner stations in addition to passed hors d’oeuvres, and a live band during the cocktail/dinner hour before the feature film!  Also, we were thrilled to get approval from Sony Pictures for a private showing of A Beautiful Day in the Neighborhood starring Tom Hanks - a full month before its Thanksgiving weekend release! Though, most likely, the biggest reason for the exceptional turnout was the opportunity to honor the six couples that provided the initial $60,000 to establish the organization in 2009.  MJFLA now has $499,300 in loan funds, with over 70% out in the community in loans, and still maintains a 99.7% repayment rate.  Below is the video that was created by an MJFLA student loan recipient and shown before the film to honor the founders.

MJFLA is also excited for 2020, as we have just received a lead gift to establish a new loan fund to help growing families – the Eileen & Glenn Graves Growing Families Loan Fund.  Read more about this new Adoption/In Vitro loan program in the article recently published in the monthly Wisconsin Jewish Chronicle (click here). Also, to read a short, but terrific article in the December issue of Milwaukee Magazine that came out right after our event, click here.

As we begin our second decade, MJFLA is truly grateful for all the IAJFL help received along the way!  We are also excited for all the good press and recent buzz in Milwaukee about MJFLA, and for the new opportunities to reach out and serve even more people in our community.
MJFLA 10th Anniversary video
Created by student loan client, Oliver Bestul

Line of Credit Loans for Free Loan Agencies

by Art Fisher

President & Board Member, Boston Free Loan Society

One takeaway of the Boston Free Loan Society from the IAJFL meeting in Cleveland was that Free Loan organizations can often expend considerable time, effort, and dollars raising donor funds for operating expenses and loan capital, instead of actually making charitable loans.  Furthermore, funds need to be reserved for future operating expenses, anticipated future loans, and loan defaults – these reserved funds sit dormant instead of actively supporting the free-loan mission.
As a result, the Boston Free Loan Society has decided to offer line-of-credit loans to other Free Loan organizations.
This program is described in more detail at the website link:


IAJFL Task Forces Tackle Important Issues

IAJFL has established three task forces to work on issues important to member agencies.  As more information on their progress is available, IAJFL members will receive Google group messages.

If you are interested in becoming involved with any of these task forces, please contact the appropriate chairperson.

Software Task Force - Terry Borer, chair
This group is researching loan management software options. A questionnaire will be sent to each member agency in January.  When you receive it, please help the group by having the appropriate person complete and return the form in a timely manner. Thank you!

In addition to collecting information from our members, the task force is also researching several software programs, meeting with software providers, and testing some of the options. A full report will be provided to all IAJFL members upon completion. While a collaborative solution may emerge that we can pursue, our goal at this point is to develop a report that summarizes software options so each agency can pursue whichever solution is best suited for its own particular needs.

Marketing - Ellen Sacks, chair
This task force will explore ways that IAJFL can assist agencies with their marketing. For example, perhaps IAJFL can produce marketing collateral or media that can be personalized for each community, employ a marketing firm, or prepare social media content.

Advocacy - Rabbi David Rosenn, chair, Michal Marcus, asst. chair
At our recent conference, we had a few sessions related to advocacy and the value of having our voices heard on issues related to lending institutions and affecting our clients. David and Michal will investigate and make us all aware of issues that deserve our attention. Naturally, it will be up to each agency to decide how little or how much to become involved with any specific concern.

Three New Loan Programs in Detroit

by David Contorer

Executive Director, HFL Detroit and IAJFL Immediate Past President

 Hebrew Free Loan Detroit (HFL) added  new loan programs in the past year - Debt Consolidation, Move-In Detroit, and Michigan Jewish Organization Loans.  We thank our colleagues from the San Francisco and Phoenix free loan agencies for all of their help and guidance as we brought these programs to Michigan and adapted their successful formats to our own community’s norms. 

In the past year, we have disbursed 13 debt consolidation loans totaling $180,000 to help clients who have high-interest compounding debt from credit cards and predatory lenders.  Applicants must first successfully attend financial education sessions at our sister agency, JVS Human Services.  All borrowers are repaying, although we are working with cosigners for two of the loans where borrowers have fallen into cash-flow challenges.  These loans are a shared resource between the Pogoda family and HFL with a combined loan pool that we will grow as demand inevitably increases.

Our Move-In Detroit Loan Fund was established by a generous couple, Peggy Daitch and Peter Remington, to benefit Jewish young adults up to the age of 40 to purchase, repair, and add to their new homes in Detroit neighborhoods.  We have disbursed 7 Move-in Detroit loans totaling $100,000 to borrowers moving into six different neighborhoods across the City of Detroit.  It is exciting for HFL to support the young, Jewish adults owning homes again in Detroit - a reversal of the trend for the past 50 years.
The Michigan Jewish Organization Loan Program was established with a generous grant from The Ravitz Foundation, matched with our own HFL loan reserves, to create a combined pool.  Loans are up to $100,000 each with four personal cosigners, including two from the board of the qualifying Jewish organization or synagogue.  Six of these loans have been made in the past year totaling $550,000 to synagogues, JCCs, Jewish Federations and yeshivas across the state, to be used for a variety of capital projects. Repayments are over three years maximum.  Five organizations are repaying, and one has already fully repaid its loan. 
These three new loan programs are growing our menu of resources, while helping more Jewish people and institutions across our community. We are thrilled about their first year of performance.

