My Post on the failure of the EDP has generated some very thoughtful Anonymous responses (you can read all of them at the EDP Post) and a raft of private e-mails to your author. Here is a sampling:
~ Questioning whether Jerry Silverman and Jay Sanderson, LA's new CEO, were truly "outsiders" (given that both had "...been in and around the Jewish world -- Jerry at the Camp "thing" ["a prominent Jewish organization"] and Jay with the JTN. one Anonymous corespondent argues: "The insider/outsider label is silly. It's sadly typical of lay leadership to latch on to what what seems to them a miracle cure (and of course a cure that leaves their stewardship unscrutinized, as if but for the exec their ship would be at full sail instead of taking on water). As if only the insider exec is what's keeping the federation from success. So the outsider is the flavor of the month. Guess what -- our issues do not lend themselves to flavor of the month solutions."
~ The first Anonymous Commentator to the Post offered real insights about the EDP: "The issue of Federation 'outsider' vs. 'insider' continues to ring true in CEO searches. My impression is that most communities are seeking people from 'outside the system' (new ideas, new views, not stuck in the same old ways, etc.) yet name three federations where those individuals have had long-term success? A 'federation lifer' should be an asset to the system, not a negative. And JFNA...should push those individuals."
He/she offered a superb idea. Recognizing that growth communities will soon join the Top 44 federations if not the Large Cities, "[W]hy shouldn't emphasis be placed on getting top talent (perhaps these EDP graduates) to lead those emerging communities?" Going further, the Commentator observed of the LCE -- "...if they are so good at what they do, leave their long-time homes and challenge themselves to build up these emerging communities. There is a real challenge for you!"
~ Another Anonymous author offered insights as an EDP graduate: "Until the Federation system establishes an agreed upon mission and focuses on what it can do best (with the support of its constituency), it will be a waste of time to try to train people for positions which are undefined and in constant flux. Communal dollars will be best spent on developing mid-level professionals and on efforts that address recruitment and retention."
This professional stated further: "I continue to serve the Jewish community professionally. With more support (not dollars) from the system, I would still be a Federation Executive and mentor to others as I am nationally."
~ One piece of private correspondence sums up the writer's feelings and those of others: "I sit in amazement, just like you, that this is the sad state of my field. Trust me, I could tell you even more from my own personal/professional viewpoint about all of this..."
Sadly, friends, there is so much more to tell...but at JFNA there appears to be no one listening. Our money is wasted by an organization without focus or understanding.