Tuesday, April 19, 2011


~ The LA Federation CEO, Jay Sanderson, objected with virulence to that section of my Post last month suggesting that I didn't know the success of the Greatest New Jewish Idea. After stating that I ought to be "ashamed," he continued pointing to the great achievementof the $100,000 effort. When I advised that if he sent me the back-up to support his claim that 100,000 votes had been cast and 50,000 new e-mail addresses added to the Federation contact list, I apparently further enraged him. For more on Mr. Sanderson read the very entertaining and illuminating article in The Los Angeles Jewish Journal -- Jay Sanderson Pushes for Change But Some Lose Heart in Light of His Leadership Service -- http://www.jewishjournal.com/cover_story/article/jay_sanderson_pushes_for_change_but_some_lose_heart_in_the_face_of _his_lead/ (More to follow on the Portland response...) And, a week later, the enthusiastic letters which, in the main, applaud the CEO's performance and come from just whom you would expect. ~ My, my, my, the Blog has finally made it!!! Yes, I made The Jerry Silverman JFNA Daily Media Guide. Here's how: On March 17, Jerry was still ferreting out congratulatory stories on the Festivus (which by the way continues). Thinking he had found one in The Jewish Week, he linked to it and, lo and behold (but surely unknown to the five or six people at JFNA who cull world media to find articles) right there in the article was a link to the Blog. Heads will no doubt roll at 25 Broadway (Oh, wait, unrelated, heads are, unfortunately, already "rolling.") but I can't thank Jerry enough. ~ You may not remember the Conversion Crisis initiated by the so-called Rotem Legislation introduced in the Knesset last year as a bill favorable to recognizing, in the main, conversions of Russian Jews in Israel, then amended to reflect only the conversions conducted or approved by the rigid Orthodox Rabbinate. Jerry Silverman spun like a top while in Jerusalem and, eventually, left matters in the hands of Natan Sharansky who had been designated by the Prime Minister to negotiate an acceptable compromise. Then, two months ago, while in Jerusalem on other matters, Silverman and Manning decided they would confront the Interior Minister with no notice to Sharansky. The results -- no so good. JFNA has now once again stuck its collective head in the sand while the Chief Sephardi Rabbi has been advised by a committee of rabbis he appointed recommended termination of the JAFI-driven IDF partnership in Nativ -- a conversion course that has produced significant positive results. Why? Well Sephardi Chief Rabbi's rabbinic committee found that Reform and Conservative teachers serve on the staff of Nativ. 4500 conversions have taken place under Nativ auspices; their validity had been approved by the Sephardi Chief Rabbi as recently as January 2011. I guess JFNA's silence is fed by the reality that neither Silverman nor Manning happens to be in Israel on other business. ~ Irony. I read a News flash from JFNA that the Jewish Federation of Greater Atlanta retained "the Mandel Center for Leadership Excellence of the Jewish Federations of North America" to conduct its search for a new President/CEO. If I recall correctly, the DC Federation had engaged the self-same to search for its new CEO, tired of the futility, hired a headhunter who searched and, ta-da-da-da-duh-duh, found the Atlanta CEO for D.C. Maybe this is not ironic after all; something else ~ It was recently reported in YNet that every South Korean home has a Talmud, the Koreans believing that "...Jews are geniuses" and that if we are our genius comes from our sacred texts. WOW! Chag Pesach Sameach to you all. Rwexler

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