Wednesday, June 18, 2008


One of my great friends, a wonderful Jewish communal leader, wrote me this week of his fear that if he privately and confidentially criticized the actions of UJC's Chair and CEO directly and exclusively to them, he would become, in his word "wexlerized." I had the sense that I would not find the term in any dictionary but here's what I believe it means:

"wexlerized" -- within the United Jewish Communities, to be shunned, ostracized, publicly and privately stripped of all epaulets and emoluments, if any, undermined, ridiculed publicly and privately and whatever other bad stuff current UJC lay and professional leaders can conjure

I learned earlier this week that there is another federation leader with the same name -- Richard Wexler -- somewhere in Massachusetts. Learning this, my first instinct was to write him and warn him that in typical UJC "guilt by association," he may be "wexlerized" merely because we share the same name. But, I presume even these leaders can tell the difference. Then I began to worry about my children and grandchildren -- would they be "wexlerized," would my wife, my federation? And, what might happen to my sister, a leader in her own federation -- but, then I realized that her federation CEO would leap to her defense if an attempt at "wexlerizing" were made (although she has not been a "Wexler" by name for many years, might UJC leaders' paranoia drive them to locate her? Oy!!)

How far could the "wexlerization" by UJC go before this leadership leaves office? This may keep me up at night....then, again, probably not.


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