Sunday, May 3, 2009


A new week is upon us. A couple of things to welcome it:

~ The Federation leader whom I venerate most of all said this at a critical Federation meeting last week: "We need more process. The better the understanding (of what we are doing), the better the buy-in." Outside of 25 Broadway (that's like "beyond the Beltway"), I would like to think that is what all of us believe. So, I ask: "Why haven't we been able to inculcate that message to those in leadership of UJC who believe we need no (or, at the most, minimal) process?"

~ Last week, at a meeting in the White House, the President welcomed Senator Arlen Spector to the Democratic Caucus this way: "Today I have the privilege of standing next to the newest Democrat...I don't expect Senator Spector will agree with every decision I make, and support every one of those policies." The President went on to say he didn't expect Spector or any other Senator to be a "rubber stamp." President Obama concluded: "I'm eager to receive his counsel and advice, especially when he disagrees..." This is leadership, my friends. We must recreate UJC in the "Obama Model" not replicate what we have had for the past three years.

~ How many federations have yet to report an allocation to UJC for Israel and Overseas needs for JAFI and JDC for 2008? For that matter how many have yet to pay their 2008 Dues? Are the numbers being held by UJC in secret for discussion only among the chosen few? If "membership," is, as Joe Kanfer described it, "like a country club," shouldn't there be a "Member's List" posted with/circulated to all federations (as Chicago has requested for years)?

~ On the good new side of the UJC ledger, all Board Members received a Memo from GA Chair, D.C.'s wonderful leader, Dede Feinberg, last Thursday initiating an "RFP Process" inviting new ideas for making the GA more meaningful from the widest possible constituency. It's really a great initiative!! Any ideas?

~ Then, there is this...I have come to understand that I could Post daily if I could find the time -- that is really how bad things are. Some will not think so but I have shown restraint. At one and the same time I have been asked: "Do you believe that UJC can be saved?" My answer has always been: "It has to be. Our federation system requires a national organization to rally us to great achievements and to remind us, when necessary of the core values and timeless principles that have inspired the generations that preceded us, our generations and, most important, the generations to come to the concept, the construct and the ideal of Federation as Community." We can do it; all it takes is an understanding and inspiring leadership to join with federations to put the pieces back together.


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