I for one regret that I had become a recalcitrant -- yet I am not sure I had any choice. After all, as Mayor Bill de Blasio was described in The New York Times, so was Jerry Silverman "performatively hapless." Jerry from Day 1. And, the lay leadership, unwilling to effect change, instead encouraged the pathetic rather than reining it in. So things went from bad to worse and then to worse compounded.
Sadly, across the broad horizon JFNA leaders shrunk from their responsibilities. They became apostates -- and, in this metamorphosis, they rejected our communal values by failing to insist upon them. (I would hate to think they unaware of them.) And, compounding their apostasy, they hired consultants who only knew of those values as they were described to them by the apostates.
And, then I read, as, apparently, did many of you (given the number of you who sent me the link), a most ridiculous article, a hagiographic one to be sure, in which Jerry Silverman, upon his long-awaited retirement, reflected on the "accomplishments" of his decade as CEO. I was not LMAO at what one correspondent suggested I wear hip boots while wading through the bulls#+t. Those "accomplishments" boiled down to these:
1. The Kotel Agreement. According to Jerry he was sweating side-by-side with Natan Sharansky in creating the deal which, at the first political challenge, the Prime Minister walked, breached the Agreement. Of course, the reality of the Agreement was solely Sharansky's. Jerry was a cheerleader, bending into each photo op and story as if he had done anything. We all recall that at the GA subsequent to the deal's collapse, the JFNA Board Chair profusely thanked Bibi for his specious excuses for breach of contract. What exactly was the "accomplishment" here?
2. Being There. Never missed a meeting with the PM or a succession of Presidents. That was it...being there. Never thought to invite a federation klay leader in his place.Here is my "List of Silverman's Singular Accomplishments" over a decade:
1. This List (with thanks to Seth Myers)
2. Ten years of paychecks
3. Being ThereTo put anything else on this "list" would be like crediting a rooster for the sunrise.
Read the Jerusalem Post article here: https://m.jpost.com/Opinion/Editors-Notes-An-optimist-in-a-sea-of-Israel-Diaspora-division-600770 Then weep.
Look, my sense for a decade was, as Mayor Bill de Blasio was recently described in the New York Times, that Jerry Silverman was "performatively hapless." To suggest anything more positive is a denial of every observable reality.
If Jerry chooses to remain blinded by his own illusions -- deny failure, deny waste, deny that which has been and is right in front of our eyes -- so be it. That doesn't mean that we have to as well.
Yet, even I have to agree with the few who understand that Jerry's selection as JFNA CEO ten years ago was epoch-making -- but... in the worst way. That the "epoch" was not ended earlier lies at the feet of JFNA lay leadership and the Federation CEOs. As to the ladder, my amazement that those who have built the Federation Movement in so many incredible and beautiful ways would stand aside for the decade and watch it and their profession being deconstructed in the face of their silence.
As you read The Jerusalem Post hagiography, please recall Dr. Seuss:
...and the mess is so big, so deep and so tall, we can't pick it up
There's no way at all.