Monday, January 25, 2010


Another meeting -- this one in Dallas -- with a new set of lay and professional leaders. But little seems to have changed...and, yet, so much has.

Let's get caught up: In advance of the meetings (barely) which began last night, JFNA (and this leadership is now using the previously proscribed initials) distributed brief papers on the "five areas of focus" for discussion today. Some are terribly brief, but in them are the kernels of ideas of a meaningful organization Those dealing with the "power of the collective" reduce the critical concept to minimal programs (a "Survivors Campaign," "convening by region"?); but, focusing on real programs to attempt to attract the next generation is a national organization trying to be just that. The most telling paper, with some meat on the bones, is that dedicated to "Israel and Overseas Advocacy and Engagement" -- it is about time. I am excited by the possibilities.

Multiple informants from the scene have advised that the meetings began with an incredible academic speech on philanthropy by one with no connection to or apparent understanding of the federation system. I am told that many walked out in disgust, others sat in amazement. Then a Panel on which sat a Large City Federation Exec who joined the system but weeks ago but still has sufficient experience in those few weeks to criticize and debase the "product" offering succor to those in the audience who have given up on the federation concept. How sad.

Then, there are those Committee, Work Group, Task Force meetings. We'll report on the Budget and Finance Committee "revelations" in the days ahead.



Anonymous said...

Where has all the product gone
long time passing
Where has all the product gone
long time ago
where has all the product gone
replaced by marketeers everyone
When will we ever learn
When will be ever learn!

Anonymous said...

I will 'assume' that the two-week wonder is the new LA Fed exec.

His first public statement carried in the local Jewish press also did not go over very well: "The strength of this community lies in its professionals, and for far too long, frankly, you have not had enough say in the way this community has been run.”

Anonymous said...

right, and now let us assume this most talented professional will go out and canvass his entire metro region without even an assist from his board.

RWEX said...


When I was the Managing Partner of my law firm, I would advise those lawyers who merged their practices into our firm to ease themselves into their new partnership by listening and observing in those first few weeks. Those who listened successfully integrated into the firm, those who didn't earned reputations ranging from "blowhard" to "buffoon."

Anonymous said...


I find it fascinating that the official communication from UJC does not list the name of the consultant. What are they hiding?

Trustees also participated in a panel discussion on "The Future of Philanthropy" moderated by Professor Joel Fleishman, Professor of Law and Public Policy, and Director of the Heyman Center on Ethics, Public Policy and the Professions at Duke University. Panelists included Jay Sanderson, President and CEO at the Jewish Federation of Greater Los Angeles; Cynthia Shapira, United Jewish Federation of Greater Pittsburgh, and an independent management consultant for non-profit organizations and Jaynie Schultz, Vice President of Garrett Creek Ranch Conference Center in Paradise, Texas and a partner in Retreat Central, a new company helping summer camps enhance off-season revenue through sales and marketing.

RWEX said...

I'm sorry -- what "consultant" and for what purpose(s)?

Anonymous said...

You mentioned that they had a consultant who had no clue about the Federation system. In the JFNA communication about the meeting they identified all the speakers but left out the consultant's name. It just says "and an independent management consultant for non-profit organizations." Why don't they name the consultant.

Anonymous said...

Shapira is the consultant -- note the lack of a semi-colon after her first title at the federation.