Thursday, June 7, 2012


~ I spent six hours on the phone on Monday, June 4, listening to the JFNA Board Meeting. I understand there were over 180 men and women leaders -- lay and professional -- present in New York. An excellent turn out. I can attest that there was a spirit of good will and a consistent display of good humor at the meeting. It was a "feel good" meeting to be sure.
~ Congratulations to the JFNA Nominating Committee. For the first time in a long, long time, a JFNA Committee understood its responsibilities and executed them without accepting interference from sitting officers or CEO. The nominees for Board Chair and Chair of the Executive have incredible backgrounds in leadership -- Campaign Chairs, Federation Chairs and in the Jewish and general community as well. Only time will tell if they can rescue JFNA from itself...but their nomination alone offers great promise even if the Board Chair position was a really hard one to fill -- if you get my drift.

~ In the meantime, the current leadership continues its damage to the organization unabated. While I will write in detail about the  Budget in future Posts, know that the "Budget reduction" of $750,000 is but camouflage -- leadership intends to raid the funds raised by the Network and the JFNA Endowment to help make up the Dues reduction...and your federation and mine will be requested to once again increase its funding of the SCN (the Secure Communities Network which JFNA agreed to fund going forward...never mind) as well. (This doesn't begin to describe the bizarre budgeting in which JFNA is engaged -- example: JFNA has sent out multiple letters over multiple years pleading for increased support for the Ethiopian National Project. In 2013, JFNA will cuts its budgetary support for the ENP.) This is the JFNA shell game, friends.

One can only sit back in amazement at JFNA's leaders' chutzpah. Months ago we described on these pages the putsch in which the Board Chair engaged when she essentially stole the leadership and governance of the 400 communities and leaders of the Network because that leadership was getting in her way. She claimed at the time that she was "making the Network more efficient," assuring that the Network was "on the team." Instead we have a Network without any governance body from within the Network itself; its decisions being made by the Board Chair and her claque. This is how far the Network has fallen since its creation by UJA.

~ Perhaps I should feel honored. The so-called "leaders" of JFNA never fail to advise me that they "never...never, never, ever..." read this Blog "...except when some one sends a Post on to them." Sure. So it a rare honor when three days (including Shabbat) after I published Unreal. my shout-out to the Board Chair about the impropriety of the leader of the federations' organization accepting an award from a fund-raising organization that is (a) a major beneficiary of the Owners and (b) holding its incredibly expensive Awards Banquet at the height of the federation owners' annual campaigns...yes, just three days later, JFNA itself in one of its hyperbolic Leadership Briefings "congratulated" the Board Chair for being so honored. With quotes from CEO/President Jerry and a summary of JFNA's "accomplishments" over KM's six years of what passes for leadership these days -- it's a brief list, of necessity. Hmmmm. I wonder who ordered the Briefing...and why?

~ And, on a personal note, I am awaiting the day on which JFNA's current leaders attempt to poison the environment between the incoming Chairs and your Blogger. Never missing a chance to slander, I don't believe they would miss this one.



Anonymous said...

and your federation and mine will be requested to once again increase its funding of the SCN (the Secure Communities Network which JFNA agreed to fund going forward...never mind) as well.

Anonymous said...

Maybe it's just that I am of "a certain age", but surely there would have been a more tactful word than "putsch"

Anonymous said...

I have been involved in the Network for years. I believe "putsch" is the only word to describe the power grab that Kathy Manning employed while promising Network leaders that SHE, personally, and JFNA would assure the Network's continuing leadership of its own efforts. "Putsch" - a secretly plotted and suddenly executed attempt to overthrow...Does anyone have a better word?

RWEX said...

Friends, for the first time in a long time, I have had to reject a Comment. This one obviously came Anonymously from inside JFNA from someone who NEVER reads the Blog and attacked me and, by name, a leader from my community.

Anonymous said...

Perhaps the Board Chair felt threatened by the Network telling her the truth and pushing to rectify the short comings. A good leader would have listened and paid respect to the earnest pleas that were made on behalf of decency and fair play. But of course we aren't talking about a leader, we are talking about the Board Chair who is accountable for the extremely poor return last year of the network and the suffering that caused due to her underhanded methods. And when I say suffering I mean the needs that were not met of our people who need us desperately, all of which is I guess meaningless to the Board Chair as it doesn't fit into her agenda of being above all others. If there is justice, make it come swiftly.