Sunday, May 16, 2010


Two beggars are sitting side-by-side on a street corner in Boston. One has a cross in front of him and the other one has the Magen David, the Star of David. Many people go by, look at both beggars, but only put money in the hat of the beggar sitting behind the cross.

A priest comes by, stops and watches as throngs of people give money to the beggar behind the cross...but none to the beggar behind the Star of David. Finally, exasperated, the priest goes over to the beggar sitting behind the Magen David and says: "My poor fellow, don't you understand? This is a Catholic city. People aren't going to give you money of you sit there with a Star of David in front of you...especially when you're sitting beside someone who has a cross in front of him. In fact, they will probably give more to him just out of spite."

The beggar with the Magen David then turns to the other beggar with the cross and says: "Jerry, look who's trying to teach the Silverman brothers about marketing."



Naftali said...

Not sure I get your point here. Are you saying the JFNA marketing team and its consultants are the two beggars using legitimate marketing techniques for new constituent engagement, and you are the confused and ignorant priest criticizing them without really understanding what they are doing? How refreshingly humble and gracious of you!

RWEX said...

Well, "Naftali," you really got me there, didn't you? Having read your Comments to the "#ish" Post and now this one, I have a question for you: to be part of a "marketing team and its consultants" (WOW, you have "consultants," too??!!), aren't you required to have a semblance of reading comprehension skills?

Guess not...

Anonymous said...


I guess JFNA decided they needed a new "shil" to counter your voice. After all, Naftali is a former UJC marketing guy who probably still holds a consulting contract or two with his former employer.

How wonderfully transparent. (NOT!)

Anonymous said...

If it is true that Naftali once worked and may still be on contract with UJC then there is a bigger problem at work. No its not conflict of interest or being self serving. Its how could an employee/contractor of the Federation system be so so ignorant of the culture and processes of local federation challenges and practice? The heroes campaign and now this piece of ish are downright shandehs that discount and undermine the promotion of the amazing work being done by Federations, increasingly in concert with synagogues, on grass roots levels across North America. Tell the story of how Federations do the Jewish heavy lifting not just the feel good nice little projects. Naftali and his buddies should have been figuring out how to sell that!

Naftali said...

Last post here...I promise to let you all resume the fantasy of being experts on everything Federation, including best practices in digital relationship marketing for national cause based organizations in 2010.

RWEX, really? Ignoring the substance of the debate and issuing a personal attack criticizing my reading comprehension? Sounds like a lawyer who knows he just lost the case. I'm glad to see you are choosing your battles and have moved on to a new post for today.

Anonymous 1, since I have publicly announced who I am, I invite you to set up time to come call me a shil to my face. I have had absolutely zero professional contact with JFNA since I left 1.5 years ago. Your remark about transparency is certainly ironic given your anonymous status.

Anonymous 2, as per the note above there is no conflict here. I am only defending the work of the talented pros on UJC's marketing team and explaining to an audience of marketing lay people the value of social media initiatives as part of larger marketing strategy. They augment, not replace, the more substantive JFNA marketing pieces like shmaltzy campaign videos and glossy case for giving brochures. Different marketing goals are achieved through different tactics. What's the problem?

Remember folks, this is not about antipathy towards Howard, Joe, Kathy or Jerry. It's not about major policy decisions, dues, or overseas allocations. It's about the marketing pros at JFNA applying principles and best practices and trying new things to compete with other non-profits (who are also experimenting with social media, BTW). The out of hand, uninformed dismissal of their work is just plain mean.

Goodbye friends, it's been fun chatting with all of you!!!

- Naftali Goldsmith

Anonymous said...

All press is said to be good and one can guess that the play this ishy initiative got in the NYT today is a coup of sorts. However we all know that articles are pitched and placed and it would have been nice to pitch and place something our movement does with greater gravitas. But congrats to someone is probably in order.

Anonymous said...

Hooray, Naftali! It's nice to read a strong, dissenting opinion on Richard's blog. He's a sharp guy, to be sure, but so full of shit sometimes. Unfortunately, what started as a personal vendetta has become a cottage industry. He must enjoy all the attention he's generated as critic in chief of all things federation.

... still i admit to to being a reader!*

*albeit anonymously - i'd sooner die than have my name attached to this blog


My #ish is really a w#ish that JFNA would get a little "tuchus offen t#ish" with its r#ish wouldn't have to b#ish. It makes me wanna p#ish. I'd rather eat a kn#ish and mot have to m#ishe around so much with th#is.