Tuesday, May 11, 2010


Hello, JFNA, it's time to wake up!!! Don't hit that Snooze Alarm again. One of the Friends of the Blog wrote me a while back: "JFNA has to save the collective but individual Federations have to save themselves and I'm afraid that too many are still doing work based on our historic legacy but not on the future of the Jewish People." Strong stuff -- but in the months that have intervened between my friend's note and today, JFNA's leaders have abandoned their responsibility to the collective out of fear of a rebellion from some critical dues-paying federations and more.

The "more" is my sense that JFNA must be there side-by-side with federations working together on not only the "historic legacy" but, as well, on the "future" -- the points at which the future of the Jewish People and the future of federations intertwine. But JFNA can't. Why? Because there is no one in the leadership of JFNA who has a real clue, from experience, engagement or involvement, of what the concept, the construct really means. When and where there is no such understanding, it is truly "bowling alone," every donor for himself/herself, every federation for itself, and, worse, the Joint feeding the frenzy of "going it alone."

In the weeks ahead, I will be writing about the effect of the Jewish Federations of North America's reduction of the concept of collective responsibility to such a minimum...beyond such a minimum...as to make a mockery of this concept that has been that which distinguishes our annual campaigns and allocations from all other charities and philanthropies. This is exactly the outcome that occurs when there is a knowledge void at the top. What we need are our voices to be heard for JFNA's moral position; a position that may no longer exist.

And just who is going to lead this effort, if the effort ever takes place?

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