Monday, March 11, 2013


                       Ambition should be made of sterner stuff

In response to my Post on JFNA as the Potemkin Village of Jewish organizations, some alert readers offered Comments that suggested, well, read on...

With a resume of multiple titles but no successes, the immediate past Board Chair is making a typically overly-ambitious and overly-aggressive run at the Chairmanship of the Conference of Presidents. Those participants in the February Conference of Presidents Mission saw this unbridled ambition in full flower -- what some would call a "charm offensive." (Others might limit their comments to "offensive.")

I am conflicted in urging you to urge national agency Chairs whom you may know whose organizations are members of the Conference to oppose this further quest for power, glory and a microphone by one who cannot cite a single achievement over 6 years as, first, Chair of the JFNA Executive and, then, its Board, other than that she ran meetings with efficiency (unless you consider hiring CEO Silverman and micromanagement achievements) and that she sings (even Gilbert and Sullivan) beautifully. For, after all, if she gains this new position maybe...maybe...JFNA will be rid of her interference with JFNA's new Board and Executive Chairs and, maybe, the GPT will finally be fairly evaluated without the nefarious and constant dictation of outcomes by the Past Board Chair .

It might be wise for someone to warn Malcolm Hoenlein of the continuous interference in JFNA's professional administration by this professional volunteer; it might be appropriate for the Conference of Presidents' Nominating Committee to reflect upon the history of its Chairs, almost all of whom left the organizations they chaired in a far better place than this self-appointed "nominee" left hers. 

Then, there is Manning's opinion, expressed at a small Subcommittee meeting of the JFNA Global Planning Table, that the word "zionism" is "too controversial" to appear in a JFNA document, or words to that effect. She denied saying these words...but she did. While this report led to strong condemnations (of me), denials all around and JFNA's public reaffirmation of its commitment to Zionism...yes, she did. This was not JFNA's or the federations' position, it was hers but, as Chair... Can an organization dedicated to Israel, and dedicated to Zionism even consider Manning for its Chair when its members include every Zionist organization in America, every organization which unequivocally supports Zionism? Rhetorical question.

It was Oscar Wilde who observed that "ambition is the last refuge of failure." As one of the FOBs would write: "Yup."



Anonymous said...

It is not fair to say that Kathy had no acheivements as the chair of JFNA. I can list any number of acheivements albeit negative they are still acheivements. But then again, my mother always taught me that if you can't say something nice about someone don't say anything.

Anonymous said...

Kathy always dresses nicely.
She is charming one on one.
She is a good mother.
She graduated law school.
She financially supports many worthwhile organizations.

There I said something nice.

Now, to the point. Kathy is somewhere between a Black Widow and a Praying Mantis in her ability to destroy an organization.

I highly recommend her for any organization that wants to self-destruct.

Gilbertstein and Sullivansky said...

I am the very model of the modern Jewish leadership,
I've press releases,witty quotes, reciting federation's postal zip,
I know all heads of agencies, and cell phones of the special few,
From Michaels down to Edgars and even one Israeli too,
I'm very well acquainted now with budget things financially,
Consultants, projects off the books a very practiced speciality,
bout GPT and Vegas three I'm teeming with a lot of news,
Give me five, a tutor too, I'll even talk about the Jews,
I am the very model of the modern Jewish leadership...