Friday, August 14, 2009


A Final Howard's View and I guess he's gone. And with his departure, not just hyperbolic revisionist history ("...while staying focused on our core fundraising and endowment campaigns..." "...on the verge of adopting a new approach to branding our system..." and on and on) but a failure to comprehend, after five years of service, that federation disengagement today is not the by-product of "...a perennial debate about whether Federations want UJC to be a trade association or a leader of the Federation system..." It is about a tragic failure of UJC's leaders to focus or follow federations' wants and needs not about "...a tendency to see our work at UJC through an inherited mindset of discontent (that) has dogged our efforts." Pure...poppycock.

And what would a View, even a Final one, be without meandering off into strange analogies -- this time, the creation of the United States with the merger creating United Jewish Communities and building from there. Oh, me, how I will miss these sometimes weekly messages.

I don't know, wouldn't a Final View have been the place for publicly thanking his professional staff, his few lay partners, the federation leaders who have supported him and his work? Guess not.

Howard -- bye. End of story.



Anonymous said...

Your marketing dollars at work:


Largest-Ever Jewish Social-Networking Effort Spotlights Those Devoted to Service: One Hero to Receive $25,000

Once upon a time CJF and UJA honored the people who built the Jewish state and the local communities that sustained our people... Now enthralled with their social media toys they celebrate and brand (truly)wonderful people yet few of whom (judging by the nominees) are engaged in the day the day work of Federations. Nice - sure! Branding of the Federation movement? I don't think so or understand how...

luckily of course Paula Abdul may now be available to judge.

RWEX said...

Dear "Anonymous,"

Thanks for your Comment. (Loved "Paula Abdul" -- not for Judge, for "Hero." I have been thinking about this generous offer myself. Further, I have heard how the program is being "managed" within UJC. Post to follow...soon.

usedtobeimportant said...

I recall today, with more laughter than sadness, that this is the same Howard Rieger our leadership of the time (1998 or so) borrowed from Pittsburgh and brought in to the UJA/CJF Partnership's offices for several days a week to hasten the creation of UJC. This was boldly supported by the large city execs who wanted to hasten the creation of UJC even faster than their lay leaders did. With apologies to biblical wisdom, it was sort of a melange of as ye sow so shall ye reap and the halt leading the blind.

Anonymous said...

I'm wishing howard the best. Anybody who has spent the last 40 years working on behalf of the jewish people deserves our respect, not our opprobrium; even if we disagree with their decisions.

Having scrolled through this blog, I am mostly unimpressed by the ad hominem commentary.

I wonder if Mr. Wexler is billing for the hours spent authoring these diatribes?

RWEX said...

Dear most recent "Anonymous" --

1. Your Comment suggests that one deserves "credit" for years of service without regard to the outcome of that service or the impacts of that service on our system.

2. Howard's supporters who have Commented to this Blog have consistently and without fail argued that I have engaged in ad hominem attacks. Instead of responding to the facts, they ignore them.

3. Yes, I have been charging my time for every Post. I just don't know whom to bill.

Howard has my respect for his contributions but that respect is offset by his failure to stand tall and acknowledges the failures of UJC under his leadership and the reasons for them.