Monday, March 21, 2011


~ It is apparent that JFNA was in the Purim holiday spirit when it went on-line with a list of funding achievements for JAFI/JDC, including the designated and supplemental funding by federations, none of which JFNA has a thing to do with. The list should speak to the great work of our federations' partners but, alas, that was not the case. Even more so, JFNA might have advised the federation recipients that since its creation JFNA has presided over a precipitous drop in allocations that now exceeds over <$100,000,000>, but, of course "what's that got to do with us?"

To spread the holiday cheer, I offer you the whole sad self-promotion at (but, as I was cautioned by the FOB who sent this to me -- do not read before or after a meal). I anticipate the next Briefing to read something like this:



~ But, in this moment of self-congratulations at JFNA flooding the net with tweets and Briefings of the success of the Festivus, a moment of cold reality was sent to me by another FOB from http://www.oychicago/blog.aspx?id=9034 -- "No team like the Jewish people" an otherwise generally favorable report on the Fest. From it, this excerpt:

Where I think JFNA fell a little short, however, is identifying exactly who they are. As the central address of the Jewish people (yes, I work at JUF, but no, they did not make me say this), I truly felt that the connection to the Federation was missing. Federation is no longer our grandfathers' organization, and we should be proud of our support and relationship with our local federations. In Chicago, we raise about $80 million annually to provide critical services for the most needy in our society --both locally and abroad. Why should we shy away from this while we highlight every other organization? Isn't this also an amazing thing to be a part of?

It is so sorry that JFNA just doesn't get it. But can they throw a party!!

~ And then there was the absolutely brilliant Purimshpiel at's-your-itch: What's your #ITCH?

"The Hebrew Organization of Billionaires Networking With Other Billionaires (HOBNOB) has announced the three finalists in its contest, 'What's Your Idea to Transform our Common Heritage(ITCH)?' The web-based contest invited submissions of projects that would address a pressing issue confronting the Jewish community.

One finalist, Jared Mandelbaum, proposed a new website called UDate, whose purpose is to engage unaffiliated Jews through dating. Mandelbaum, reached at his home on Columbus Avenue at 96th Street in Manhattan, explained: "I've never met an unaffiliated Jew, so I thought I'd start this site. Dating an unaffiliated girl would be awesome.' The selection committee praised this proposal saying 'the power of social networking is a great tool for the transformation of Jewish life.'

A second finalist, Mindy Bloom, studies Occupational Therapy at Stern College. She suggested an essay contest about how to perfect the world. 'To me, when I think of the days of the Moshiach, I picture a world where every single unaffiliated Jew has been reached out to,' said the Teaneck native,

The third idea to reach the finals of the competition, from Florida grad student William Smith, is called Groucho House. 'You know how Groucho Marx said he'd never any club that would have him as a member?' asked Smith. 'I thought we should have a home for unaffiliated Jews who want to be with other unaffiliated Jews, not with the Jews who want them as members.'

A HOBNOB Program Officer, Rabbi Aliza-Cohen-Levi-Israel, was asked if she had expected so many ideas relating to unaffiliated Jews. 'We were all surprised by that,' she told a reporter. 'I don't know where all these entrants got the idea that billionaires are interested in the unaffiliated.'

Dr. Isaac Zahn, a retired oral surgeon who also blogged about Jewish philanthropy as the Funder Dentalist, was asked his view of the 'What's Your #ITCH' initiative. 'The Funder Dentalist's take?" he began. 'There's a lot to chew on. It's too early to draw any conclusions.'"

I hope you all had a wonderful Holiday. And kippot off to JFNA where every day is Purim.


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