JFNA has many wonderful professionals on its staff. I know that were they allowed to focus on new and big ideas, JFNA would not be where it is today. But, here is what they have been ordered to do over the past months:
~ Beg federation staffers to provide subsidies to and recruit for TribeFest;
~ Plead with federation Endowment pros to attend the "second North American Jewish Legacy Forum" in Kansas City -- thirty-three communities did so. The agenda included "...future events and communications around 'Create A Jewish Legacy,' such as a third Legacy Forum...";
~ Call federation leaders in communities with Dues issues to: (1) excoriate them; (2) plead for full payment; or (3) deny that the federations have "hardships;"
~ Call CEOs to demand that they call a mega-donor in their community to get them to attend the first meeting of the new albeit the same Mega-Donor Group;
~ Call whoever they know in federations to plead that the federation participate in the ill-conceived "Select Core Priorities" program -- calls generally falling on the deafest of ears. No reference in those calls to holding the core allocation to the Jewish Agency and Joint -- just forgot, I guess.
This is but a partial list, of course. Soon, very soon, our federation pros and lay people will be getting urgent JFNA calls to, among other things: (1) support the Global Planning Table...please; (2) get people to attend (and provide even greater subsides) Festivus II; (3) attend the Denver GA; and (4) and always, pay your Dues.
These are JFNA professionals with the potential to do great things, doing as they are directed. If there is a professional malaise at 25 Broadway, guess why.