Wednesday, September 12, 2012


As you know if you read these pages, since JFNA's toe-dipping in the "controversial" waters of "Zionism," I have been so black-listed that I don't even receive the occasionally riotous Leadership Briefings, so I have to rely upon the kindness of friends. So, bless you, my friends, for keeping me apprised of the daily comedy of life at 25 Broadway.

An example: you will recall that JFNA was awarded the Zeta Beta Tau Jewish Organization of the Year (or something) Award. Now comes word (and I am not making this up) that "[W]e're a 2012 Nonprofit Tagline Award Finalist" (whooopie!!!) for "Strength of a People. The Power of a Community." You can vote to assure JFNA another victory to join with that already received from ZBT.

Another: Susie Stern, the National Campaign Chair, has one of the greatest bios in national Jewish life. You can read a complete CV on the Jewish Women's International website. Just as with the Board Chair last year, one has to ask: is there no one around to tell these leaders that it is totally inappropriate to be honored, as Manning was and as Susie will be this year, by a fund-raising organization that competes with federations? That's a rhetorical question, of course. 

Then there's the tragi-comic aspect.  Susie is presented as the "first woman national campaign chair" as JFNA announced in one of those "creative" Leadership Briefings. She wasn't -- Carole Solomon will always be the first. To engage in this unnecessary puffery and hyperbole is an insult to this great woman leader who actually created the ILOJC and, if memory serves (and there is no institutional memory within JFNA even though Susie clearly would remember), it was Carole who asked Stern and Chicago's great leader Lois Zoller to Co-Chair that 1993 Conference. But there was no need to embellish one of the great resumes in Jewish leadership as JFNA has done -- as JFNA always seems to do -- and, in this instance, surely, had Stern seen the Briefing before it went public, wouldn't she have corrected it?  Why this embellishment? Why, you might ask? Just because that's what they do. (Even more astonishing is that not one JFNA leader -- not Manning, not Stern, not Silverman -- reached out to Carole Solomon to invite her to this Conference, let alone to speak at it. As a FOB wrote me -- this was "rude and thoughtless.") But,  having now been reminded of the "facts," JFNA has made its own feeble effort (another Briefing) to correct the record and acknowledge Carole's creative role in the ILOJC -- with quotes, no less.

But, bottom line, understand this: just as did her Board Chair last year, the current JFNA National Campaign Chair is now helping another organization raise money...not money for JFNA (which, as I understand it, needs lots more).

What the hell are we about any more? Although I think I know.


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