Friday, March 23, 2012


One Anonymous Commentator, responding to our Dream Job Post, wrote:

      "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."

As to the first speculation: while it would be nice to see JFNA hire "a competent professional," this looks more like piling on at the high end. We will have three of JFNA's most costly professionals all doing, at least in part, the same job.

As to the second -- that JFNA will hire a "Managing Director of the Office of the CEO:"  many have urged the President/CEO to hire a COO since before his first days in office. Jerry said he wanted to wait, yet apparently he still can't bring himself to do so. We're hearing that he will promote from the inside, which might be a good thing were there the right person "inside" to serve as whatever this job will be. While it has been suggested to Jerry directly that he hire someone with deep federation experience for this position, he apparently believes that visiting over 110 federations (sometimes for more than three hours!!!) gives him the depth of experience that he can promote someone (who has been maneuvering for the job for months) who will primarily have his back. Oh, just love the title, as Dockers would say: "Just wear the pants." Or something like that.

     ~ I went to the Festivus website the other day and linked to the Speakers. There are page after page of them, about five of whom I could identify. I challenge you to do better. Now, this isn't a bad thing. I'm definitely not the Festivus demographic but I would wager that those who fit the demographic wouldn't be able to identify more than five either (and they wouldn't be the same five I recognized). So, what we have this weekend is an event that almost no one will attend without a subsidy, with a set of "speakers" almost no one knows, and with a Schedule that is, in the main, let's call it like it is, silly. Just silly. Really silly. Almost, but for a few sessions, demeaning to those young adults at whom the Fest is aimed. And, that's the real shame, after all. Oh, and Jerry will be speaking...a recent addition to the joy of the Fest.

     ~It appears that I am all wet. The funeral Ms. Caspi attended was that which took place in Jerusalem. My error and my apologies.



Anonymous said...

I assume Festivus was/is excluded from the travel ban? Likewise, planning for 2013 GA in Israel?

Anyone know how much Jerry spends each year in travel to Israel and Becky in travel to the U.S.?

Anonymous said...

An accounting of travel expenses from/to Israel and in the U.S.? From JFNA, the "you're on a need not to know basis." This is not "our" organization, it's JFNA's for itself, by itself. As a Federation CEO I can tell you that I/we don't have a clue what JFNA is doing or planning except when they call me to demand/plead for my community's vote.

A disgrace? Sure.

Anonymous said...

A dispatch from Pittsburgh indicated that Caspi flat out "invited" the Pittburgh CEO to "join her" at the Toulouse funerals. Who paid for that part of the travels -- or was it all covered under The Secure Community monitoring there. Have a kaugh.

paul jeser said...

As y'all know I am an advid reader of Richard's blog.

Persoanlly and as a mamber of the Jewish Communal Service for 40 years I find what is happening to the Federation system more than just sad (and, it seems to be getting worse all the time).

So, the question becomes, what, if anything, is being done to fix it before it completely collapses.

I've offered one possible vision which has not gained any traction. There have to be - there must be - other visions. It is time for some sort of action.

Hopefully there are leaders and pros in the system whom have the strength to take on this challange. The possibility of self-destruction is just not acceptable.

Anonymous said...

Sometimes it's better to self destruct so that a better structure/organization can rise out of the ashes and not be beholden to history.

Anonymous said...

There are two communities who can effect change. (Cleveland, a shell of it's former self, is thankfully irrelevant). Until they choose to act the farce continues.

Anonymous said...

The last Anonymous is so correct...and this has always been the case. Does anyone believe these two can't see that the Emperor has no clothes? May be they like it this way -- being constantly called in to "save" the "unsaveable" -- only they just make it worse every time they do it. They are today's version of Tom Wolfe's "Masters of the Universe" and they will preside over the system's demise while asking "how did that happen?"

It's on your watch, BOYS.

Anonymous said...

Five Practical Reforms for JFNA
1. All new hires in program, FRD and planning functions must have community experience
2. Salary levels should be brought in line with salaries of Federations in the Greater NY area
3. Make best Practice development the hallmark of organizational activity. For example: develop with Federations a concerted plan to reinvigorate lay solicitation throughout the system.
4. Place the nominating process for the board and executive committee under the control of the federations
5. Create a CEO Advisory Committee to meet on a scheduled basis with the CEO. (this was effectively introduced with the JDC a few decades ago)

Anonymous said...

When one reads the thoughtful posted comments, plans of action, etc - including from federation CEO's - it is clearly obvious why this blog is on a "do not read, do not discuss" list at JFNA.

They are deathly afraid of being exposed for what they are not: thinkers, and more important, leaders.

A Happy Festivus weekend to all!

Anonymous said...

The funerals were in Jerusalem at Har Hamenuchot Cemetery, not in France. Someone told me that the Pittsburgh CEO was already in Jerusalem. There were over 2000 mourners in attendance, but I did not see any releases from JAFI or JDC about their attendance.

Anonymous said...

The funerals were in Jerusalem at Har Hamenuchot Cemetery, not in France. Someone told me that the Pittsburgh CEO was already in Jerusalem. There were over 2000 mourners in attendance, but I did not see any releases from JAFI or JDC about their attendance.