Wednesday, July 29, 2009


I have written often about the UJC leaders' serial "asks," the most recent for the Ethiopian National Project. Today, in furtherance of their "urgent appeal" for $3.7 million, UJC convened a conference call on the subject which they promoted in multiple e-mails. The presentation on the subject was led by the ubiquitous Toni Young and Sr. VP Development (and, no doubt, other stuff) Eric Levine.

What did they (and the experts accompanying them) say that wasn't in the histrionic Memos that alerted everyone to the "urgent need" and consequent "ask" for $5 million marked down to $3.7 million? Nothing. But here's what they did not say:

~ This "ask" has no support from the federations which have provided the largest amount of funds for the ENP. In fact, UJC was asked by them to shut this "ask" down. They were ignored.

~ That this matter, arising from the Center for Jewish Philanthropy has never been discussed with the Center for Jewish Philanthropy. (Nor was it discussed at the Campaign Executive Committee [or whatever that body is now called].) They were ignored.

~ That there has been no consultation with either JAFI or JDC or, as would have been preferable, both of our partners, the ones who have allocated $10's of millions to the ENP to date on our behalf. They were ignored.

I have been reminded that in the terrible process followed for this ask, there was no planning, no consultation with the federations which have provided the bulk of funds for the ENP or with the Israel and Overseas partners who are on the front line with the Ethiopian Israeli community.

Quite a legacy.


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