Friday, February 3, 2012


In the Orwellian lexicon of hyperbole at JFNA where less is more and failure is success, it will come as no surprise that having failed in its cash collections for at least the sixth straight year, the Board Chair closed her cash rtesults transmittal to the JFNA Board with the following message: "May we go from strength to strength." With this kind of "strength" and this kind of leadership, shouldn't be long now and, absent their own FRD and cash efforts, our "partners" will be out of business with JFNA's leaders performing the last rites. Fra il dire il fare c'e di mezzo il mare ("an ocean lies between what is said and what is done) -- JFNA words to live by.

I knew that cash collections were again in trouble when, at the GA, the Board Chair didn't even bother with her annual public pro forma cash plea, but, instead, delegated that assignment to the Treasurer, who read the script as well as could have been done. And, that was it. The professional staff did its best as it always does -- professionals like recently retired Sam Astrof, Pam Zaltsman and Cheryl Lefland have demonstrated the kind of professional commitment coupled with their passion year and year again. But, unlike in the past, today there is no complementary and supportive lay collections effort -- the Financial Relations Committee used to have a broad cash focus that included allocations; today, it is dedicated to Dues to the exclusion of all else (and the Board Chair and CEO/President have emasculated that Committee's work, as well) -- and the lay leadership has little if anything to do even with that.  While one would have hoped against hope that that meager effort would have gone well, the results, well, they speak sadly for themselves -- never in the history of JFNA  have our partners, JDC and the Jewish Agency, received less cash support for their core budgets. That happened against the backdrop of JFNA's leaders plotting the total deconstruction of support for the Agency and Joint through their machinations in support of the Global Planning Table.

And, the other "partners," what happened to them? Well, the Ethiopian National Project, for which JFNA leaders made a special plea in 2011, down. ORT, suddenly elevated to "partnership" status, for which there was no special plea, down. JDC and JAFI, subjected to the failed experiment of "Special Core Priorities," further distracting the few federations that participated (actually, 10 -- 6% of the total number of federations), hit record allocation lows. And, with JFNA totally consumed by the Global Planning Table, there continued to be no advocacy for the core allocations of the Agency or Joint -- just the opposite, in fact.

Our system is cratering everywhere we look. The Board Chair, in total denial, wishes that we "...go from strength to strength." OMG.


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