Monday, April 20, 2009


As I have noted, on the 22nd the UJC Executive Committee will meet to consider a 2010 Budget Recommendation to reduce UJC's Budget by 18% and a Dues Proposal that would have the effect of further reducing the core allocation to JAFI/JDC significantly. UJC "leaders" will argue that there is (a) no ability to further cut the Budget beyond 18% and (b) that without the implementation of this Dues Proposal UJC will collapse to the ultimate disadvantage of JAFI and JDC. These are both self-serving and mythical arguments, both without substance.

~ As to the 2010 Budget. There are significant opportunities to further cut the Budget (see a number of Posts on this Blog over the last two weeks and several suggestions in Comments to those Posts). In fact, as Chair Gelman noted to the Budget Committee, UJC's own staff and Gelman had proposed a 20% Budget cut but the CEO somehow "convinced" the staff to "restore $745,000" to the Budget. And, in addition, there are potential reasonable cuts (Executive compensation, UJC Israel, Consulting Services, etc.) that would not result in further staff cuts, that UJC lay "leaders" have refused to consider.

~ As to the "off the top" Dues Proposal. In his opening report to the Budget & Finance Committee (and in Kanfer's responses to the JTA), reliance was claimed in the Budget analysis upon a non-scientific Survey of the federations -- a Survey of all federations that produced responses from 73 of 157 federations -- less than 1/2, as usual. One of the questions was as to intended "cuts" in federation allocations to JAFI/JDC core. Remember, the "off the top" proposal is premised upon federations' commitment to restore to those core allocations in like or greater amount than the Dues reduction from the core allocation. Here is what the UJC Survey disclosed as to 73 federations' intent as to allocations: 14 Large Cities -- an average allocations reduction of 14%; 17 Large Intermediate Federations -- an average allocations reduction of 17%; 31 Intermediate federations -- an average allocations reduction of 12%; and 11 Small federations -- an allocations reduction of 7%.

Thus, based on UJC's own numbers, the premise of this Dues Proposal is nothing more than fiction. Just as fictional as building a Budget based upon alleged "findings" from a Federation Leadership Institute attended by 1/3rd of the federations.

~ UJC Represents the Federations. This is the saddest myth of all. It should be fact but it isn't. JDC and JAFI, along with UIA, have been confronted by KanferRieger with this statement or its obverse "and you are out of touch with the federations" on a more or less constant basis. Fact: the Boards of the Joint, the Agency and UIA are each made up of federations leaders from around North America (in JAFI's case, Board members from the U.S. and Canada). Then, look at KanferRieger and the minuscule group of lay persons with whom they have chosen to surround themselves. Then, ask yourselves, which organization has become out of touch with the federations? It's a rhetorical question.

Yet, on paper, the UJC Executive Committee members do represent the Federations. They can stand tall or merely rubber stamp "management's recommendations." Friends, it is an absolute truth that it is the Executive Committee's role to challenge assumptions and myths. It hasn't done so; now is the time we must insist upon it.


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