Friday, November 5, 2010


Of course, though it appears much is happening that turns out to be not so much...

~ HEROES? The "finalists" of Heroes 2 have been identified and they all appear to be "heroes" totally disconnected from our federations or our federation agencies...again!! As others have pointed out far better than I, no federation leaders, no women. You judge -- although you're not one of the judges, are you?

~ THE MASORTI LETTER. JFNA's fiction department went into overdrive just before Shabbat on October 29. Reacting to a letter from the Masorti Movement to its constituents questioning why the GA lacked programming on religious pluralism in Israel, with a focus on the Conversion legislation, the Board Chair wrote JFNA's constituency emphasizing a single scheduled GA panel (in other words, religious pluralism in Israel rises to the same level of JFNA attention as Heroes or #ish or a comedian) on the legislation and emphasizing JFNA's "successful effort" in keeping that legislation "...from being brought to the Knesset..." Another "victory" misstatement. Look, JFNA deserves credit for Jerry Silverman's work with JAFI in opposition to the legislation, as the Masorti Movement pointed out, JFNA "played an important and constructive role," but (1) does the Board Chair have a clue what has been going on in Israel -- the attempts to nullify even Orthodox conversions of those in the IDF and the continuing efforts to deligitimize the Conservative and Reform Rabbinate; and (2) that the Rotem Bill was in fact "brought to the Knesset?" Hello!!! Are "victories" for JFNA so few, that even positive episodes need to be over-stated? Rhetorical question.

~ TERRORISTS. Instead of the reflexive hyperbole in which JFNA seems to be trapped by its desire to claim as its own the temporary "triumph" of a six month "postponement" in the Conversion legislation, while JFNA was busy extolling its own "virtues," and patting itself on its own back, American Jewry and, specifically, my Federation were dealing with the terrorists' bombing threats to Chicago Jewish institutions delivered from Yemeni terrorists apparently directly tied to Al Queda. All Synagogues and Jewish institutions in Chicago were alerted through our national system's and our federation's rapid response security mechanism ("SCAN") -- one that Chicago's Facilities Corporation leadership helped then UJC under Steve Hoffman's leadership to structure -- a national security alert system for JFNA. In this instance that continental "early warning system" was in play. And, like the "successful" discovery of the terrorists' attempt to strike Jewish institutions in, at the least, Chicago, this was a true continental success. But, JFNA was preoccupied with the Masorti message. Veiyezmir.

~ TRIBEFEST. Apparently some will just print whatever JFNA tells them. For example, in The Fundermentalist's report on the GA, he took time to reflect on Tribefest. Someone at JFNA obviously informed him that there are already 1,600 registrants for the Fest -- unfortunately, the Tribefest link on JFNA's website reports that registration won't begin until sometime this month. But, a visit to that Tribefest link is worthwhile if for no other reason than to see visually how JFNA will attract young men and women to a federation-sponsored "event." Sad, sordid and insulting. It's not about substance or content. The hook seems to be hot tubs, bathing suits and booze. I'm so proud. My grandsons in high school have more content in their BBYO activities.


1 comment:

Anonymous said...

So a brief session on religious pluralism, a vague nod to the issues of the Jewish poor and middle class economic struggles --whose minds are driving our national agenda? Have we moved from serving Jews where its most needed to pandering to the latest fad of the so called cutting edge foundations and their obsession with start ups. The growing social gap in Israel? hardly as important as why teenage boys are rebellious and disconnected... As Mr. Wexler would say, "you can't make this stuff up!"