Thursday, July 1, 2010


~ JFNA has been promoting the revival of Regional Campaign "Ignition" meetings to be held across the country this Summer. These "2011 Annual Campaign Kick-Offs" as they are termed are, if I get it, a means of reintroducing the national organization into the Annual Campaign "game" after a long absence. The question is...just how?

Is it going to be the newly-arrived Paul Kane articulating the "Case for Giving" as they did in New York City or will these meetings proceed with an intro from National Campaign Chair, Michael Lebovitz of Chattanooga, then a bunch of consultants? Where and who are the lay leaders for these "events?" Are they too being recruited now?

~ Like you, I received the JFNA announcement of the opening of Registration for the November New Orleans GA in a Leadership Briefing. It is not until one gets into the body of the Registration link that you will find the price -- $625.00!!!! and that's for early registration!!!! (In case you've forgotten as I did, last year's "early" registration was $575.) If you register by August 6, you get this "discounted" fee -- register after August 6? $695. So, don't wait.

I remember at JFNA'a onset the internal agony over a $495 Registration. Now, no agony over $700 -- pardon me -- $695 -- and that's $5.00 less than on-site Registration for the 2009 DC GA. So, this is a real bargain. There is much one could write -- but OMG will do. Apparently it is "never mind" when it comes to the cost of Jewish organizational participation for you and me. And, in the Budget, JFNA deleted a $500,000 GA subsidy and its leaders "expect" 4,000 to 5,000 registrants for New Orleans -- they must have very wealthy friends...a lot of them. (When I had the temerity to question the Registration Fee, with great sarcasm a JFNA leader asked if I needed a loan.)

It happens that at the same time as the JFNA notice that registration is now open, I received the announcement of this year's ABA Convention -- registration $470.00 (with a scaled down cost for those who don't wish to participate in the entire Convention). Then there is JNF -- inviting registration to their National Conference -- early Registration? $395 per person, $700 per couple!! (Regular Registration after the early-bird, $425 per person.)

Do the JFNA party planners actually talk with participants before pricing? The cost of the GA has gotten completely out of so much else. Let them eat cake, I guess. The GA Registration website asks for "Feedback" -- here's mine: "Are you crazy?"

~ With some kudos to JFNA, a recent Leadership Briefing discussed Federation Partners Care for Kyrgyzstan Crisis Deepens. The prior professional leadership couldn't bring itself to give credit to JDC and JAFI for their incredible work on the ground; this leadership does. Kal ha'kavod.

~ After Chicago's top lay and professional leaders visited Haiti on our federation's behalf, JFNA included their brilliant report in a Connection Briefing, and we suggested that this kind of visit is exactly what our national organization should be doing. That took place two months ago. Just received an invite along with you to participate in a national Mission to Haiti -- three little Missions in fact (and one of them was already sold out). Better late than never. We call this "progress."


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