Friday, January 9, 2009


In my home state, the accusations against Governor Rod Blagojevich have exposed the "culture of corruption" that has characterized Illinois political life from State to local levels from time immemorial. After only the years of their service the UJC "leaders" have stamped our national organization with their own culture -- one of practices that corrupt process. It took only 24 hours from the UJC Executive Committee's decision to support a $10,000,000 emergency effort for decisions to go awry in the worst way. Let me explain....

With the notice of the emergency Executive Committee meeting were papers prepared by JAFI and JDC detailing the critical needs created and perpetuated in Israel's South by the War. There were no other papers before the Executive when they voted to approve a $10 million fund raising effort of the $19 million asked. Nonetheless, during the Executive Committee's debate, Howard Rieger hearkened back to two of his failed "asks" of 2008: "don't forget the IAI and the ENP." He was chastised by Executive Committee members and his "asks" once again ignored. The UJC "leadership" -- not the Executive Committee -- then asked the good old IEC Work Group to allocate the funds. It is critical to note that the only documentation before this Work Group were those provided by UJC's partners -- JAFI and JDC.

Didn't stop them. With no, or minimal, participation by federation lay leaders or Executives, the Work Group met on the day after the Executive Committee meeting. Here's a brief...too brief...summary: Allocations to JDC, allocations to JAFI, an allocation of almost equal amount to that to JAFI to the ITC (quick, raise your hands if you have ever heard of the ITC before let alone what it is), and, lo and behold, $515,000 (+/-) to the ENP and another unspecified $250,000 to the IAI.

So, if I understand what has happened, the UJC Executive Committee rejected unspecified "asks" for the ENP and the IAI foe emergency funding to be allocated between JDC and JAFI and a "Work Group" decided it could reject the Executive Committee decision and go off on a frolic of its own to fund two pet projects of the CEO and Board Chair. Are you, with me, sensing some invidious influence here? .

There is an old rubric: the law does not permit what can't be done directly to be done indirectly. But, UJC is not bound by "law" or governance or proper practice. It is governed only by what its "leaders" personal agendas dictate. No credibility; no accountability. And the federation owners......


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