Tuesday, November 13, 2012


Was it just me -- after watching the GA Plenaries on JLTV (a great service) and listening quite carefully -- or did those of you who attended find this to be a most desultory GA, one totally lacking in evidencing the power of the federation dream? How sad that we have been reduced to this.

Oh, there were moments, there were highlights. Among them for me:
  • The introduction of the Board Chair, Michael Siegal, whose self-effacing address evidenced a new and welcome leadership style;
  • The dialogue between Elie Wiesel and Natan Sharansky, two of the great heroes of modern Jewish history, celebrating the 25th Anniversary of the zenith of the Federation system. Sad that no one from within the Federation system joined them to make the connection between the collective action that took place that day and what we achieved as a People going forward from that day. Why not?
  • Gail Norry's beautiful and meaningful presentation on what federation has come to mean to her and her family in such a personal way. All else is commentary.
Unfortunately, I think that "desultory" is the most descriptive of terms. Some have speculated that this was so because amcha is waiting for the Global Planning Table to be delivered down from the mountain to save us from "the split." I fear great disappointment when what is delivered from on high proves to be but another golden calf. (BTW, the "split" has become nothing more than a red herring [if I can be permitted to use golden calf and red herring in successive references]. That "split" became honored mainly in the breach over five years ago and the market has dictated how allocations are made even longer ago than that.) We still do not know how much has been and how much will be spent on this golden calf that will in the end only divide us further if the GPT continues down the thoughtless path it has been following.

So now we will look toward Jerusalem for GA 2013. Rather than let the incoming Chairs select the GA Chairs for 2013, as should be the practice, JFNA's former leaders chose those who have already had that privilege (at least once, maybe more). Perhaps those who were already so anointed will show their leadership by declining and graciously offering our new Chairs the opportunity to use the 2013 GA for new leaders to serve. But, then again, probably not.

In all events, let us hope that the 2013 GA will offer real opportunities for federations themselves to put on display their "strategic approaches to change" rather than those being nothing more than words in an observer's speech.





Anonymous said...

I, for one, am completely shocked than someone who does nothing but complain and get annoyed no one listens to him would take the time to criticize an event he did not even bother to attend. You are like a child who had a favorite toy, his parents took it away so now he pouts and refuses to grow up. Get a life. No one actually cares about the opinions of someone who cares enough to blog but not roll up their sleeves and make it better. There's a reason you're not listened to by the people that spend their time, money and effort engaging in Tikkun Olam.

paul jeser said...

Sounds like someone who learned English in.... Israel? :-)

Anonymous said...


Why would you publish this screed from a writer who refuses even to sign her name? I attended the GA and can attest that you have captured it -- "desultory" and "meh."

RWEX said...

To the second Anonymous, my thans for your support.

I did think about rejecting the attack Comment from Anonymous 1 but I did find some fair comment in the "screed" as you put it. I think any reader of the Blog knows the difference between constructive criticism and screed even if Anonymous 1 does not. They also know just who would send a Comment filled with such vitriol.

Anonymous said...

It's pitiful that the JFNA leaders have this undeserved belief in their own infallibility. They clearly thought and think that they are beyond any and all criticism. I, too, attended this GA -- it was worse than you described.

I know from the inside that not only didn't these people listen to you, they wouldn't listen to anyone.

RWEX said...

To Jiminy Cricket,

My thanks and, of course, I will respect your request for confidentiality.

Anonymous said...

Such misplaced anger. Didnt JTA publish an article on the GA that could have easily been titled "MEH?"