Tuesday, December 7, 2010


Each time that JFNA publishes its annual IRS required 990 I have expressed my astonishment, amazement and chagrin. The 2009 IRS 990 for JFNA ought to create the identical reaction and more from each of you. THIS IS MORE SERIOUS THAN EVEN I HAD THOUGHT. Sam Astrof had to explain to me how to find it on the JFNA website where it is buried: go to http://www.jewishfederations.org/, then find "About Us" and link, then track down to the 990, and link again. (That is if you are not one of the favored few who received a copy directly.) I urge you to read it for yourselves.

Among the things you will find:

~ Of course there is the incredible and outrageous compensation paid the then President and CEO -- unless you believe that $802,000 was merited by performance. (N.B., Former New York Attorney General and Governor, Eliot Spitzer, has opined that New York state not-for-profit law requires that the compensation of a CEO of a non-profit must be commensurate with the value of the services provided to withstand scrutiny.) In a year in which countless federation CEOs took cuts in compensation, this CEO took none.

~ Responsible management? Look at the compensation paid to the two...that's due...that's shtayim...co-CEO's of what was UJC-Israel...$593,000. And, "Global Operations: Israel and Overseas" sucked $7.8 million out of the JFNA Budget. Has anyone asked "for what?"

~ Then there is the even more alarming $8 million "deficit" in JFNA's pension fund. Those that I trust to understand this far more than I suggest that this alarming amount may reflect nothing more than an "actuarial" deficit occasioned by the impact of the stock market drop on the JFNA pension fund. No liability to the pension fund was reflected on the JFNA financial statement -- just -$8,000,000. And how far did that fund fall in the following year -- 2009-2010? But, my concern is the lack of transparency; make that the continuing lack of transparency in how JFNA conducts its affairs, financial and otherwise. The 990 identifies the <$8 million> as "additional minimum pension liability." And no one asks any questions?

~ The GA/ILOJE cost of $4.1 million. Worth it? You be the judge.

~ Then there was the move to 25 Broadway. JFNA negotiated well and received a $4 million lease buy-out at 111. Did it save any of that money? Did it spread the buy-out over say a decade to reduce its 25 Broadway rent? No. It used it all and more "...to fund new construction at 25 Broadway" where leasehold improvements totalled $6.6 million and "equipment" another $4.6 million. Recession -- never mind.

It's a mess. But...you knew that. I think it's past time for those at 25 Broadway to collect non-perishables and barricade themselves in...if they haven't done so already.



Anonymous said...


To pay for the bloated senior management payroll, UJC laid off 37 of its employees. If any Federation was as chutzpadik as this, please enlighten us.

I'm sure those laid off will be happy to know the $4.4 million real estate windfall went back into expanded construction for the shrinking staff at 25 Broadway.

joebrown42 said...


I almost cried while reading it.

I think the federations themselves should have some say in how their dollars are spent.

And i this is how JFNA works, then one cannot expect efficiency. At best, it can seek ass-covering.

The funny thing is, this is what I expected from a dying organization, which has become purely political and which has no link to actual events/the field. JAFi had a similar situation a while ago, and they're still fighting it today.