The UJA-Federation of New York announced that its October 2009 Greenberg Event was the most successful fund-raising event in its history raising $43 million in pledges. And, don't take this the wrong way, that is a major achievement worthy of accolades under any circumstance -- but, especially this year. However, the $43 million in pledges was identical to the mount announced last year -- no more, no less.
Whether it is fund raising achievement or attendance at GA's, or at federation events, we are a People who seem taken with hyperbole. This caused me to think back to a different time. Before his tragic and sudden death, our incredible Chicago Campaign Director, Joel Shinsky, z'l, and I would drive into downtown Chicago together every day. I used to get the monthly UJA city-by-city campaign data. One Large City federation used to amaze me with their monthly announcements of card-by-card increases -- 18%-20% weren't unusual. I used to harass Joel -- "How could _________ be doing so well and we are showing a paltry 8% increase?" Between puffs on his ever-present cigarette, Joel would dismiss me with a "Wait until the end of the year." "But," I would brilliantly rejoin. "Just wait," Joel would say, biting into his morning doughnut. And, the year-end would come, Chicago would be up 8% and __________ would announce a flat campaign (and later we would learn that "flat" meant "down"). "Any questions?" Joel would ask me. "No," I would whisper back.
What does all of this suggest? To me, transparency, truth-telling. Is there a manual some where that dictates that our system must hide or embellish the facts? I doubt it, but some continue to behave that way. Remember "the truth will set you free."