Tuesday, August 10, 2010


I registered for the General Assembly just in time to take advantage of the bargain price of $625 (or so I thought. Shortly thereafter, JFNA announced that the "early bird" date had been extended for a month.). It wasn't easy. Went to the GA Registration Website, entered the critical data, and couldn't charge the Registration Fee to my credit card -- some glitch. Went back on the website later only to find that I had been registered but showing that I have made no payment. I couldn't link to the payment portion try as I might. But, only a few hours later, I was contacted by JFNA's vendor who enabled my payment over the phone.

I registered even though I had just read the latest GA "alert" -- Be Part of the Jewish Future. I don't know who writes this stuff but the fair implication of this kind of tag line is that is you're not at the GA (which in terms of price is beyond outrageous) you aren't "part of the Jewish Future." And, further, the GA is to be the place this year for the "first-ever Jewish Futures Conference." The big name speaker at this Conference within the GA? Ori Brafman. What has he written (for those, like me, unawares)? The Starfish and the Spider: The Unstoppable Power of Leaderless Organizations. Perfect -- because that is surely JFNA's tagline as well. (Except for the "unstoppable power" part.) I am beginning to wonder whether to be a speaker at a JFNA "Event" -- the JLF, the regional Campaign Kick-offs. the May Board meetings, you have to be a "FOJ" -- a friend of Jerry's? And, is that enough?

So, at the GA we are going to "...reimagine our communal future." But, later in this 3 paragraph piece wherein... we're also told that you have to attend "...so you can be part of history." What an event -- "part of the Jewish future" and "part of history" at one and the same time!!! And all for $625 per Registrant -- ooops, make that $695 after September 7 -- the now "extended early bird registration" date.

What else? Some federation leaders have found that when they went to register at the main GA Hotels they were blocked with access to rooms only at the JW Marriott. Some might think -- great, the GA is a sell-out!! They would probably be wrong. My guess --JFNA, in its infinite wisdom has blocked a significant number of rooms at what might be your preferred hotel for favored large city federations who have estimated their room needs and for the LOJE Conference. So, if you're not allowed in to the hotel of your choice, join us elsewhere, because, you're just out of luck. Or maybe not.

See you there.


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