Saturday, August 25, 2012


One could only hope that at 25 Broadway and in Greensboro there was some small sliver of remorse after the dust had settled on the "zionism" issue and those involved at those two venues had a chance to reflect on the stories they conjured to cover for what they had said and done. But, sensing none...

We would probably all agree that the Board Chair's demand for the intentional exclusion of "zionism" from the Global Planning Table Vision Statement because of the alleged "controversy" associated with the word/the concept is a shanda...but, that wasn't all.  After the excision of "zionism" and the deletion of "engaging the Jewish people" and what is left, but for the intervention of federation leadership (and, be assured, it is always "but for the intervention of federation leadership"), would have been  a "vision" crafted by JFNA through this futile GPT process that would have driven our national organization and, through it, our federations further and further away from the core purposes and values that my federation and yours would demand were they aware of these actions.

JFNA and GPT leaders have claimed that those who opposed their scheme were "misinformed" or "malicious" or "engaged in wordsmithing." None of those label are or were true. And the only "wordsmithing" that went on was JFNA's leaders claims that as "zionism" had never been included in any GPT document, they couldn't have excised it!! I wouldn't call this JFNA game of semantics "wordsmithing," I'd call it specious.

As always, JFNA's leaders don't want you to know about any of this. The CEO insisted that "...the work being proposed (through the GPT) will strengthen Israel and the connections between American Jews, Israelis and Israel..." and "our deepest support for Israel and Zionist principles." Yet, he never explains...never...the absolute conflict between that "work" and the editing out of the GPT "Vision" "engaging the Jewish people" and the Chair's dictate that "zionism" never be included.

Nor did CEO Silverman and his Board Chair ever explain the total inconsistency of positive words -- "deepest support" -- with negative actions -- e.g., no JFNA advocacy for the Jewish Agency or Joint within the federations for at least six years and the deconstruction of the historic partnership with them through the GPT and the consequent declining support for these historic partners by over $100,000,000. 

Then many of you sent me an August 16 op-ed from Arutz Sheva -- The Zionist Girl the Jewish Federations Love to Hate. Written by Lori Lowenthal Marcus, you can read the whole piece at

Suffice it to say that Ms. Marcus reports on the attacks against her arising out of her Jewish Press article; the futile attempts she made to get JFNA's position both before and after her article was published; and her sorrow, disappointment and surprise at the vicious manner in which JFNA, its leaders and sycophants (my word) went after her. And, after all of the dust settled, what did she learn: "Silverman's July 30th statement admitted that a choice had been made not to use the word Zionism in the document..." And, "[S]o what actually happened at the meeting out of which this ugly fight arose? We have two accounts. One account has remained consistent -- Wexler's. The other, JFNA's, began as stubborn silence, then morphed into a personal attack on a reporter...then shape-shifted into a long-winded explanation about 'mere' word-smithing, capped off with a high-handed and self-serving invocation of the religious obligation -- but only of others -- to repent."

It appeared in Silverman's rant with regard to my Post that the reporter and I were being accused of sinat chinam -- "baseless hatred." My suggestion is that those who throw around rocks like that engage in some serious introspection inasmuch as the only thing that this writer despises is a lack of integrity, institutional or otherwise -- in other words, with all that JFNA lacks -- and that isn't baseless.


1 comment:

Anonymous said...

There's a special place in G-d's scheme for those who accuse others of lashan hara while uttering that themselves...and it's not a good place.