~ Under the heading "who writes this stuff?" comes from JFNA (vu den?) in the form of a Leadership Briefing on an otherwise excellent Young Leadership Mission to Israel -- JFNA'S NATIONAL YOUNG LEADERSHIP EMBARK ON SUMMER MISSION TO ISRAEL. As one of my dear friends wrote to me, the Briefing stated: "Federations fund this life saving work through our main overseas partners, including the American Jewish Joint Distribution Committee and the Jewish Agency for Israel." Can JFNA not find the koach to just say "our partners, JAFI and JDC and World ORT" and just delete "main" and "including." I missed it on first reading as I was too focused on the sentence "...participants will be asked to contribute a voluntary minimum gift of $500.." I recognize that this Mission is a National Young Leadership one -- but this toilet training fund raising which JFNA sets forth with apparent timidity and reluctance ("voluntary minimum gift of $500") is exactly why there is no confidence in JFNA's ability to mount a national campaign of any kind.
~ The second year "graduates" of the EDP (see the earlier EDP Posts) concluded their "voluntary reunion" meetings in Chicago June 28-29. Jerry came and told them of the "new focus" of JFNA -- sure wish he would tell us!! Sounded to me as if Jerry went through the litany of his "five focus areas" -- which always sound so good until one reads 56 pages of program narratives in the 2011 Budget and understands that, in fact, there is no focus. It's marketing, it's the message, it's...well, nothing.
~ Here's a good one -- in the "it's not business, it's personal" category. JFNA created an "Honorary 20th Anniversary Commemoration of the Exodus Committee" or some equally long title. It's a long list; many of my friends are on it. Joel Tauber chairs the Honorary Committee. While I chaired the National Conference on Soviet Jewry during the time of the Exodus, and then Chaired the UJA National Operation Exodus Campaign itself, I didn't make the cut. Not on it. Asked Jerry: "What the hell is this all about?" He told me that this is Kathy's bailiwick. Asked Kathy: "It was Joel's decision." (Sure!) I didn't bother asking Joel. So I will take solace in Co-Chairing Chicago's Commemoration Committee dedicated to the historic achievement that was and is the Exodus. (BTW, Harvey is on the national Committee as he should be, recognized for his activism.) This is JFNA at its continuing vendetta best.
~ On July 1, in another Leadership Briefing, JFNA LEADERS JOIN OBAMA TO SIGN IRAN SANCTIONS INTO LAW, JFNA pointed out that the only lay "leader" present for the White House event was the JFNA Board Chair. Once again, an opportunity to highlight a major donor or another JFNA leader (psssst, I understand that the Chair of the Executive lives in Washington) was ignored. Worse, in my opinion, major Federations have funded the bi-partisan effort to impose sanctions on Iran, first with the idea to do so, and then with major funding -- might not one of those leaders have been invited rather than the ubiquitous Board Chair (who finds the time to visit the White House but no time to engage with the Federation owners of JFNA)?
~ I have been saddened that so many of the friends of the Blog, now that Obama has masked his prior anti-Israel statements with an embrace of Prime Minister Netanyahu. join their endorsement of the screed of those like Glick with an attack on the President for, of all things, not responding to the idiocy of his appearance on The View to a question "Does Mel Gibson need anger management?" with a response attacking Gibson's anti-semitism. Hate Obama much? Then, in one of the Blogs, there is the resurrection of the Obama-Khalidi connection citing, among other sources, a 2008 website. Instead, why not just cite Paul Krugman's brilliant analysis in the New York Times on July 30 -- too balanced for you?
~ There's no "quit" at JFNA when it comes to wasting our resources. With so little money for critical matters, JFNA remains hell bent on investing our dollars in more advertising -- as if more ads will "rescue" #ish from its place as another footnote to JFNA's sad history. Take a look at http://wejew.com/media/9049/What_is_your_Ish - The Chinese Restaurant. Clever ad (although Justice Kagan did a better job...for free). WeJew is a Jewish video sharing website -- big among the Twitter crowd I guess. If JFNA were as tenacious on things that matter, we would be in a better place...I think.
~ The Future of the Jewish Non-Profit Summit was held last week in New York City. As Gary Rosenblatt, who attended the Summit, wrote "One-Man Effort Outpaces the Organized Jewish Community." Sad but true. And William Daroff was there to twit about his tweeting and another JFNA professional bragged on the self-styled "success" of the JFNA "Heroes" Program. I am sure it was a great conference. For JFNA it appears to be a case of "in the face of defeat (or is it "da tweet") declare victory no matter the reality."
~ Finally, and on a related topic, JFNA has a critical reporting role in the Chelsea Clinton nuptials. In a Tablet article (Will She Convert? or something like that) it was reported that the ubiquitous and constantly tweeting William Daroff tweeted the critical news that he was on a flight from NYC to DCA on which Hillary Clinton was a fellow passenger. WOW!! And at that Summit, Daroff bragged on how his Twitter picture of Hillary on his plane was picked up on Politico.com. William's the brand!!