Monday, January 7, 2013


In the Week in Words column in the Wall Street Journal, December 22-23, 2012, the following appeared:

                                   never events

They are known as "never events" -- the kind of mistake that       should never happen in medicine , like operating on the wrong patient or sewing someone up with a sponge still inside -- yet new research suggests that they happen with alarming frequency.

As we have come to learn, never events are happening every day at JFNA. Let us count the ways -- at least some of them:

  • #ish -- what the hell was that all about? And...why? Perhaps ask that one Large City -- was it good for you?
  • Community Heroes -- another wasted investment at least, perhaps, a good idea. One Large City that adopted the program claimed 1000's of applicants and "some great ideas." Where do those stand today?
  • The TribeFests -- oh, more over-hyped than any other non-program has ever been before. Two years and close to $2 million wasted before the thing was put on hiatus. Did no one have the courage to tell CEO Jerry that he was directing the waste of precious assets, or should he have known?
  • Personnel -- a great hire to run the GPT -- and the GA...and a few other things -- run off by mismanagement  and disillusionment within the first year of her hiring. (She has been replaced, we read, by a Klezmer band-leading, enthusiastic  former Federation pro (from Northern New Jersey) , the former "Co-Director of Community Planning and Capacity Building" at his federation. Qualifications for "planning the Global agenda,' who knows?); the JFNA Senior Advisor on all things who was  flipped to JFNA by his federation as had been that federation's CEO a decade earlier, will reportedly retire in June leaving no footprints in JFNA's sand, to be succeeded by: a successful federation pro who knows the FRD "business" or one of the JFNA sycophants with no federation experience on his/her resume? Sam Astrof, a paragon of integrity as CFO/COO gone with hardly a good-bye. Adam Smolyar, JFNA Chief Marketing Officer, resigned to pursue that role with a for-profit real estate company. A most seasoned administrator and fund raiser run off the reservation because she was found to have communicated with the press. Friends, between the hiring of Mindy Hepner and Danny Allen (really a UIA/IEF engagement) and retaining William Daroff to run JFNA's Washington efforts among other responsibilities, three terrific professionals, the recruitment and management of JFNA's personnel has been...well, you call it. (And Debra Smith...still there)
What you have is JFNA rapidly becoming a "never event" itself.



Anonymous said...

What do you mean by your penultimate sentence on Allen, Hepner and Daroff? Are we to infer that they were bad hires? The way you wrote it leaves it unclear.

RWEX said...

Thanks...I hope I have now made it clear...