Wednesday, May 29, 2013


Paul Jeser is a FOB. We don't always agree but I have come to know Paul as a Jewish professional with strong opinions on our system (or lack of one), on the profession, on Israel, on politics. He is not afraid to put his name next to his opinions. And this is what Paul wrote yesterday in response to the Post Catching On:

"When someone asks me what I do, I respond that I am a member of the Jewish Communal Service. Inevitably, I'm asked to explain and I respond that the simple answer is that I am a fundraiser. I then expand my answer to say that as a fundraiser, I help build community, I help build a nation, I help build a People.
I was privileged to learn from the two major founders of the Jewish Communal Service, Bernie Reisman z'l, and Jerry Bubis. They built a Jewish Communal Service that was effective and personally/professionally satisfying. I was honored to be part of that great enterprise.
It is with horror that I watch 'my' field disintegrate. I truly believe that the Jewish Communal Service, as developed by Reisman and Bubis, and many others,  does not exist anymore..."
I thank Paul for his candor.

I, too, have been privileged to rub shoulders with and learn from Bernie Riesman and Jerry Bubis. I was fortunate to have crossed their paths as I matriculated through lay leadership in our communities, local, national, international, over the decades. When you have learned from the best amongst us -- and I have been blessed with great professional partners from the beginning, in Chicago, at the UJA, the CJF, the NCSJ, JAFI, JDC, UIA -- one thing all of them taught me, among so many other things, is that in the face of those who would ignore or, worse, depreciate and destroy our core values, we must not be silent...we cannot be silent.


1 comment:

Anonymous said...

In the post WWII era federations have been governed by an unwritten set of protocols and rules. Among these were:
The sanctity or holiness of the dollars we raised
The mutual respect of laity and professionals
The indivisibility of Jewish need, locally and globally
The commitment of the many to stand up to the private agendas of a few
The ethical treatment of all who labor in our cause

One by one in certain quarters, but not all, these dominos have fallen