Saturday, March 26, 2011


So, I was just thinking about organizations without identity or purpose...and one organization that just throws $30.3 million of our money up in the air and watches where it lands to determine goals and objectives...or maybe, just maybe, to determine...nothing at all. Let's pull the heavy drapes back and take a look...

In six years the organization has undergone a name change, four "strategic plans" (each one of which ended up in the "Trash"), a Heroes, an #ish and a TribeFest, a $2,583,000 operating deficit and a disinterested, disengaged laity. Oh, we are clearly ready for a Katrina-like catastrophe (G-d forbid), and we have formed an IAI, an ACANI, an SCN, an IAN -- all underfunded -- while we have watched the "Alliance" wither, our national agencies underfunded and ignored (except to demand they prove their value -- ironic in that no one appears to be asking our national organization to evidence its value), the Network under attack for suggesting the Emperor has no clothes. We are about to begin Regional meetings to kick off a "Global Planning Table" with pre-cooked outcomes forgetting or not caring about the disaster that its progenitor, ONAD, was. This is not to say there have not been successes -- JFNA-Washington continues to shine, the "New Moves" Program shows promise (but one has to question why, in its announcement of the Program, JFNA felt compelled to have a federation CEO literally shill for a Program that has that promise -- does Dockers oversell?) and the embryonic Donor Management System, to name three.

We have a national organization whose leaders over the past 6 years have gone out of their way to erase the history, the core values and timeless principles that drove the predecessor organizations, leaving JFNA with no institutional memory enabling these "leaders" to say by their actions -- "...we aren't repeating the mistakes of the past; we don't even know what they were."

I would speak with Itzik Shavit, z'l, frequently over many, many years, many times daily. I loved those conversations because Itzik in private was totally direct at all times. As anyone who knew him will recall, he had wonderful, often devastating insights, into all of the organizations and leaders who benefited so greatly from his professional leadership. I was not exempt. As Bruce Arbit remembered in his beautiful tribute, Itzik, time and again, bemoaned of an organizational leadership -- "why don't they shut up and just go out and raise money?" But, they didn't.

These views are and have been shared with me by any number of professionals and lay leaders in our national system and at our local federations, as well. (The group is so numerous that it remains a mystery why so much time is spent by JFNA leaders blindly accusing multiple lay leaders as my so-called "sources." I do, however, get a kick out of this laughable effort, just one of many. But, I do understand that from a group of "leaders" who hide their every act within the "Cone of Silence" they think they have created, these Posts must drive them nuts. I take their quest for "sources" as an admission of the truths of that which I have written.

Yeah, I'll take that.

So, I was just thinking. JFNA has sent out a beautiful Invitation on behalf of Barbara and the Shavit Family to a Memorial Service next month in Itzik's memory and " honor his legacy." Wouldn't one way to honor that legacy be for JFNA to rededicate itself to its forgotten (ignored?) core purpose -- to that to which Itzik Shavit dedicated his entire professional life -- to building the resources to care for those of our People most in need? Wouldn't it?


No comments: