Thursday, January 15, 2009


As more facts come to light with the disregard UJC's leaders have for process and partners evidenced in the allocation of $10 million in commitments intended for the victims of the War in which Israel finds herself, federations are taking action appropriate to the needs and in disregard of UJC's allocations decisions. Why, you ask? It's not a pretty answer. Here are the facts as I understand them:

One week ago, UJC held an emergency Executive Committee Meeting. After what has been described to me by many of the participants as a "chaotic, almost out of control" teleconference, UJC agreed to raise $10 million in relief funds based on submittals from JDC and JAFI...and only from JAFI and JDC. To many, if not all, who were on that call, the funds were to be distributed to JAFI and JDC for emergency relief. Uh-uh. UJC's "leaders" reconstituted the IEC Work Group which decided, in a teleconference on Tuesday, to determine for themselves how to split this very small pie among JAFI, JDC and, without regard to the Executive Committee decision, other organizations. And, therein lies the rub.

So here's my speculation as to "process:" Jim Lodge, one of the Senior managers in UJC-Israel, received marching orders from Rieger to get money from the IEC Work Group for two of Rieger's pet "asks," the Israel Advocacy Initiative and the Ethiopian National Project. (You will recall that two of Rieger's "most urgent asks" in 2008 were for these needs to which the federations responded with silence.) During the Executive Committee teleconference only hours earlier, Rieger's request for funding these two initiatives was emphatically rejected by the Executive Committee. So working in his favored milieu, the shadows, the darkness, Rieger had found the way to corrupt the UJC process, and he grabbed it. Even though the Executive Committee had only the urgent requests of JAFI and JDC in front of them when they came to their decisions, the Work Group felt sufficiently empowered to allocate funds to other organizations without regard to the Executive Committee. (It is also critical for us to understand that the IEC Work Group had been disbanded after its "prioritization" of the allocation of IEC funds was completed. When, upon Kanfer's ad hoc delegation of the division of these critical funds to the IEC Work Group -- it no longer existed. So when the Work Group convened, people just "popped in" -- for example, the UJC Treasurer, who was not on the Work Group at any time, joined the call, expressed his opinion on a number of allocation matters. One member was now serving as the Treasurer of one of the fund recipients, spoke and voted, and so on. A corrupt process further corrupted.)

So, the ITC received $1,421,036, the ENP $514,628 and the IAI $250,000. And, what about, for example, ORT, whose emergency work in Israel's South is well known to Lodge and Rieger and whose emergency needs certainly exceeded the ENP's and the IAI's arising out of this conflict? Not enough clout with Rieger/Lodge? Were the ITC, the ENP, the IAI asked to submit requests for funding and ORT and others not? Were those requests available before the Executive Committee meeting and not included or did Rieger/Lodge ask the ITC and ENP and IAI to submit requests on Monday or Tuesday of last week after the Executive Committee met?

In all events, this is no way for our national body to make decisions, is it? Some federations, sickened by the lack of any acceptable process have decided they will not send emergency funds through UJC. Others find the "process" just another nail in the coffin of a moribund organization.

Just another week in the life or death of UJC.


No comments: