~ Resolution. To assure that in the New Year I will offend fewer, I have resolved to eliminate from all future Posts the following colloquialisms: It's not over until the Fat Lady sings, An elephant never forgets, A camel is a horse designed by a Committee, A cow jumped over the moon, A pig in a poke, You can lead a horse to water....But I am going to add a new one: All's well that ends....
~ Now for something completely sort of different. This will merely reinforce the knowledge you have that I am, among other things, a dinosaur. Anyone else out there remember when the General Assembly was among the most exciting days of the year? When it was about the federations? Now, I read that Jerry has invited a variety of social justice organizations (G-d bless 'em) to create an agenda, and, surely, the social media will be the preoccupation of some. The federations? Oh, them. Never mind.
~ The GA/LOJE Costs. Let's say that you are a leader in your federation's Women's Philanthropy, a Lion of Judah, and you would like to attend the ILOJE Conference and the GA. It will cost you $900 at the "early bird" rate (that expires momentarily if it hasn't already). Yes, it's totally insane. One would have to evaluate the return on investment and question, is this the best way to invest my philanthropic dollar? While JFNA's leaders may think so, what is effectively happening is that the "event" begins to override financial commitment to the "cause" for which our federations and JFNA were created. Those who fail to understand this just don't comprehend that the costs of the ILOJE Conference (plus the GA), going in (including conservatively $350 for air, and $750 for hotel for three nights, plus meals) is $2500. And where does that $2500 come from? I think we know; I don't believe JFNA's leaders care.
On the subject of the GA. Have you looked at the Draft Program lately? Name speakers? Scintillating scholarship? Anything excite you? I hear that a "comedian" has been invited.
~ Heroes and Branding. The #ish "scoreboard" seems to be stuck at 2800 or so. Is this success? Not even Chabad seems the least bit interested. But, no doubt, there will be great interest at Chabad in unleashing its social network to chase down the Second Annual JFNA Heroes Award. And, all of this, after no disclosure by JFNA's expert "marketeers" of the value to the federations of the First Annual JFNA Heroes Award. 500,000 "votes" -- and, just what did that mean? Ask your federation just how many new e-mail addresses they have received from JFNA from the pursuit of Heroes. You know, e-mail addresses of those other than Chabadniks? But, Heroes marches on. Now it is JewishHeroes.org -- apparently a subsidiary of JFNA. In fact, while JFNA has been all about the brand, now it is all about...Heroes. You can't be serious!! (And, 70,000 "votes" and counting!!)
~ One of the Friends of the Blog with great insights into our Federation system responded to the Post Could We Stage Operation Exodus Today?:
"They (JFNA's leaders) haven't been able to host a Board meeting with more than 1/3 of the 'owners' (at best). How could they launch a national campaign? Now 'staging', that has many different meanings."
Touche. Should have substituted "Mount" for "Stage" because these leaders can "stage" anything.
~ One can but wonder at the purposes and goals of the New Israel Fund. The Forward reported in its August 27 edition that the NIF currently funds organization(s) "...that do not accept...the notion of Israel as a Jewish state" but, now, may no longer wish to do so. The NIF was reported to be "considering" new conditions for its grant-making. Remarkable.
~ I won't disclose the "recommendations" emanating from the JFNA "Summit" on Israel and overseas needs in part because JFNA's leadres, as part of their lack of transparency have demanded "confidentiality" with the implicit threat of expulsion.. But I can disclose the futility of the Chairs' "selection process" for the two-day meeting. Dissatisfied, apparently, with the JFNA Executive Committee membership -- after all, it's membership is established by JFNA's By-Laws but deploying the Executive Committee for this purpose would have meant that the Chair of the Executive would have presided. Never mind. So, at the meeting you had alongside responsible federations those which allocated 16.7%, 14.3%, 6.7%, one so low it's not even reported. Then, one invitee, a terrific leader, was listed as a Vice-Chair of the federation that person "represented," is not even on its Board. Another attempt to create "consensus" out of nothing instead of driving consensus toward something.
Just keep paying your Dues, folks, demanding nothing and getting less.