Wednesday, April 22, 2009


I was able to connect to the UJC Executive Committee call today and this is what I heard:

KM: It's already 12:15 and I would like to call this meeting to order. Oh, Toni, I'm so sorry, I see you and Michael haven't finished your lunches yet. OK, let's begin in five minutes -- give everyone a chance to finish. (Sounds of plates being scraped, chewing, slurping, etc.)

KM: We really have to start. We have critical business today for this face-to-face meeting. I am so glad that five of you were able to get in from out-of-town plus the seven New Yorkers here. We have, let's count, Rob, 17 staffers here. It's 12:30 and some of you have told me you have to leave by 1:30 to catch your planes home. So, let's begin. The first matter on the Agenda is our 2010 Budget. I would like to call on Michael Gelman, our Budget Chair and Treasurer, who has done such a swell job. Michael.

MG: Wow, this was tough but we cut the Budget by a recommended 18%. Sam Astrof is here to read the entire Budget to you, line by line, and, if you're still awake, answer any questions you might have but, of course, we don't have time for questions...

Unidentified Voice: I believe that the Budget is the prerogative of the staff and senior lay leaders, so let's move on. Questions would be inappropriate, so let's move on.

General sound of silence.

MG: I move we approve.

Toni Young: Second!

KM: All approve. That's so great. Wonderful presentation, MG, and Sam, our thanks. Wow, I thought that was going to be tough. OK, they are just putting out dessert, so let's take a 10 minute break.

(Sounds of lip-smacking, forks scraping plates.)

KM: Well, I see that some of our friends who traveled great distances to get here have to leave for their flights home. Thanks so much for being here and for your important contribution. Now, let's move on to the Dues Committee proposal to take a really large portion of the UJC Budget off the top of the allocation to JAFI and JDC. We'll either vote on it or not depending on what Joe wants us to do. I would like to call on Co-Chairs Steve Silverman and Harvey Barnett. Fantastic work gentlemen.

HB: In the interest of time, we turn the mike over to Steve Nasatir.

SN: Thanks Harvey and Steve for your incredible leadership. This Report is a great idea. It's the only way to save UJC. JAFI and JDC will love it. (General hubbub...hard to distinguish voices.) Oh, they object to it, well wait until I explain it to them.

Joe Kanfer: Sorry to break in and I know we're short of time. Let me make one thing perfectly clear: the only people opposed to this are the federations who don't understand it, JAFI and JDC to whom we haven't explained it, the Communists, anarchists, godless geeks, the damn JTA and the Forward, some friggin' Blogger and anyone else we've shown it to. Well, the heck with them. If we're going to unify the Jewish People, this is the way to go!! I did call JAFI and JDC leaders after a Dues Committee meeting in Chicago. Here's what I told them: "We have a formula that the federations have agreed to. We'll tell you the details when we feel like it. Howard will set up a meeting or maybe he won't." And JDC leaders get mad about that? So let's approve this, otherwise UJC is dead and it's your fault and JDC's fault and JAFI's fault and JTA's ......

SN: Thanks, Joe. That's very helpful. Harvey and Steve, do you want to sum up?

Steve Silverman: This will be great -- we won't need a Financial Relations Committee any more.

HB: There's nothing more to say -- it's either this or UJC is through. I move the Formula for approval.

KM: Great work guys and our deep thanks for trying to rescue us from the disaster we've created. Is there a Second?

TY: I'll Second, I'll Second!!

KM: Thanks, Toni. All in favor?

Unidentified Voice: What the hell are we voting for? General murmers of dismay.

KM: That's great. It's unanimous. We're saved, we're saved!! We're united at last. Howard?

HR: I'll call JAFI and JDC and tell them.

SN: Please no, please,

KM: Well, it appears that we're approaching the end of our time. We do have some important matters left on the Agenda. Howard, would you report on the relocation of the Yemeni Jews?

HR: Kathy, thanks. I am pleased to report that, even though none of you knew anything about this, I embarked on a partnership with the Satmar Orthodox to rescue 110 Yemeni Jews and bring them to Monsey, New York, where the Satmars would assure they had food, housing and were taught Yiddish, given cars, etc. Working with the State Department, many have sought American passports. Unfortunately it appears they don't want to leave Yemen. We will keep you updated or maybe we won't.

KM: Thank you, Howard, and I want to remind everyone here and on the phone, this is real hush hush stuff. Because of the press of time I will report on the GA. The 2010 Budget, which we're not supposed to discuss and which we have now approved, provides for a $500,000 UJC subsidy to the UJC GA. Isn't that great?! That subsidy plus sponsor support and a $2500 per person Registration Fee should be just enough to almost break even. That will be so great. And, this will be a special GA for Joe and me and Howard.

Phone transmission breaks down. Sorry.


1 comment:

Anonymous said...

It is very hard to call this a parody. A parody is satire, burlesque or comedy. "Parody … is imitation with a critical difference..." Where is the critical difference?

This is almost verbatim what UJC meetings are like. This is truth not parody.

UJC itself is close to black humor. Grotesque and morbid humor used to express the absurdity, insensitivity, paradox, and cruelty of the world that UJC has become.

UJC is not funny. It is sad and pathetic.

Someone needs to get out the paddles and save it from death at its young age.