The GA from a distance...
~ Protesters added excitement to the GA on Monday. Five protesters identified as from some alleged Peace organization, but, in reality, they were of us and from us, rose up, one by one, to disrupt Prime Minister Netanyahu's speech, protesting the "Loyalty Oath" legislation in Israel. Each was quickly hustled off by security until the last, a woman, who was dragged to the floor by a purported member of the JFNA Young Leadership Cabinet from San Antonio. Gosh, in the halcyon days of yore, the YLC was dedicated to raising money.
The Prime Minister, of course, was non-plussed, he's heard worse, but in an organization dedicated to no dissent, even to its suppression, the last of these protesters was dragged to the floor. Somehow this is consistent with the culture that we have created. At one and the same time, protest, usually in a more mild form, has been part of many General Assemblies. We should all be reminded that as some patronize and pander to the younger generations, these are men and women of substance and knowledge who reject the "kisses" being blown at them in a constant stream from JFNA's leaders. Oh, well.
~ I heard the Philanthropic Resources Chair (nee National Campaign Chair) plug Tribefest totally devoid of any substance whatsoever. This has been JFNA's consistent practice. Link to the JFNA's promo for Tribefest -- a guy in a suit in a hot tub inviting you, if you're young enough, to "come to the desert." Luckily for them, the promoters of this embarrassment have no sense of shame. There are probably a bunch of dedicated folk walking the hallways in New Orleans with big Tribefest buttons on and if you ask them "what's Tribefest" they will answer "join us at the party." Ask them what's going to be on the agenda and they will roll their eyes and walk away...because they don't have a clue.
~ Then there is the revised Fair Share Dues Resolution. Presented with basically a two sentence desultory "summary" by the currently ubiquitous Steven Silverman (as Financial Relations Committee Chair) and, as usual, no questions from those gathered for the meeting, some substantive highlights were left out. For example: the amendment adds the potential for a "payment plan" from a federation under-paying its Dues (although this had been possible for years, JFNA has now codified a practice in which it has been engaged since the consideration of "hardship" has been side-tracked); curiously, as written, constituency membership (Women's Philanthropy, YLC) will no longer be terminated for those from federations whose membership terminates -- only the subsidies will be taken away for, e.g., missions or events (this was clearly the application of the Law of Unintended Consequences -- for it will be far easier to terminate membership of a federation in default if membership in the constituencies can continue for those participating); and then there is the futility of terminating membership eligibility on the JAFI Board and Committees for leaders from a terminated federation -- failing to understand that with the JAFI Governance changes enacted last year, JAFI will choose its own Board members going forward and may or may not accept UIA/JFNA recommendations.
~ On a "lighter" note, the use of the word "robust" needs to be exorcised from the JFNA leaders' lexicon. Never has there been a word as abused as has been "robust" -- all of us will accept that everything at JFNA is "robust." Let that be the end of it (though I doubt it).
I guess you just had to be there.