Friday, November 27, 2009


Let us review the status of this Blog:

~ During the Rieger-Kanfer "period" an edict was issued from on high at 111 Eighth Avenue continuing on to the current address that no one at The Jewish Federations of North America f/k/a UJC was permitted to read UJThee and Me. (This was to apparently exclude the then President and CEO, who had been an "avid reader.") I thank the "leaders" who attempted to censor the professional staff for making this Blog the daily most widely read within the four walls of the organization -- and in the D.C. and Sherman Oaks offices. My thanks to each of you who risked some form of retribution by even reading what I've written and, even more so, those of you who have written and called me in confidence with your insights, encouragement, corrections and observations. We will continue.

~ We have chronicled the failures of the past ("what we have here is a failure to communicate" among other failures) and our hopes for the future "under new management." Last year, when one federation leader, among others, told the then Chair of the Executive, now the "new" Board Chair, that he learned most of what he knew of UJC's activities in the Posts of this Blog, Kathy replied, with good sarcasm and real humor: "...then you must be completely misinformed." We'll try to do better, Kathy. We promise.

~ Over the past weeks many of those who have sent Comments to the Posts, in anonymity or by name, have offered some important insights and critical thinking (not the Anonymous mailer [who really isn't very anonymous at all] who offers nothing but personal insults, most of which I have rejected). I have brought some of these Comments directly to the attention of UJC's new professional and lay leaders because I want them to succeed to the same extent, and more, than their predecessors failed us...and themselves.

~ In a TIME Magazine cover story -- Why Main Street Hates Wall Street -- the writers offered a characterization that would fit squarely with the prior leadership: "Too many people (were) acting in an arrogant, clueless and tone-deaf way." That leadership, now in our collective rear-view mirror, paid no price for their actions which now encumber The Jewish Federations of North America; the price was paid and is being paid by the federations, our donors and the new leadership "team" and by those who were the consequential victims -- long-time employees terminated, dedicated professionals terminated, lay and professional leaders from the federations pushed out for nothing more than raising questions.

Those who constructively criticize this Blog -- please continue. Those who criticize this Blog by misconstruing it to their own ends -- remember my motto comes from Bill Parcells and is, therefore, a football adage equally applicable to this Blog: "You are what the record says you are."

We look to the new present and to the future with confidence that the new lay and professional leaders of The Jewish Federations of North America will seize the day. May the day soon arrive when I have no more about which to write.



David said...

Hi Richard even though I've been out of the system for a year and a half I've enjoyed reading your blog. There was a lot of press this past week in Israel regarding the JDC refusing to accept the traditional "split". What do you think of this? What should the role of the UJC now Federations of NA be?

RWEX said...


I am terribly saddened that the leaders of the Joint, in what was following a communications strategy planned before the GA just passed, chose to walk away from an agreement it had reached only weeks earlier, and at a time that the leaders of The Jewish Federations of North America had just concluded a second meeting with JAFI and JDC that held out the promise of a new advocacy effort.

I will have more to say on the subject next week.

Anonymous said...

This blog feels more like TMZ or Perez Hilton than a serious policy forum, but I'm glad that you're impressed with yourself, Richard.

I'm also amused by the way you constantly refer to your "mass" readership, including former UJC leaders and those anonymous critics you "know." Please note that this doesn't come across well. If anything it paints you as an insecure and obsessive child rather than a serious and mature thinker.

...and for the record, I am not one of the "targets" of this blog.

Happy Thanksgiving

RWEX said...

Dear Readers,

The "Comment" that follows is replete with Psych 101 observations that typify this "Anonymous" commentator's critique.