Saturday, April 20, 2013


Ask, if you will, someone at JFNA you can trust how many federations participated in the latest round of Global Planning Table meetings -- in person or by phone. It won't surprise you if you read these pages that fewer than 15% of the federations were represented -- and this for the biggest "idea" in Jewish life since challah. Yes, this ridiculous Rube Goldbergundian scheme has been figured out by the Federations the vast, vast majority of which want nothing to do with it. They've figured out the scam, the Three Card Monte and they have voted with their feet.

Now, you have heard and read that federations which instinctively reject the idea of the Global Planning Table because the federations today are making thought through decisions on how to allocate their donors' dollars and reject the basic premise of the GPT -- that a bunch of people from other communities can better decide how to allocate your federation, my federation overseas dollars than the leaders in your community, my community can -- but JFNA's Past (and I mean Past with a capital P), and the GPT Chair and the CEO all assert that if your federation or mine actually votes down the GPT recommendations (assuming your federation even has a vote [which in most instances it...does...not]) you will be directly responsible for the demise of JFNA if not the federation system in totality.  I have been thinking about this a lot, and my conclusion is somewhat different -- if your federation or mine votes for a GPT recommendation that would take the overseas allocation function out of our hands, that would destroy our system. And, can anyone argue that my position is any less logical than that which Ms. Manning and the Sycophants (yes, her new singing group) assert? Of course not (although I think my conclusion at least has some logic to it).

Many/most federation leaders recognize, even if they will not say it aloud, that their communities must continue to control the destination and application of their largest communal allocations -- those to serve growing needs in Israel and overseas. They may give lip service to delegating through JFNA through its bizarre and convoluted GPT scheme but that is all. (Some would rather toe the JFNA party line than "hurt the feelings" of those at JFNA who in return will say and do anything to get their personal agenda through.) The false premises thrown out there in almost patent desperation to get this...thing...approved would be comical had those in position to do so challenged any of them -- "this will increase our financial resources" being the most preposterous to "if the under-allocating federations just sit in the room with those of us who do good, they'll change" to "we must have the GPT otherwise JFNA will self-destruct." None of these outrageous posits can be proved to be true and all evidence from the ONAD process (where the same argument were made), the only place from which there is any evidence to be drawn, is to the contrary.

Those who are pushing the hardest for a reallocation of donors' intended direction for their resources are counting on several things:

  • The continued belief, albeit false, of critical federation leaders in the presumptive good faith of those peddling the Global Planning Table;
  • That federation leaders who should know better will ask no questions and attempt to silence any who do; and
  • That the best and brightest among us will continue to blindly toe the party line 
And, they are probably right.

More's the pity.


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