Wednesday, April 1, 2009


A few updates are in order:

~ The UJC 2010 Budget -- Well, Blog sources report that the Budget that was to be proposed to the UJC Budget & Finance Committee was to reflect an additional $2 million dollars in cuts. So, what happened? Well, the CEO, theretofore disengaged from the process, entered the scrum and determined, as a matter of something called "CEO privilege" that he would unilaterally overrule the professional and senior management "process" and restore $2 million. No thought, no discussion permitted. No lame duck he; just lame.

~ "Will Israel Cease to Exist?" -- Apparently trying to promote his book, The Late Great State of Israel, an "author," Aaron Klein produced a brief piece for The Daily Beast. Klein's thesis appears to be that Israel should not engage in diplomacy, and should not protect herself for if Israel does either, the State will..."cease to exist." Bizarre stuff, indeed.

~ Challenge -- For more substantive reading get your hands on the Winter-Spring 2009 Journal of Jewish Communal Service. The entire issue is dedicated to The Changing Paradigm of Jewish Philanthropy. Some provocative dialogue on issues that should, if they don't already, concern us all and challenge us to new thinking and to an examination of, at the least, new ideas. The issue, sponsored by the Jewish Funders Network, has a natural bias -- the articles, in the main, suggest that there are only one or two answers to "...the challenge of philanthropic change" -- nonetheless the federation system (except in the instance of a dialogue between John Ruskay and Jeffrey Solomon) while ignored, needs to come to rise to the challenge of new models of giving. I would suggest the federations have -- particularly through the collaborative giving model -- but no one from UJC apparently was given (or accepted) the opportunity to challenge the assumptions of most of the articles. Worth the read certainly.

~ "And...more on that Budget" -- You will recall that we have pointed out that the UJC Treasurer and Budget Chair, Michael Gelman, told the Committee that a compensation reduction at the top of the UJC professional pyramid was considered and rejected as "bad for morale." Maybe the following will be "bad for morale." A mid-sized Chicago law firm, Shefsky & Froelich, where I have a number of friends and some former partners, announced last Friday, as reported in Crain's Chicago Business, that compensation cuts "...ranging from 5% for non-lawyer staff to 30% for partners...are designed to avoid more layoffs..." Imagine, a law firm shows more compassion than our non-profit national Jewish organization. Hard to believe? Unfortunately, not really.

Shabbat shalom.


No comments: