It boggles the mind. UJC is so out of control in so many areas. The Budget travesty, the "rescue" of those who don't want or need it in "partnership" with the Satmar, Dues,an unfathomable Nominating Committee result...and so much else. It is critical however to focus on what has happened and is happening with federation Dues payments and membership. So, let's do so.
Some background -- with the agreement of a number of the federations which pay Dues and allocations on a 1/12th basis, so that UJC need not borrow to pay itself its Budget and meet payroll, etc., and given that a super-majority of federations pay their Dues in full only in December, UJC internally "borrows" from the allocation portion of federation 1/12th payments until federation Dues payments "true up" at year-end. Forget for a moment that this "process" forces JDC and JAFI to borrow to meet their Budgeted obligations while their budget cuts are deep into bone, this Rube Goldbergian methodology only works if at year-end federations do in fact "true up." And, even if they do, as you know, UJC's partners, JDC and JAFI, are already paying the budget of UJC -- the result is clear, the Agency and Joint have seen cash at year-end drop well below UJC forecasts; a budgetary catastrophe for JAFI and JDC -- and no financial impact on UJC whatsoever. And no disclosure by UJC of Federations in default of their Dues obligations and their allocations moral obligations-- not even to the Financial Relations Committee (which seems to operate on a philosophy of "don't ask, don't tell.")
And, this week KanferRieger will visit the Los Angeles Board and no doubt advise that federation of the Draconian penalties of lost membership, among other things. Yet in the intervening months between Los Angeles's decision to reduce dues and this visit, has UJC done anything to engage further with Los Angeles or any other federation? Has it demonstrated added value beyond UJC Washington? Rhetorical questions. (And, the tunnel-vision on Dues will certainly...certainly... preclude discussion of allocations as "peripheral" or even unrelated to the KanferRieger focus on Dues and Dues alone.) Should L.A. determine, post-visit, that there will be no change in its determination to reduce its Dues, in such case, somewhere...anywhere...within UJC there must be a discussion of how UJC will adjust its Budget and its programs to reflect what will be done in light of 1/3rd of the federations withdrawing Dues support in whole or in part.
The Board Chair has told the UJC Executive Committee of his belief, as in a Country Club, of "pay to play" and a willingness to accept the "disappearance" of 1/3rd of the Owners (whom he calls and treats as "Members") with the conclusion that "we'll be a better organization." Sobeit for the "United" in United Jewish Communities. Kanfer's new name for the organization must be "Some Jewish Communities." Sad.
Friends, the chickens have come home to roost in so many...so many...ways. What we have here is not some kerfuffle about nothing, it is a disaster. The volume of traffic on this Blog has increased by 40% in the last week alone -- the e-mails I have received from you over this same period have disclosed the building frustration and even anger with the blind eye of the current (and, now, future) UJC leadership toward federations, toward process, toward sensitivity...and with the Dues crisis, toward any sense of reality.