Tuesday, March 27, 2012


~  For your reading pleasure, I call your attention to  pjewishmisanthropy.wordpress.com/2012/03/08/federation-calls-meeting-for-no-reason-whatsoever/ as reprinted in ejewishphilanthropy. Written by Avi Lieberman, a stand up comedian...a young comic with clear insights into a world he doesn't know...seems to have more insights into our system than those who are supposed to know all about our system.

~ Since I started writing this Blog so long ago, I have tried (and, I think, succeeded) in writing according to a certain maxim: "You can criticize our leaders for how bad a job they are doing and have done in leading our organizations, but never make fun of how our leaders look or what they wear, or how they speak, because that's just mean. And, never lie about anyone." Our leaders, in turn, have developed (or always had) the thinnest of skins and have responded "..we will destroy anyone who criticizes us about anything, even if we have to make things up." Thus, from the start, I have noted how successive JFNA Board Chairs have just made things up about my service with JFNA, repeating things they know not to be true (they know this because I have told them so in writing and in person) -- because they have no truths that would serve their purposes. And these are not merely slurs: they are intentional, willful fabrications. They are known to those who repeat them to be untrue -- and, nonetheless, they have repeated them for over 4 years now. And it's happened as recently as this year -- after I met with Manning to try to "clear the air" once again. It's the worst kind of leadership and just what we have come to expect.

We know from experience that the more one repeats an untruth, the more those repeating it believe their false version of "truth." So I have no doubt that the JFNA leaders who have and continue to spread the same falsehoods actually have come to believe themselves. That I understand; I deplore it but understand. They just can't help themselves. What saddens me so much is that among those who have heard these total fabrications are a small number of those who know me well yet there appears to be not one who has stood up and said back to them: "That's total b.s." or words to that effect. And, those whom I thought were among my friends, have emboldened JFNA's leaders to further spread their poison. And, so be it.

I for one will continue to fight back against the hatchet job these "leaders" take to anyone...that's a..n..y..o..n..e... who publicly or privately opposes their lack of purpose and principle in exercising their version of "leadership." And, these leaders should know by now that as long as they are lying about me I'll be telling the truth about their leadership and the destruction that they have wreaked upon our system and our values. Their personal vendetta bespeaks an ugliness...sad.

~ I have heard from several federation leaders that their communities will not allocate to support the Israel Action Network, JFNA's pleas to the contrary notwithstanding. Other federations just write a check (mainly out of the core allocations to JAFI/JDC) as if responding to a high-pitched whistle that only they hear. The only explanation for the Pavlov's Dog-like response that never questions, just nods -- Stockholm Syndrome?

~ Speaking of JFNA's repetitive requests for funding, could it possibly be true that JFNA leaders are actually crying poor, moaning that they just can't subsist on a paltry $30.3 million in Dues per year -- even if the JFNA 990 reflects income of $43 million? And wouldn't those pleas for "more, more" be received "better" if JFNA could point to exactly how those additional funds would be spent; with the successes that might be achieved? Or would we expect to see more TribeFests at a cost of $1 million annually -- after all JFNA found $1 million of $30.3 million for that this year (and went forward with it over the objection of at least one Large City CEO to JFNA engaging in direct, duplicative programming). Here's my view: if your organization has $1,000,000 to throw at a Festivus, you've got plenty of money, maybe too much.

Now, laughably, I've learned that JFNA has threatened to engage in direct fund raising to support its Budget. Such exquisite irony -- an organization that used to have Financial Resource Development at its very central activity, then abandoned FRD over the last six years of the organization's existence, now "threatens" to fund raise to expand its own resources. 

"When will they learn; when will they ever learn?"



Anonymous said...

Here's a thought. Federations should welcome JFNA wsith open arms. Here's the message they should receive: We are hereby cutting your dues to zero. We will, however, be happy to add your organization to our planning process. Here are the forms you will need to complete so that our organization has a good understanding of what you do, your governance process, how you use your funds, what other organizations you are requesting funds, a list of your board members, etc. We will give our donors the option of adding to their annual campaign gift your organization/project as a supplemental gift. If you solicit any of our donors without first clearing them with us we will not allow any designation to your organization through our allocation process. It would be helpful to you to have advocates of your organization sitting on our planning committees and especially if they themselves are donors to our community campaign. Please contact us so that we can see if such people are interested in representing your organization. For further clarification please contact our executive VP or director of planning and allocations. Good luck.

Anonymous said...


paul jeser said...

If it were not so sad it'd be funny.

Aren't there any leaders/pros who are willing to go 'public' (besides Richard) and try to stop this tail-spin.

There must be some sort of Fed System, and unless some corrective action is taken soon it will be too late.

Anonymous said...

That's absurd but so how logical to JFNA. Fund raising to pay for their own largesse. Whats worse is the Pavlovian mentality will prevail AND they will get paid while those they claim to represent continue to suffer. Manning doesn't want to clear the air with anyone. She enjoys abusing power. Good luck there Richard. I wouldn't waste a single breath on that.

Anonymous said...

Jerry announced that JFNA has taken out a "mezzanine" loan. What does that mean?