At the Jewish Federations of North America there is an obsession with "tables."
You may recall that at the "Federation Leadership Institute" in Winter 2009, attended by those representing a little more than 1/3 of the federations, the then Chair of the Executive, now the Board Chair, attempted to find a consensus on allocations to JAFI and the Joint where there was none. The "consensus" she conjured was in support of something called "planning tables" to assess needs. Nobody knew what these "planning tables" would be, who would be sitting around them -- in fact they were undefined. In the JFNA 2011 Budget, this conjured consensus morphed into facts on the ground when $250,000 was budgeted for them. This is what passes for "decision making" at JFNA.
We move on. In its announcement of the great news that the Conversion Bill has been put "on hold" for 6 months thanks to the efforts of the Prime Minister within the governmental coalition, the efforts of Natan Sharansky and JAFI and the agreement of the Reform and Conservative Movements not to pursue issues before the Israeli courts for a like period, the JFNA CEO and President also announced his hope that there would now be a "dialogue table" at which the federations would be represented to...to...represent you or me? And represented by just who exactly?
So, we have a "planning table," hope for a "dialogue table" and, in the meantime, how about a kitchen table, yada, yada, yada. One thing for certain...these guys love tables.