Sunday, August 16, 2009


Some updates:

~ In a message to some list serve Kathy Manning announced that Jerry Silverman will begin his UJC career on September 8 rather than at the end of September. This news of the Jerry's arrival would bring greater cheer if Kathy could begin her new role at the same time. In the meantime Silverman continues a critical "listening tour" that includes a number of federation visits and, among other learning opportunities, a meeting in Atlanta on Tuesday with Large Intermediate Federation CEOs.

~ Three Anonymous correspondents (or, probably, the same person) have attacked UJC for agreeing to pay Silverman what they claim is $750,000 to start. As Kathy Manning has responded to this allegation with a denial and a representation that the new CEO will be paid less than the Rieger, that rumor needs to be put to bed.

~ As we pointed out last week, for reasons that are unclear, probably blocked by the opaque UJC's leaders have built over the past five year, at the very top of UJC, there appears to be a sense that basic management and corporate governance principles seem not to them. I was reminded of parallel behavior in a news article in the July 17 New York Times -- A Revolution Reinterpreted -- a news story about a long-time Iranian leader, the former President, Ali Akbar Hashemi Rafsanjani, who, after months of silence spoke out against the actions of the current dictatorial regime. "[H]e...challenged the authority of the country's supreme leader, Ayatollah Ali Komeini to make decisions without seeking consensus." The story resonated because for several months, two of my correspondents have been referring to the Board Chair and his claque as "the Ayatollahs." Hmmm.

~ Some Good News from UJC. Credit is due UJC Development for restoring a forgotten tradition -- periodic conference calls/meetings with past National Campaign Chairs. The last one I remember was convened by the current CEO on the cusp of Operation Promise -- and there has not been one since. I view this as more than a gesture but I and the other past Chairs would welcome the opportunity to learn first hand what's planned for Development even if a gesture it is. Thanks to National Chair Michael Lebovitz and the Development staff.

~ What is a Budget at your Federation? At mine, it is a binding document from which funds can only be transferred from one line item to another by formal governance action. At UJC it is but a Bank from which leaders unilaterally transfer funds to their priorities at any point during the Year with no accountability and no Governance action. From somewhere to the Marketing and Branding Initiative (actually a Committee and staff decided more was needed, millions more and so it was), from somewhere else to Sheatufim, and on and on. Governance/process? Those are for the dinosaurs, the fools, not for us to bother with. That these may well be ultra vires acts seems not to bother these leaders at all. I know, I know, they (or at least some of them) will soon be gone.

~ Campaign Materials. UJC's Marketing and Communications Department has produced some outstanding Campaign Marketing materials. Particularly impacting is a short Campaign Video. As the Briefing on the subject (August 7) concluded "...what happens next is up to you." As in all things....

~ The GA? When I complained about a $700 GADC Registration Fee, I was reminded that that Fee is only for those registering "at the door." If you register today, $565, a Fee that increases at some point in time to $650 and, ultimately, to $700. So, register today!!

~ The Fundermentalist Weekly. JTA's Fundermentalist, a/k/a Reporter Jacob Berkman, is now disseminating an informative weekly e-mail on Jewish philanthropy. Excellent stuff. I think you can sign on by e-mailing



joebrown42 said...

I have one small commet, and I hope I am not out of line. And that is while you can blame UJC's actions or form of action in switching to Sheatufim, I believe that this Israeli organization is not at all to blame, and may even be doing a lot of good things, including placing the notion of cooperation between non-profits as its number one agenda...
All the best,

RWEX said...


I did not mean to suggest that Sheatufim's purposes aren't noble or that it isn't doing good things...or that a UJC "investment" wouldn't be appropriate had it been processed as its governance requires.