Friday, June 1, 2012


JFNA has circulated one of its periodic and always hilarious Updates -- this one on the always hilarious Global Planning Table. After updating the reader on what passes for "progress," the author(s) go on to explain why, if you are asked to serve on a GPT Working Group you should give serious consideration to just saying "NO!!"

I think what follows is self-explanatory:
"The task of the Working Groups will be to begin with very broad areas of interest, and to begin the process of narrowing the focus of the analysis in order to establish high level goals of what we want to accomplish. Once the Working Groups articulate the high level goals and any suggested overall strategies for our work (e.g., 'we will only invest in programs that have a clear exit strategy that sustains the impact of the work being supported by Federations' (this is such a good idea that surely JFNA will adopt this "goal" and apply it to its own programs) or 'we will emphasize programs that empower and build capacity in local communities' (ditto) or 'we will only invest in programs in this area where we can measure the outcomes' (double ditto)), we will form Commissions, which will be charged with responsibility to determine how best to accomplish these high level goals. Working Groups may discuss meta-strategies within each assigned area, but will not go into detail about what kinds of programs make sense to address particular challenges or opportunities, or who are the right partners to work on particular sub-topic areas (this will be the job of the Commissions (got it?) or how much money should be allocated to any particular aspect of our collective work (this will be the job of the Partnership Committee (got that?))" 
 Now, this double-speak goes on for another page. I think you get the point. The GPT "process" has been designed to assure, as we've observed on these pages before...CHAOS!! The Working Groups will sit around determining, maybe, "high level goals" in their assigned areas and, maybe, "meta-strategies." But meta-strategies are defined as "an overarching strategy determining which other strategies to use in a given situation" and that "determination" is left to "Commissions" which themselves will have no authority to recommend dollar allocations.

Hey, seriously, if any of this b.s. strikes you as more than another JFNA attempt to hornswoggle the federations, let me know.



Anonymous said...

To what might we compare all this: to some cultic practice of secret handshakes and jargon laiden concepts that only the truly initiated understand?

Yes, somewhere in a dimly lit room, in the most precise and minute print possible, a scribe fills a notebook with pages upon pages of carefully constructed definitions. What is a "high level goal", what is an "overall strategy" and how is that distinct from a "meta strategy".

Friends don't let friends make a fool of themselves. Someone should be putting in a call to David Butler!

Anonymous said...

Anyone have a budget to post of how much the GPT farce is costing while they develop these high-level goals?

Anonymous said...

Even if JFNA had a budget it would not include the thousands of dollars that the federations are paying for their staff and volunteers to attend these wasteful meetings.

Anonymous said...

"we will only invest in programs that have a clear exit strategy that sustains the impact of the work being supported by Federations"

Not much work being supported by federations has clear exit strategies. Do JCCs, JFSs, Day Schools, JDC Hunger, JAFI Aliya, Birthright have clear exit strategies?

Who the hell has a clear exit strategy? Oops, Homes for the Aged I guess.

Saying we need clear. exit strategies is to attempt to define JFNA overseas funding like those of a private foundation. Vay is mir! Are these people fruitcakes or Methodists?

Let's do a robust unpacking of our meta strategy and try speaking English. All of this jargon is just the refuge of those who want to sound important and have nothing to say.

Jewlicious said...

I'm just loving the use of the term "hornswoggle."