Your IAJFL Newsletter

April 1, 2016
22 Adar II 5776
Issue No. 1
Join us for the 34th Annual Conference.  Mark your calendar!
Early bird registration ends June 1, 2016.

President's Message

by Tina Sheinbein  

IAJFL President/Executive Director, Jewish Free Loan, Phoenix

Almost thirty-five years ago a group of leaders met to establish the International Association of Jewish Free Loans (IAJFL). (It was IAHFL at that time, “Hebrew” instead of “Jewish”).  In the ensuing decades, there has been significant evolution, growth, and expansion.  During the past six years, under the leadership of Richard Broder, Susan Candy Luterman, and Andrew Weinberg, not only has the name changed, but IAJFL has also reviewed and modified our by-laws, changed and updated the website and organizational branding, reached out to develop our international presence, expanded our services (such as the Small Agency monthly conference calls), and added a drop-box to share documents and best practices throughout the organization.

Under the leadership of David Contorer and Andrew Weinberg, IAJFL added a Growth and Development Committee which has been hard at work.  A few years ago, I had the opportunity to develop the accreditation process that has been in place for three years now, as a part of growth and development efforts.  As you will read in this newsletter, we have welcomed several new communities to the IAJFL family, and other communities have upgraded or expanded their services and programs because of the extra support that IAJFL has been able to provide.

Currently, we are busy planning a very exciting IAJFL International Conference in September.  David Levy and the Los Angeles staff and volunteers are looking forward to welcoming us to what will be a fun, inspirational, and educational conference.  Thank you to Cindy Rogoway for coordinating the city reports, which are a highlight of our conference. Register by June 3 and take advantage of the early-bird discounted conference fee.  Click here for the registration form.

I would also like to acknowledge Ginny Gendelman and Natalie Shy for creating this first e-newsletter!  Besides creating a new and exciting look, we are no longer mailing out hard copies of the IAJFL newsletter, which will enable IAJFL to share information in a more timely and cost-effective manner.

I hope this gives you a sense of what IAJFL does throughout the year.  Now, as you receive your dues invoice for 2016-17 from Mannie Druker, IAJFL Treasurer, you will have a clearer understanding of how your dues are hard at work – developing – building – expanding the International Association of Jewish Free Loans. 

I look forward to greeting you in Los Angeles, but until then, my warm wishes for a Happy and Kosher Passover and a wonderful summer.  May you continue doing incredibly wonderful and holy work in your local communities!

2015 Conference Recap

by Andrew Weinberg  
Past President/CEO, Hebrew Free Loan of South Florida

Our 2015 International Free Loan conference was held overlooking the sun, sand and surf of Miami Beach from November 8th through the 10th.  The conference was attended by 50 representatives from various member agencies throughout North America, with 18 first time attendees including several new start-ups joining the association this past year.  We were also joined by Professor Eliezer Jaffe and his son Uri who traveled from Jerusalem to share in the various discussions and activities at hand.

The conference agenda was filled with thought provoking and challenging topical issues presented by a variety of professional and lay leaders.  Topics ranged from our City Reports detailing the activities and operations of 40+ member agencies to Social Media, and from Marketing to the Millennials.

Sessions included Best Practices, Fundraising, Sustainability, Reaching Out Separately to Donors and Borrowers, New Software Development, and our annual Large and Small Agency Break-out Sessions, and State of the Association and elections.  We also enjoyed two local guest speakers who informed us of the new Making Miracle Babies fund providing interest-free loans for in-vitro fertilization in partnership with the HFLA of South Florida, and an inspirational discussion of Tzedakah and Gemilut Chesed being the true motivation of the free loan movement through the eyes of a well-respected Rabbi.

The energy throughout the two and a half day conference was invigorating as the camaraderie and friendships both new and old were joined in a collective spirit to share, learn and challenge one another in our daily activities providing our special brand of “giving a hand-up, not a hand-out”.
2015 IAJFL Conference in Miami Beach

Growth and Development Committee Highlights

by David Contorer
Executive Director, Hebrew Free Loan, Detroit

IAJFL’s Growth and Development Committee is comprised of veteran free-loan professionals and lay leaders from across North America.  Outreach and mentorship activities in the last year have been widespread.  Our focus continues to be to help selected free-loan programs with hands-on mentorship and to provide “paint by numbers” assistance to Jewish communities that are launching new free-loan programs. 

We are so excited to welcome the Jewish Free Loan of Greater Portland (Oregon) as a new program to our IAJFL family!

The Jewish Free Loan of Greater Portland launched in January 2016. This would not have been possible without the generous support of our volunteer and professional colleagues we’ve connected with via the IAJFL. I was able to attend the IAJFL conference this past November in Miami and was struck by the dedication of all involved in free loan programs across the globe. That experience and countless emails, phone discussions and online resources contributed to the ability of Portland to join this illustrious group of free loan programs. We look forward to continuing our participation in IAJFL and growing our Portland program. - Caron Blau Rothstein, Community Engagement Director, Jewish Federation of Greater Portland

Mentorship continues with Calgary, Dallas, New York, Ottawa, Pittsburgh, San Diego, Seattle, Tucson and others.  We are reaching out to these and other IAJFL members in on ongoing way, across the U.S. and Canada, hoping to share and enhance our best practices globally.

There is real value in sharing information and collaboration. It has been helpful to hear the nuances of how other free loans operate and to cull ideas that would be helpful in our own operations.  Any time we’ve had a question or needed a resource, the staff of other free loans has rushed to share their materials or expertise. And since attending the IAJFL conference, we can put faces to all those helpful names! 
- Aviva Lubowsky, Director of Client and Community Relations, HFLA Pittsburgh

Later in 2016, in partnership with Jewish Federations of North America, we are hoping to reach out through the Federation system to encourage new free-loan programs to launch and existing ones to be re-energized with mentorship and connection to IAJFL’s sharing of best practices.  Stay tuned, as we know there are many Jewish communities where we can still launch and grow our meaningful free-loan resources to help those in need to have better lives.


* Presidents Message
* 2015 Conference Recap
* Growth & Development
* IAJFL Dropbox
NE Ohio's E.D.
Michal Marcus gives
SVP Big Bang Pitch!


Welcome ... to the first IAJFL electronic newsletter.  Our hope is that you will read and share this document with your board members and others. All member agencies are encouraged to submit news and articles for future issues by emailing Thank you! 

New Shared Resource

A new tool ... established last year for sharing documents between IAJFL agencies. We created a new Dropbox account to serve as a central repository for all types of written communication. We’ve formally invited close to 200 people affiliated with an IAJFL member agency 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 Natalie Shy at

IAJFL Dropbox

Looking for an example document from another member agency?  Have something to share?  IAJFL shared documents are in the Dropbox. Contact for more information.

SAG Monthly Meeting

Everyone is invited to join the Small Agencies Group (SAG) monthly conference call. Every 2nd Thursday at 2:00PM EST/11:00AM PST email to be added to the email group for the call.

BENEFITS of IAJFL Membership

  • Professionals and lay leaders provide support and membership
  • Annual conference offers networking, idea-sharing, and learning opportunities
  • Monthly 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 JFNA, AJFCA and Hillel International


By the Numbers


member agencies

agencies founded over 100 years ago

in combined assets

loaned since 1982

875,000 borrowers

repayment rate

UPCOMING Member Agency Events

Click the listings below to see more about these upcoming events ...

Hebrew Free Loan, San Francisco - Parlor Meeting

Silicon Valley Gives Day (similar to Giving Tuesday)

Email your event flyers, invitations, etc. to to share about your upcoming events in a future IAJFL newsletter.
Copyright © 2016 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