A dear friend, a federation and national leader, called me the other day to talk. He was very upset about another UJC unilateral action and obviously wanted me talk him back in off the ledge. Our actual coversation went something like this:
"Friend: They are charging us $50 a person to attend the UJC Board of Trustees Delegate Assembly meeting. Are they nuts?
Friend: They want us to pay them to come to Jersey City to vote the way they want us to.
Me: Well, they aren't going to pay us, that's for sure. Maybe the $50 is to off-set the cost of lunch; they're big on lunch.
Friend: You mean with a $37 million budget they can't find $20 each for a tuna sandwich and water?
Me: Best I can tell, they can't find $37 million in that Budget to do $37 million worth of work...but that's just me. Maybe Joe will throw in a travel bottle of Purell.
Friend: So in June it's $50 for a Board meeting in Jersey and in November it's $700 a person to register for the GA?
Me: Yeah, sounds like Jersey is a helluva better deal...and it's only a five (or maybe four) meeting.
Friend: Neither sounds like much of a 'deal." What do you get for $50?
Me: Well, that tuna sandwich and you get to listen to Joe, Kathy. Gelman and Howard.
Friend: I think I'll just buy a tuna sandwich and eat it at home. I can't believe they want us to each pay $50 to come to a meeting to listen to them talk.
Me: Where have you been the last four years -- it's been Joe, Kathy, Howard, all the time -- with Gelman chiming in. It's Greek chorus. Anyway, they're looking at a 18% budget cut at least, may be they think they can make it up with registration fees and not cut at all...
Friend:...and fees for no services. I'm beginning to understand.
Me: Then explain it to me, will you?
Friend: Where was this decision made to charge us $50 a person?
Me: [Sound of my hysterical laughter]"
Chag Pesach sameach.