Wednesday, June 1, 2011


Just thinking about....

~ Festivus II, the rerun. As you recall, the original Festivus convened in Party City Las Vegas. While Festivus the Second is currently proposed for Las Vegas, consider this -- The Hangover I film was set in Vegas; The Hangover Bangkok, Thailand. It's a huuuuuge hit. So, TribeFest II in Thailand. See you there.

~ Summer Camps. JFNA sends out a Fact of the Day proudly embracing the opening of Jewish Agency summer camps in the FSU. Must have forgotten that another 18,000 young men and women were turned away because of a lack of available funds; must need a Global Planning Table to remind them. So let's do some planning about that, huh?

~ Memory Issues. Then there was this remarkable May 26 JFNA Leadership Briefing celebrating the 20th Anniversary of Operation Solomon, the international effort, led by Israel, that brought the surviving remnant (or so we thought) of Ethiopian Jewry to Israel by airlift and the Special Campaign folded into Operation Exodus to help fund our national portion. Where did JFNA go to find the quotes, the background, the sense of leaders at the time? To Joel Tauber, vu den? Joel thought back to those days when, he said, in 1991 he was UJA National Chair -- "...national UJA chairman in 1991 and a guiding force in the Ethiopian immigration campaign." Only one problem: in 1991, Marvin Lender was UJA National Chair -- Joel's service began in 1992. Maybe Joel believes that he and Marvin were interchangeable, two halves making up one whole. He would be wrong. Tracking backward: I was National Chair 1996-1998; Richie Pearlstone, 1994-1996; Joel Tauber, 1992-1994; Marvin Lender, 1990-1992. But, it's OK, Joel, just a couple of months ago, you took exclusive credit for the Operation Exodus Campaign. Soon it will be credit for the parting of the Red Sea. (See, Irving Bernstein's, z'l, authoritative volume Living UJA History for a list of UJA National Chairs and their years of service.)

~ Branding gone mad. Sports Illustrated recently published the following under its rubric -- Sign of the Apocalypse: "A federal judge ordered the U.S. Polo Association to stop producing merchandise with a logo featuring two silhouetted horsemen and the word polo because, he said, it confused customers of the Ralph Lauren Polo line." Ahem!! Can you picture the Jerry/Kathy show running around suing federations for using the "federation" name because: "they're not JFNA?" Just asking.

~ Maybe, like your Blogger, you received an e-vite to the JFNA King David Society Mission to Argentina this December. I was pretty excited at first -- sounds like a terrific Itinerary, top hotel, etc. Cost? For a $25,000 (or more) donor? $4500. Then you have to page through a series of links to learn that $4500 doesn't include air fare. Minor omission. Should one really have to dig so deeply to find out the real price? Guess so.

~ Does anyone remember? So, does anyone out there remember why the Jewish Agency and the Joint agreed to the "Select Core Priorities" ill-conceived plan? Aren't most federations which have given this some thought, rejecting the notion outright -- "thanks, but no thanks?" Does anyone remember the JFNA rationale for this....this....thing? Other than JFNA staff calling all federations to urge them to implement the Select Core Priorities (and, when asked "why?" they can't respond without looking at their script), what real advocacy is going on? NONE!


1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Great quotes of our time:

Dated february 2011

Having visited scores of Federations since coming to JFNA more than one year ago, Silverman said, “I am more convinced than ever that Jewish Federations are the hub of our community.”

“We are addressing the range of critical challenges facing our community, from better protecting our institutions, to advocating for Israel, to engaging the next generation of leaders and raising more funds to address global Jewish needs,” said Kathy Manning, chair of the JFNA board.

These funding efforts are ultimately designed to “bring new energy and new engagement” to Jewish Federation support for global Jewish needs, said JFNA Senior Vice President Rebecca Caspi.