Recently, the pros at JFNA convened Federation CEOs to realign Federation Governance participation -- weighted voting, etc. But it appeared to a number of the friends among the CEOs who called me that the whole purpose of the exercise was to "demote" St. Louis and Pittsburgh from the ranks of the Large Cities. Therein lies a bit of history with which I have some familiarity:
Back in the day, as they say, there were two
federation CEOs beloved by their colleagues -- the wonderful Bill Kahn,
of St. Louis, z'l, one of the giants (in stature in every way, in fact) of the field, and
Howard Rieger, who had grown up as had so many federation CEOs, among a
brotherhood in the Cleveland federation, many of whom were then serving as
CEOs in certifiable Large Cities. Now, neither Pittsburgh nor St. Louis
qualified by Jewish population or Annual Campaign size as Large Cities,
but, what the hell, the Large City federation CEOs were a literal "band
of brothers," and like a fraternity, THEY would decide who joined and
who didn't, and they voted in the two federation CEOs to join them in
their Retreats, etc., just like good frat brothers.
was maybe thirty years ago. Times changed, and neither Bill nor Howard remained CEOs of those fine communities. At the time of the merger, an
attempt was made to "disinvite" the two federations from the Large Cities
but those of us who considered the options felt there was enough on the
plate in the merger and persuaded the Large City Executives to keep the
two communities in the frat house. Now, in 2013, however, apparently the
time had come -- the only argument after significant debate for not doing so appeared to be that
proffered by CEO Jerry that "...their feelings would be hurt."
after 40 minutes of deliberation over Governance, weighted voting and
City-size grouping, changes that should have been implemented 12 years
ago -- basing City-size groupings and federation weighted voting
strictly based on annual campaign and/or Jewish population were stymied
by a "plea of rachmanis."
Justice averted. The JFNA way.