The greatest Coach in the National Basketball Association, The Chicago Bulls Tom Thibideau, has a constant reminder to his team: "Do your job." I was reminded of this by one of those epic JFNA Leadership Briefings titled: JFNA National Campaign Chair Joins Jewish Leaders to Combat Human Trafficking.
"Wow," I thought -- not a headline about how the National Campaign Chair, having been in the position for longer than any predecessor at JFNA or at UJA -- what is the term now, some 10 years?? -- not that she solicited 25 federation donors last week, not how Susan Stern led a fund raising Mission (for those of you at JFNA, that's a Mission on which campaign funds are raised), not how 50 leaders from around the country were trained in the art of solicitation, not nothin', for that matter, about the Annual Campaign and JFNA's work in leading it...nothing at all. (I also thought: wasn't Susan succeeded by Linda Hurwitz a few months ago?)
Now I am as much against "sex trafficking" as the next person; I think that this is as venal a crime against humanity as there is; and, certainly, Jewish federation leaders should be at the forefront of any crime against humanity and against our own People. And I think it critical that JFNA publicize efforts to combat slavery in and all forms. But shouldn't our National Campaign Chair have a laser focus while National Campaign Chair on the "national campaign" for donor funds for federation purposes? Shouldn't JFNA as well?
Instead we have a further example of distraction, of purposelessness of "if you don't know where you're going, any road will take you there." (Or, in the case of JFNA, "any road won't take you there.") Once again, leaders have been distracted from what is their ostensible, arguable in JFNA's case, singular purpose, by another "shiny object."
So, Susan, who, like her organization, our JFNA, has fiddled while the annual campaigns during her terms has moved from disastrous collapse in many instances to flat lining in others, I would urge you to remember Tom Thibideau's admonition and "DO YOUR JOB." Maybe Linda Hurwitz will.