Wednesday, September 30, 2009


Before our Congregation began the Kol Nidre prayer, our Rabbi said to us: "We don't know where we are going...but we are making excellent time."

The lay leader at UJC for whom I have the most respect sent me some materials about the approval process for Sheatufim. As I often do, I read them. In their entirety. Found some interesting stuff. Here is a section from the Minutes of the Budget and Finance Committee from April 4, 2006:

The CEO and President "...then indicated...areas for the future, namely reconnecting with philanthropists and mega donors, reaching the next generation, the Renaissance & Renewal agenda, addressing the shrinking donor base, coordinating our marketing/communications with our overseas partners, coordinating UJC-Israel with Israel office of federations and the social safety net in Israel."

Not too ambitious an agenda going forward, was it? However, not one of these agenda items was followed up and there was no accountability, no holding management accountable -- for any of it. And, as we all know, just months later UJC management rolled out the infamous Reorganization Strategy and the results, as they say, speak for themselves. (And, of course, the Reorganization Strategy itself has been long since forgotten.)

If you will forgive me a speculation...I believe that the new lay leadership has come to understand that the national organization's agenda and "methodology" these past three years have been misguided and have set The Jewish Federations of North America back and actually placed what is/was UJC in serious jeopardy. They are determined to right this ship.

UJC's new lay and professional leaders can and must learn from the mistakes of the past. I'm confident they will.


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