There is always something new on the UJC's leaders personal agendas that impact on your federation and mine. Let's look at a couple that were brought to my attention during the Jewish Agency Assembly:
~ Let's make a deal. It appears that the few UJC leaders have been cutting deals with a number of federations -- negotiating reduced Fair Share Dues so as to avoid the stigma of federations no longer remaining members in good standing. There is nothing inherently wrong with this if, in fact, there were a process, there were standards and the leaders were empowered to make these deals. The Financial Relations Committee has not been privy to a single one of these "deals;" certainly hasn't approved them...it appears the Committee is not to know. The federations impacted have not sought "hardship" status, but had advised UJC that they were not going to pay full Dues. Here are the consequences as I see them: (1) My federation and most others pay full Dues in order that UJC meet its own Budget. Are we expected to pay a greater Dues amount with no process because UJC has made a deal with many federations to pay lower dues; (2) Does UJC plan to invade the overseas core allocation without any authority to do so to satisfy its own Budget and, thereby, further reduce the allocation; and (3) as one of my friends asked "How does a federation even know it got the best deal?" No process, no transparency, no thought.
~ And, speaking of allocations...I learned that the lame ducks have unilaterally decided, as always, in consultations with themselves, that Birthright is underfunded and that allocations should be diverted from the JAFI/JDC core to Birthright. Certainly this great program deserves support, but since the birth of UJC, allocations to Joint and Agency core have dropped by almost 45%...while JAFI continues to support Birthright to the tune of $5 million per year (subsidizing, essentially the federations' fund raising and allocations shortfalls)while cutting its core Budget by $75 million. You wonder what these leaders have learned over 4-5 years? And then you realize...zip.
And, friends, what have we learned.... ?