We republished Haviv Rettig Gur's superb analysis of the current state of both the illusory Global Planning Table and the illusory JFNA last month (courtesy of ejewishphilanthropy) in our REAL INSIGHTS Post. In response, we received the following advice, certainly worthy of consideration at 25 Broadway:
"What I find most fascinating (and frustrating) is that it should be
relatively easy for JFNA to pivot itself and become that clearinghouse
for best practices; providing value as a trade organization. There are
bright spots out there, with professional and lay leadership who are
reinventing the Federation best practices for collective giving and
redefining what creating and supporting Jewish community and
infrastructure means in the 21st century. Nurturing and highlighting
them should not be an insurmountable feat. It is just a matter of making
it a priority."
If we had faith in the professional leader of JFNA, we would ask him to work with his new lay leadership team to "provide value" to the federations in meaningful ways.
And, then, further insight from another Anonymous Commentator:
"Anonymous one is correct. And they can start by sending their staff
uptown and out to Queens and Brooklyn to see how one Amazing version of
21st century federation community building works when in a challenge
Sadly, most would not know or understand what they were seeing, but...some would. And, those that would understand this incredible community building and rebuilding to those who would not...starting with explaining all to the CEO.
Perhaps, as a first step toward understanding, the new Chairs might direct the CEO to spend a week at the Jewish Federation of Metropolitan Chicago, or in the Departments of the UJA-Federation of New York, or a week in Baltimore, Miami, Cleveland...wherever strong federations are busy doing the sacred work of community.