Some of you, maybe a few, will know that Milton Bradley (the baseball player not the game maker) is a well-traveled major league baseball player who played for the Chicago Cubs last year. He was such a disastrous teammate that, in every instance of his own making -- tearing up a dugout, thinking there were two outs tossing a ball into the stands, being thrown out of game after game by the umpires and more -- he would blame everyone but himself. With weeks to go in the 2009 Season Cubs management told him not to show up at the ball park; he was traded to the Seattle Mariners where this Spring he has continued his behavior and blamed the Chicago media for "running me out of town" and then sought refuge and aid in anger management. Apparently his former teammates celebrated when Bradley was told by Cubs management not to return.
What, you may ask, does this have to do with the Jewish Federations of North America? When Milton Bradley was suspended last fall, the Cubs pitcher Ryan Dempster was quoted as saying: "It probably became one of those things where -- you're putting the blame on everybody else. Sometimes you've got to look in the mirror and realize that maybe the biggest part of the problem is yourself."
Dempster's admonition applies equally not just to Milton Bradley but to all of us -- and within the "all" those who don't even believe there is a problem at Jewish Federations of North America. And the "those" I am writing about are some of our lay leaders. These are the few who govern the many in the same way that Hugo Chavez rules Venezuela except they can't lock up those who dissent, instead they lock out.