This Memo came over the threshold last Friday:
"From: Joseph Kanfer [mailto:firstname.lastname@example.org] Sent: Friday, January 30, 2009 2:23 PMTo: Galperin, Misha (X-EMAIL); Gelman, Michael; Ruskay, John (X-EMAIL); Hoffman, Stephen H. (x200); Young, Toni; Larry Fine; Kanfer, JoeCc: email@example.com; Hyman, Rob; Cohill, Melissa; Jatlow, Lynn; firstname.lastname@example.org; Garvey, Gail; Knable, Linda (x224); Bennett, Dorine
Subject: UJC FEDERATION LEADERSHIP INSTITUTE
PROMPT REVIEW REQUESTED
TO: Strategic Planning Subgroup Chairs
Attached please find a draft Discussion Guide for facilitating the upcoming FLI discussions. I have developed this document in consultation with our UJC staff team and Mark Shapiro.
The draft Discussion Guide serves as a compendium of SPWG recommendations, comments from the Work Group and field and outlines a series of discussion questions.
Based on the feedback to date, we can collapse the 7 SPWG Recommendations into the following three (3) overall SPWG Discussion Topics:
Discussion Topic 1. Roles (incorporate Mission/Vision and address Major Initiatives Recommendation as a sub-item);
Discussion Topic 2. The Governance Discussion topic can incorporate (i) Governance Operating Principles; (ii) compliance principle and possible approach re: Dues; and (iii) review and assessment of UJC's Governance structure and function by the By-Laws and Governance Committee including ways to improve decision making protocols and communication practices;
Discussion Topic 3. Relationship with Overseas Partners.
As we are in the final preparation phase of producing materials for the FLI, we would appreciate your prompt review and any comments no later than noon on Monday. Please send any comments directly to my attention [KanferJ@GOJO.COM].
As Joe dictates the totality of the FLI Agenda with lip service to "... the UJC staff team and Mark Shapiro" but not with you, you may readily conclude as with all things UJC, the deck has been stacked. There is a "Discussion Guide" but you can't see it. That's ok though because we all know what's in the script. And, if you the federations, the owners, want to vary the script? Forget it.
Here's Scenario 1: A group of federations raised the issue of UJC's bloated Budget and the need for significant cuts during this time. Kanfer or his consort, Gelman, will reply that they will "examine the issue," engage in "zero-base budgeting," whine that UJC can suffer no more cuts" complain that UJC is cost-effective compared to the predecessor organizations, and whine "let's move on." It will be like the Bush Administration's attempts to stay "on message."
Scenario 2 -- a subset of Scenario 1: Many federations have already advised UJC that they will not/can no longer tolerate UJC Dues. UJC leaders have threatened them, cajoled them, made deals with some. Now, in the Discussion Draft for the FLI the emphasis in "governance" will be on the consequences of the failure to meet dues obligations. Rieger and Kanfer just want to get through their respective terms -- the real "consequences," like the consequences of the recession we're in fell on the Obama Administration, will fall on the successors to Rieger and Kanfer. So, they will demand, "let's move on."
Scenario 3 -- in speaking to the Recommendations that would rend the fabric of the federations' historic partnership with JAFI and JDC while UJC positions itself for a more significant role in Israel, federation leaders will rise to decry the fundamental change in the historic partnership at a time we need unity here and in Israel. Kanfer and his acolyte, Toni Young, will rise up acapella to whine that they are just trying to "focus people" and have "...an honest discussion." The obvious and over-arching strategy that Kanfer and his tight Circle of Trust have determined will work is to posit that JAFI and JDC have failed to respond to the "market" and need to be replaced. They will submit that only by offering a "third way" will allocations for Israel and Overseas increase. They will ignore the fact that UJC's failure to advocate for the great unmet needs in Israel and Overseas have failed not only JAFI and JDC but those of our People most in need. That "their way" is the only way to help Jewish People in need. "JAFI and JDC are so 1975. Things have changed over 40 years." "So, let's move on." Kanfer and his ilk, so spoiled, cannot bring themselves to countenance even the possibility they are wrong hellbent as they are to divide our system under the guise of "big, new ideas."
I just saw the FLI Preliminary Agenda. For those of you who feared that the Institute might be the captive of the same talking heads we have been forced to listen to over and over and over again, here's who's heads will be talking now: Joe Kanfer -- Setting the Stage for the FLI; Howard Rieger -- Setting the Stage for the Strategic Discussion; Consultant Mark Shapiro -- The Strategic Planning Process; and Kathy Manning -- Summary. Yes, all kinds of new faces/heads. "So, let's move on." Oh, and there is a Dress Code: Business Casual. (I am not making this up.)
Friends, this is a time for the federations to discuss how best to act collectively, a time for sacrificing in the interests of unity while these leaders continue to preach a message of division and disunity. Vary from the Discussion Guide at your peril. The fix is in.