Monday, November 7, 2011


It's very clear today that there are the "voices in the wilderness" who have followed this Blog and the daily deluge of Briefings, op-eds and e-mails on the subject of the Global Planning Table, who know that a variety of commentators who have examined the GPT have found it far from wanting...have found it to be antithetical to its own purposes.

An anonymous young professional writing under the pseudonym ploni almoni has directly urged the federation leadership gathered in Denver to Vote No on the GPT which this John Doe concludes " the beginning of the end of Jewish Communal Collective Action," citing numerous reasons why in three cries of pain to the system. (This Anonymous professionals opinions so closely reflect my own that anonymous Commentators to this Blog have asked me if I and that writer are one.)

Then there was the Board Chair's response, without recognizing the critics of course, to we nay-sayers in a November 5 op-ed in The Jerusalem Post -- "Growing the Value of Jewish Federations' global giving." Therein, Kathy Manning essentially writes off the great collective successes of our federations in partnership with JAFI and JDC as the past, and points to GPT as "the forward-thinking process...a structure and process to confront new challenges, creatively allocate our collective resources, and more strageically support one another to build community at home and around the world." There was more, more of the same -- broad pronouncements that, upon any fair analysis, are unmatched by JFNA's lay or professional capacity.

This op-ed drove one commentator, Jay Michaelson (whose most recent book was God vs. Gay? The Religious Case for Equality), to write in The Jerusalem Post concluding that the Global Planning Table " so out of step with contemporary sensibilities among non-professional Jews that it seems not just like rearranging deck chairs on the Titanic, but steering the ship more closely toward the iceberg." Yet Michaelson's op-ed uses the GPT to exemplify the failures of the federation world -- sadly the GPT gives critics like Michaelson that chance.

In a rational organization, the critics, who include so many federation CEOs who, on this subject, are like Bontche the Silent, writing me in total confidence, telling me that I and others who have spoken out our opposition to the GPT, are right but "what can I, one person, do?" And, my response to them: "Speak out, vote to table this ill-thought out scheme and let's see if we can't do better."  Won't happen is my guess.


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