Friday, May 1, 2009


Some matters worth considering:

~ The UJC 2010 Budget -- You will recall that in response to a question during the Budget Committee meeting as to why there was no recommendation that Executive salaries be cut to save some jobs, Chair Gelman's response was dismissive: "We considered it but thought it would be bad for morale." Last Friday, in our Crain's Chicago Business it was reported that mid-sized Chicago law firm Shefsky & Froelich, where I have many friends and a few ex-partners, resolved that partners' salaries be cut 30% and all other staff members' compensation be reduced by as low as 5% (for non-lawyer staff) so as to avoid terminations. Imagine, a law firm...a law firm... showing more compassion than our national Jewish organization. Hard to imagine? Not really, unfortunately.

~ The UJC 2010 Budget...more -- I am told by very good sources that the original professional-driven 2010 Budget would have recommended $2,000,000 in additional Budget reductions over the 18% reduction approved by Executive and Budget Committees. So, what happened? Did the CEO, claiming some sort of non-existent "executive privilege," merely step in and order "restore $2 million?" And that, as they say, was that. No lame duck he; just lame. And, at least 1/3 of the federations will be unable or unwilling to pay the resultant dues. And where was the Budget & Finance Chair during this episode?

~ "Will Israel Cease to Exist?" -- In a transparent attempt to promote his book -- The Late Great State of Israel -- author Aaron Klein was given space in The Daily Beast to question Israel's ultimate survival. As I read Klein's piece, he condemns Israeli diplomacy as well as the conduct of its defense leaving, well not much that Israel can do. There are far better things to read.

~ The Centrality of Federation -- One of my friends who has had a history of leadership involvement at federations and overseas beneficiaries, responding to my Post The End of the World As We Know It? pointed out that the federations overseas partners have also suffered the fate of local agencies -- reduced federation support requiring increased investment in fund raising within the communities, often in competition with the very annual campaigns that support the allocations to them. Of course, my friend is right. And if federations and their partners can't find the means to truly partner, all will suffer. This is exactly one of the areas where a strong and respected national organization could make a difference.

~ Comments -- The Blog has received a number of constructive (and, some, not so much) Comments since the Post on April 17. They all deserve reading as many of the "Commentators" are far more articulate and passionate on the subjects of the Posts than I. What the future leadership of UJC can learn from these Comments is that UJC can succeed and that our federations are fortunate, even blessed, with leaders who "get it."

~ And, for your viewing pleasure -- It is not politically correct, but for a great laugh: and forgive the one swear word...

Shabbat shalom.


No comments: