Saturday, June 18, 2011


At calendar year-end, I retired from the practice of law after 45 years. This is something I had planned for the last two years and I and my Firm worked out a transition over the past years. Over the last six months, I have received many messages and questions (as has my wife) from friends and family -- here are a few with some answers:

~ "Is everything OK?" -- from those who fear that I was pushed into retirement for spending too much time blogging. So far, so great.

~ "You're too young" -- from my grandchildren -- G-d bless 'em -- and a few others (some of whom fear that if I am home I will drive my wife nuts). I wish it were true.

~ "What are you going to do with your time? I am almost afraid to ask" -- from a wonderful professional partner who has admonished me from the beginning about this Blog. See below.

~ "You might want to take up wood-turning" -- from a long-time professional partner at JFNA (who I suggested might have wanted me to chop off both my hands in the process). No, I do not know what "wood-turning" is except that it involves, inter alia, lathes, scrapers and "chucks."

So, here are some of my plans: I am officing 5 minutes from my home, with my uncle and cousin. I have a chance to breakfast and lunch with many friends in the 'burbs similarly situated where we engage in, as Woody Allen described it so perfectly, "...the customary exchange of insincere remarks about how neither of us had aged." I am working with an editor on a book that I hope to get published that consists of anecdotes and stories and is tentatively titled: "Dumb Jews...and Other Stories" or "'Who Told You About That...and other Questions." More likely -- Judgment Fled...The Musings of a Wandering Jew.(Or I may convert the Blog to book form.) We are going to visit our children and grandchildren far more often. And I have a few plans for Jewish service. In addition, I have been very gratified by the outreach from two national publications which have inquired over the past two months in whether I would bring the Blog to their publications.

And, the Blog. It's time (or long past time in the opinion of many) to put a -30- to this saga. While I despair that JFNA is unable, actually refuses, to effect changes to reflect the goals that all of us had and have for it, on June 30, after over 650 Posts, I will place the Blog on the shelf and observe whether the federation owners -- that's you -- will take responsibility for the Dues we pay. Clearly the very idea of this Blog, let alone its execution, has been accompanied by charges that I am guilty of nothing less than heresy. The so-called "leaders" of JFNA continue to attack me -- always, of course, in the shadows. Now, they can, if they are able, focus on more critical things. And, if they don't, if they can't, and if you, the owners don't stand up, this Blog will return.

To those of you who have asked "how are you doing?" Just fine, thanks. (Ask me again in 6 months. Or ask Roberta for the honest answer.) As James Taylor wrote: "the secret of life is enjoying the passage of time."

And to those who may choose to continue to attack me: Enjoy. But remember Life isn't about how you survive the storm, but how you dance in the rain.

Tomorrow is my 70th Birthday. Can't wait. See ya'.



paul jeser said...


Anonymous said...

I read the Blog often and will miss it terribly. I have found the Posts to be apt and, from my federation desk, accurate and often brilliant.

I have a suspicion that it will return sooner than you may currently be planning.

Thanks for your courage

Anonymous said...


As a Large City Federation executive, I found your posts to be well written and for the most part excellent. You made an important and significant contribution to our system as the "Loyal Opposition".

Your knowledge, your passion and your committment has been a guding light for many, even if we did not agree with everything you wrote.

Thank you.

Anonymous said...


I, too, am a Large City Federation CEO who has been a daily reader. I am sorry you have chosen to place the Blog on hiatus -- it has made a significant contribution to the debate in our community and, I am sure, others, about JFNA, its lack of transparency, lack of accountability and, most sadly, its lack of relevance to the issues that confront my federation leadership daily.

We are debating for the first time in a serious way the amount of Dues we pay given the lack of any significant retuurn on that investment.

Thanks...and I would suspect that the Blog will return. I and others await that day.