Wednesday, January 12, 2011


I have published several Posts in which I accused JFNA of "borrowing" federation overseas allocations to meet its own Budget. It turns out that I was wrong. JFNA has been appropriating UIA income for its own Budget instead. After examining JFNA's 990s and looking at its financial statements and UIA's, it is clear that JFNA "merely" dipped into UIA's income (funds allocated by the federations for JAFI) whenever it needed cash to make up for budget shortfalls. (And, it remains true that if your Federation sent a check to JFNA without directing its application in whole or in part to overseas, JFNA would use the proceeds to satisfy its overhead requirements first.) To me, it's a distinction without difference, to JFNA it is just temporary "borrowing" -- until the chickens came home to roost.

It appears that JFNA did so under the same operating philosophy as I suggested was in place when I mistakenly asserted that JFNA was withdrawing federation overseas funds. At no time did JFNA leadership advise UIA or JAFI, the ultimate beneficiary of those funds, that it was dipping into them whenever it felt it necessary to do so. The only rationale I can think of is that JFNA supposed that this was some kind of historical practice -- that UJA did so so why can't JFNA? Yet, that UJA may have done so offers no precedent for JFNA -- the former national fund raising organization took its Budget off the top of federation overseas allocations for all of its purposes; JFNA is a membership organization the budget for which is to be paid through federation Dues. Its budgets and all of its expenditures and income were supposed to be as transparent as UJA's allegedly were not. That UIA is a wholly-owned subsidiary of JFNA is no justification for, in effect, diverting its income to JFNA's budget -- even short term; even with the "intent" of paying it back.

No, the JFNA rationale fails the smell test -- it dipped into the UIA income stream with no notice to UIA (or JAFI); it paid no interest on the funds so "borrowed." And JFNA has still not publicly acknowledged the practice, burying it deep within arcane financial documents. In other words, it is embarrassed by what it has done, but not embarrassed enough to stop.

In all events, I apologize. Now, will JFNA?


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