Tuesday, June 30, 2009


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.... ?



Anonymous said...

Having been a "typical" blog reader (lurking behind the scenes reading, but never posting), I can't help feel like a "Class A" fool. As the leader of a Federation we merely send in our fair share dues, fund the requests for birthright Israel, run additional Israel campaigns, advocate to our Congressional delegation, provide funds for JCC, Day School, JFS and a myriad of other beneficiaries-all without a peep.

How long will leadership continue to allow this to spiral? How long can the "system" endure with such fracturing? Do we have to allow this to fail in total in order to build it back up?

Whether you see through the same optics as our Blog host in total, or if he is looking through "rose colored glasses," the reality is so very disappointing, so very disturbing, because I know that much of it is truth. And the truth hurts.

Anonymous said...

To Anonymous:

If you are a "leader" of a dues paying Federation, why cant you ask for a report from UJC listing fair share dues charged, and paid, by communities? Why can't multiple Federations ask for the report?

I have no reason to believe Richard Wexler is not telling the truth, but there is no hard evidence to support or reject his claims. UJC is not obligated to respond to his blog. However, I think UJC would be obligated to respond to a request from a, or a number of, Federations.

So as "owners" shouldn't you be allowed to see aged receivables and/or any adjustments to the approved fair share amounts?

Richard, if this is a real concern, why does Chicago not ask for such a report?

-A Different Anonymous

RWEX said...

To "A Different Anonymous" -- Chicago has asked. Nothing. Chicago has asked that UJC post Dues, Campaign and Allocations commitments and payments -- nothing. Chicago has asked that UJC appoint a lay Cash Collections Committee -- nothing.

The response has typically been -- "great idea (I am obviously not the one doing the asking), we'll get right on it." -- and...nothing.

Anonymous said...

The larger question is if the commenter is correct about the salary request for Jerry Silverman, and communities are not paying their fair share, (our community has decided not to, and capped the amount to UJC at well below what is being requested) than can the Jewish Feds of NA financially support itself and JAFI/JDC?

RWEX said...

"Anonymous" -- yours is the central question. Thanks for putting it so well.