Wednesday, December 1, 2010


It's probably just me (although a number of you have written me privately to raise the question). I ought to be happy that JFNA has chosen to eulogize and offer epitaphs for many great leaders on their passing. But I find it outrageous that these tributes usually include a statement from a JFNA lay or professional leader who knew them not extolling the virtues of the deceased as if they were the closest of friends. OK, so it's nice that the deceased are recognized in this way but, when there are those who were either the professional partners of these leaders or the closest of friends still living and leading wouldn't it be more appropriate for those to be quoted?

Examples abound -- when Marty Kraar, z'l, lost his battle with pancreatic cancer last month, there was a very generous quote from Jerry Silverman about Marty's lifelong dedication (and how he was a mentor to Jerry) to community and people when, among so many others, Connie Giles, the JCPA Chair, who chaired CJF during Marty's service, would have been delighted, I'm certain, to have offered his praise. And the month before, when the beloved Lester Rosenberg, z'l, passed away, it was Kathy Manning who extolled his many virtues (and Kathy knew Lester to a small degree compared with so many others) in the JFNA message when, for example, Steve Nasatir or Beth Cherner, Lester's closest professional partners and great friends in Chicago, could have done so in a far more personal way. Even more recent is the tribute to the great San Francisco philanthropist and communal leader, Richard Goldman, And, these are but three examples of many.

Maybe this is the way these things have to be done. I am certain that JFNA would retort that they just don't have time to discover who knew whom and that it's more important to get the message of love and caring out. They would be wrong.



RWEX said...


A correspondent has suggested that "the criticsl criterion" for offering a quote in a JFNA euglogy is that you must be 'JFNA" -- that is to say, you can't be deemed by JFNA as "you're not JFNA." This limits quotes to Jerry and Kathy, maybe once in a while Gelman.

He wrote " would take way too much time to pick up a phone and ask someone in a local federation who might be the best person to give the quote." Uh huh!!

Anonymous said...

If you recall there were TWO emails sent out about Marty's passing -- the first had his last name misspelled. This may be because most at JFNA did not even know Marty.