Both before and after Kathy Manning and Jerry Silverman convened a meeting with JAFI and JDC Leadership last month, I posted my hopes for A Good Start and thereafter A Good Start...A Follow-Up where I was even more expansive -- calling the meeting "a Great Start." You may recall that my compliments were considered by some to be so fulsome as to be considered by some "brown-nosing." So, surprise, surprise, some UJC leader has called around to inquire, in an ominous (for the future) manner, as to who "leaked" to me that this was a "good meeting" and/or who "leaked" that there was meeting at all. Pitiful but true.
Ya' see, the meeting was supposed to be "confidential." Telling me that it was a "good meeting" with no details to this inquiring chacham was a "breach of confidentiality." WOW. This was a meeting no one was to know even took place? This is an example of the new transparency? Or just more of the same? Now, in my naivete I don't think the accusations came from Kathy or Jerry both of whom thanked me when I called or wrote to congratulate them. Even as UJC cast the meeting as one restricted to a "discussion" of the "Urgency of Cash Collections" in a Leadership Briefing on October 6, it was far, far more than that...as it should have been. If the new lay leadership wants to mirror the old, where "inconvenient truth tellers" are ushered out because the new leadership wants to control "truth," then we are headed down the same path to nowhere.
So....I'm thinking: why is it that some "leader" of The Federations of North America just can't get beyond the vendettas and the recriminations? One of my friends reminded me of the exchange in Mike Nichols' Charlie Wilson's War: "Why does Congress say one thing and do another?" Congressman Wilson's response: "Tradition, mainly." At JFNA, this "tradition" of vendetta and ostracism, this "tradition" of intolerance of dissent and debate needs to stop now.
It's a real pity for all that this kind of stuff portends for the future.