Below is a link to HFL Detroit's Spring 2019 newsletter that includes articles about all 3 new loan programs, including background and examples of loans. (click here)


IAJFL Member Agencies with Special Anniversaries in 2020

125 Years!

HFL in Detroit will turn 125 in 2020.
We will have a big community event to celebrate in November!

70 Years!

We are calling our anniversary celebration
Vision 20/20 and have several events planned through 2020!

36 Years!

Hebrew Free Loan of Philadelphia is celebrating our 36th Anniversary this year!  Come celebrate with us at the IAJFL Conference in October!

10 Years!

JiFLA is planning a 10 year anniversary celebration at the Zoo in 2020!


* President's Message
* 2019 Conference Recap
* Mannie Druker, Vancouver
* Milwaukee Milestones
* Loans for Agencies
* IAJFL Task Forces
* New Programs in Detroit
* Special Anniversaries

If some text appears in color or if the blue sidebar is missing please choose "VIEW ENTIRE MESSAGE" for best newsletter viewing on your device. Viewing on a mobile device may cause some content to move to the end of the newsletter.
Click to forward this newsletter. Click to forward this newsletter.
2020 Conference in PHILADELPHIA:
OCTOBER 18-20, 2020


Maura Roberts (HFLA Washington State) and Nancy Weissmann (Atlanta, JiFLA) are currently chairing the Small Agencies Group (SAG).*

2019 SAG Webinars:

1. Strategies & Benefits of Sponsorships
- Jamie Hyams (San Francisco) June 11, 2019

2. Comunity Engagement - Joanna Wasel (Vancouver) July 16, 2019

3. Successful Events & Marketing - Shuli Tropp (Washington D.C.) & Jeff Siegel (San Antonio) December 10, 2019

All 3 webinars are available for viewing in the IAJFL Dropbox! Click Here

The SAG Group is always eager for program suggestions and we would love to find the next pair of leaders to take over our role!
Thank you,
Maura & Nancy 

*Everyone is invited to participate in the SAG conference calls.


The mandate for the work of free loan agencies can be found in Parshat Mishpatim, Exodus 22:24“Thou shalt not exact interest from the needy among you.”  This year, Mishpatim is read on February 21-22.  IAJFL will once again provide member agencies with graphics to use in both print and electronic communications as well as a suggested social media calendar.   

During the coming year, the Marketing Task Force will be discussing Shabbat Mishpatim and working on coordinated marketing strategies and resources for future outreach efforts.
Parshat Mishpatim: What The Bible Says About Money Lending
How is charging interest like a snake bite?

Parshat Mishpatim video commissioned by the Hebrew Free Loan of San Francisco and narrated by Rori Picker Neiss

Note: Feel free to use this video in your own community, as long as you leave the attribution to San Francisco in the film.
IAJFL Office
3443 N Central Ave.
Suite 707
Phoenix AZ 85012
contact: Chris Black


Established in 2015 for sharing documents between IAJFL agencies, the IAJFL Dropbox account serves as a central repository for all types of written communication. We’ve formally invited close to 300 people affiliated with IAJFL member agencies to view and/or add material. We’re thrilled to see that several agencies have added their own documents to folders such as Marketing Materials, Loan Applications, Loan Policies, and Bylaws. Instead of drafting something from scratch, take a look at versions being used in other communities. Our annual City Reports spreadsheets have also been uploaded for easy reference.
The Dropbox account is intended to be dynamic; please let us know if you have suggestions for additional types of materials which might be helpful to upload.
If you haven’t already visited the site, please check it out. If you need an invitation or assistance logging on, please contact us at


  • Professionals and lay leaders provide support to member agencies
  • Annual conference offers networking, idea-sharing, and learning opportunities
  • Conference calls provide ongoing education and peer support
  • Sharing of marketing materials, document templates and other best practices
  • Collaboration with other national and international organizations such as Jewish Federations of North America (JFNA), Network of Jewish Human Service Agencies (NJHSA), and Hillel International
Have something to share?

Please email Ginny Gendelman (Milwaukee) to share your newest agency video, a successful recent event
(with photos) or anything you think your fellow IAJFL member agencies would find interesting.  We may include your item in a future newsletter. 

Email Ginny at with 'Newsletter'
in the subject line.
Thank you!

IAJFL Newsletter Editor:
Ginny Gendelman, IAJFL Vice President and Executive Director, Milwaukee Jewish Free Loan Association
Copyright © 2020 International Association of Jewish Free Loans, All rights reserved.

Want to change how you receive these emails?
You can update your preferences or unsubscribe from this list

Email Marketing Powered by Mailchimp