In an article in the Forward (March 18, 2009), I discovered a parallel universe to the one occupied by United Jewish Communities. In the article, by-lined to Anthony Weiss, a group of organizational lay leaders accused their central umbrella organization "...of being 'opaque,' disorganized and even vengeful, and demand changes within 90 days." The lay presidents went on: "We believe that the organization has become insular, unresponsive, and of diminishing value to its (members)....In the missive, the signatories hint that if their demands are not met promptly, their (organizations) may ultimately withdraw support..." This letter, which had not yet been sent at the time of the article, follows ... a week after another letter from the 25 largest members "challenging...leadership."
Finally, these lay chief volunteer officers' letter "...levels a series of charges against the (central organization) including that its actions are 'controlled by a relative few,' that 'there appears to be a culture of entitlement and intolerance on the part of the professional and lay leadership, that complaints are met with 'a fervent attempt to quash dissent' and that 'the official governing bodies are so large and/or so insular that they are unresponsive or unworkable.'" (emphasis added)
Hmmm. These are the travails of the United Synagogue of Conservative Judaism, but do you, as I, find exact, four square, spot on parallels to UJC's deteriorating relationship with its owners? Or are UJC and its current leaders more "opaque, disorganized and even vengeful?" Isn't UJC a place where dissent is verboten in "...a culture of entitlement and intolerance." And isn't UJC the place where loyalty is demanded ("are you on my team or not?") but not given. I, and so many others, await the day when UJC undergoes the identical changes these Conservative Jewish congregational leaders demand of their UCSJ.