Tuesday, October 13, 2009


~ Titles. I (and probably you) received an announcement from UJC:The Jewish Federations a few weeks ago. It was sent by an Executive Assistant on behalf of a Director and was over the signature of a Managing Director. This drove me to look at a staff directory. In addition to the above I learned that The Jewish Federations of North America have developed a whole lot of titles. Here is a partial list: you've got your Administrative Assistants, your Executive Assistants, your Associate Directors, your Directors, your Senior Directors, your Managers, your Project Managers, your Senior Managers, your Managing Directors, your Coordinators, your Associate Vice-Presidents, your Vice-Presidents, your Senior Vice-Presidents, your President and CEO. I am certain that I have left some out and some creative person is busy creating more. (If you search deeply, you will find the Project Manager, New Titles -- a full-time job no doubt.)

Ten years ago did we envision the creation of a bureaucracy this thick? How about five years ago? We should have.

~ Names. I guess this falls in the same genre as Titles. We're now The Jewish Federations of North America (no acronyms allowed) after extensive research, focus groups and expense. (Pssst, acknowledging the mistake of 10 years ago, we may see the campaign effort titled: UJA: The Annual Campaign of The Jewish Federations of North America. It's just a "maybe;" it's gonna take more research, focus groups, etc. My bet: it ain't gonna happen.) Did anyone on the Board ask "what will the cost be to change letterhead, signage, Memo pads, etc.? When the subject was last explored, about seven years ago, a name change back to UJA was rejected, in part, because the cost of changing all this was stated to be $500,000!! This time??

Also, I loved the explanation that in conjunction with the GA in its midst, the host federation, The Jewish Federation of Greater Washington has agreed to...what exactly? It was announced that the JFGW (does D.C. allow acronyms?) "title already qualifies as it mets 90% of the requirements, criteria, something..."
Soon, if not already, you will be asked to modify all UJC (forgive me for I have sinned) e-mail addresses to first.name@thejewishfederationsofnorthamerica.org. You will be severely punished if you fail to follow orders.

Is this name change, this rebranding to be the seminal achievement of this era of "leadership?" At what cost?

By the way...good name.



Anonymous said...

No acronyms, huh?


Anonymous said...

titles often correlate with dollars and both should correlate with specific functions if not job descriptions...it would be interesting indeed for some responsible body to look at a chart that combined all three: title, job description and salary and then for good measure compare to larger Federations in close proximity to NY: i.e. NY, MetroWest, Bergen County and even Philadelphia. And while you are at it look at the WAO as compared to the JFGW.

joebrown42 said...

JFNA - existing acronyms: http://www.acronymgeek.com/JFNA

I like the "Jerusalem Fake News Agency"

Anonymous said...


Why don't you ask around and find out what ever happened to the Hay Group consultation a few years ago for UJC. Lots of $$, was supposed to streamline the title mishegas you describe.

Actually, I think your post aptly describes the current top-heavy structure of UJC/JFNA. The vast majority of those who got laid off the past few years were below the Director level.

So here's the sad story...you've got a lot of Directors (and those above them) with relatively few people remaining to actually direct....


Yes Rich, all true, but there are still more Jewish lay "chairs", "vice-chairs", "associate chairs", "honorary chairs" and "chairs designate" than all the staff titles at at the Federaions and all the national organizations.

Used to be Important

RWEX said...

Dear "Used to Be,"

Yes, we have a surfeit of lay titles -- they of course are not paid but contibute millions of hours and dollars in their volunteer efforts -- but I will bet you are wrong.