Sunday, March 18, 2012


I have quoted Daniel Burnham's admonition before -- "make no little plans." And, sure enough, the leaders of JFNA, contrary to so many reports, have some big plans in the offing.  There is to be a Managing Director, Israel and Overseas Initiatives, housed at 25 Broadway, reporting to Becki Caspi in Jerusalem. Essentially this professional will be performing Caspi's job, adding to the top tier payroll of JFNA-Israel.

Anyway, here is the job. You want it, go for it:

 "Job Title: Managing Director, Israel & ...; Overseas Initiatives Date Last Updated: 1/5/2012
Job ID #: 10207

Role/Job Category: Israel & Overseas
Organization Name: Jewish Federations of North America
Location: New York, New York
Status: Full-Time

Managing Director, Israel & Overseas Initiatives
Israel and Overseas – JFNA Headquarters
New York City, NY

Reporting Structure:    Reports Senior VP, Israel and Overseas

Position Summary:
The Managing Director, I/O Initiatives serves as a cornerstone for JFNA’s overall I & O operation.  In this capacity, he/she manages all I & O activities in North America; represents JFNA to multiple organizational constituencies, with Federation leadership (both lay and professional) and with others as they relate to these areas; collaborates with and supports the GPT team; generates and conveys information and materials relating to assigned content areas, lay committees, round tables, etc. and to various federation and JFNA constituencies.  He/she serves as JFNA’s go-to resource at Headquarters with regard to community inquiries; inter-departmental coordination; I & O processes and content areas; and on an ad hoc basis.  He/she functions as fully integrated member of the I & O team and plays an important role in linking the work of the team to the overall organization.
In addition to working in these specific areas, the Managing Director, I/O Initiatives should develop a general understanding of all major issues and developments related to the work of the Federation movement in Israel and elsewhere overseas.

Specific responsibilities include:
  1. Designing and implementing I & O programs both at stand-alone events and as part of JFNA’s overall event planning effort (including, for example, at the GA; Tribefest; Planners Institute, etc.)
  2. Managing the work of key lay committees and supporting the overall lay engagement efforts for I & O
  3. Representing JFNA to a wide range of organizational constituencies including at key federation gathering and events as an expert presenter
  4. Managing JFNA/BRI and Birthright Foundation relationships and supporting relevant lay committee
  5. Staffing and leading internal JFNA Work Groups as I & O’s on site representative
  6. Driving information flow within JFNA and to federations; partner organizations and others as appropriate
  7. Leading coordination of various initiatives that require reporting, planning and collaboration with JFNA’s Israel Office; other JFNA departments; federations; funders and others
  8. Responding to ad hoc requests for information and assistance from both federation and JFNA sources
  9. Maintaining knowledge on various issues of interest to the federation system and communicating that knowledge to various constituencies
  10. Planning informative field visits overseas in collaboration with other departments
  11. Staffing missions and other events as an in-house expert for FRD and GPT teams as needed
  12. Assisting in development efforts
  13. Managing staff including both support and professional staff
Required Experience, Skills and Competencies (many of these are extremely funny if you read them carefully and think about them) :
  • Demonstrated commitment to the mission and core values of JFNA
  • Minimum 10 years of related experience and a level of success and accomplishment in the non-profit sector (either as a professional or volunteer)
  • Knowledge of the Federation movement and expertise in the Israel and overseas arena
  • Experience working in a complex environment and a comfort level with personally interacting with senior professionals, funders, federation leadership and others
  • Flexibility, creativity and resourcefulness in a changing environment
  • Strong personal presence and outstanding relationship-building skills
  • Effective, articulate, and supportive communications with the ability to inspire, influence and build credibility and rapport
  • Ability to juggle multiple priorities and work with a diverse group of professionals with different work styles
  • A doer who works hands-on in developing and executing a variety of activities
  • Problem analysis and problem resolution ability at both the strategic and functional level
  • Team player who possesses the ability to collaborate cross-functionally and departmentally
  • Bachelor’s degree required, graduate degree preferred"
Yes, of course, this represents JFNA's continuing ambition to extend itself into areas better left to others -- JAFI/JDC, the federations. And, of course, all of this work could be done within the existing expanded, expansive (might I add "bloated") staff of the Israel/Overseas Department. But, this is how bureaucratic empires are built, isn't it?

Then there is the reality that so much in this Job Description overlaps and duplicates the on-going Search for a successor to Itzik Shavit, z'l. Makes one wonder, doesn't it, who is driving this clown car? The CEO/President, the head of the JFNA-Israel Office, the Mandel Center for Leadership Excellence, the Sr. V-P in Charge of Job Titles, Ms. Manning...or, most likely, NOBODY!!??



paul jeser said...

Richard, you should apply for hte job! :-)

Anonymous said...

The Sr VP who works in Jerusalem might find her days numbered if JFNA actually hires a competent professional.

By the way, I hear JFNA is considering another new position - managing director of the office of the CEO.

Anonymous said...

Perhaps someone should start a "just say no to JFNA" campaign on Facebook or maybe for us cowards concerned with job and entree just reply to RW.

Anonymous said...

Are they bringing Jim Lodge back? What exactly is "coordination" supposed to mean. I go and shmooze with my colleagues? Where are there measures of sucess or failure in this job description? Shouldn't someone being selected at the level have to achieve something that is measurable like in most businesses? Oh wait....this is JFNA. Forgive me I forgot my subject obviously for a moment there.

Anonymous said...

Actually nobody driving this clown car would be preferable to Ms. Manning.