Wednesday, August 7, 2013


The following Memo was sent to one group of Federation leaders in advance of the June Board meetins:
"From: Desk of Alice Viroslav []
Sent: Friday, May 24, 2013 3:18 PM
Subject: June 2 Intermediate City Trustees Meeting in NY

Dear Intermediate Federation Colleagues,

I am looking forward to our meeting in New York on Sunday, June 2 at 4:00 PM.  The meeting will take place in Room 706 at the UJA Federation of New York @ 130 E 59th Street.

Our agenda will focus on three topics:

·         Relationship of Intermediate Federations and JFNA

The group will be briefed on recent efforts by the Intermediate Federation Executives cohort to strengthen the relationship between our city size and JFNA.  We will then brainstorm about how we might improve the dynamic.

·         Communication

A discussion about establishing a consistent pattern and framework for communication among our city size’s professional and lay cohorts to maximize our leverage as a city size group among our communities and with JFNA.

·         Global Planning Table

Becky Caspi, Senior Vice President, Global Operations and Director General of JFNA Israel’s office will join us to discuss how, together, we can make the GPT more relevant, engaging and impactful to Intermediate Federations.

I, along with Sue Worrel, the Intermediate Federation Executives Chair, look forward to a robust, meaningful, and open exchange of ideas at our meeting.  Thank you for your participation."
If there was ever to be "...a robust, meaningful, and open exchange..." it would have to take place without the mind control, agenda control, of JFNA; but, of course, JFNA's leaders don't trust the federations enough to allow them to: (a) set the agenda, or (b) discuss matters relevant to JFNA and the federations among themselves, with the teacher out of the room. At every meeting there must be at least one JFNA pro (and we know there are many) taking notes (on whether you're naughty or nice) and a lay leader who desperately wants to move up the JFNA food chain pushing the agenda.

From all I know, and it isn't much, the lay and professional "Chairs" here are outstanding leaders; but when one has institutional ambitions, as the lay Chairs of any JFNA constituency seem to all have, you had better drink deeply from the Kool-Aid pitcher or you will be out and someone more ambitious will take your place.


P.S. Any memo with the word "robust" in it clearly originated with the chachams at 25 Broadway.


Anonymous said...

Note to all execs in the intermediate federations (we assume that the words "city size" are missing): For those of us not fortunate enough to be at the meeting please give us an update. How many were there? How robust was the discussion? What "important" decisions were made? Have any of the recommendations been implemented? As a former exec of this city size group I would love to know how things have changed or even if they have changed from 20 years ago when we did meet regularly with the top leadership of CJF and even occasionally with UJA.

Anonymous said...

Hello!! You must know what happens to lay persons who go "off script" -- whether it's at JFNA or at your own federation. First you become an outlier, then, as you speak up further, a pariah.

Anonymous said...

How does one get "elected" as a JFNA City-size group Chair? Apparently just by showing up with the ability to read.

Anonymous said...

Rather offended by Anonymous (August 8, 5:03 PM). Just because s/he is ignorant about what's going on does not provide license to 'imply' or defame.

The Intermediate Jewish Federations are working hard to become an organized and effective affinity within the JFNA structure representing over 50+ communities. These communities have a leadership hierarchy of Federation executives and volunteer leadership. There are 13 Intermediate reps on the JFNA Board of Trustees and one specifically so designated on the JFNA Executive Committee; the latter serves as overall chairperson, sharing leadership with the Federation director designated by his/her peers as the chairperson of the Intermediate Federation executives.

Neither position is taken lightly. There are serious discussions as to the appointees.

The current leadership, Dr. Alice Viroslav of San Antonio and Sue Worrell CEO of Charlotte, are working hard to improve communication between Intermediate Federations and JFNA and among the Intermediate Federations. The memo referenced in the blogpost was an invitation to the 13 reps serving on the JFNA Board of Trustees, as well as to any other Trustees who happen to be from Intermediate Federations. It was a well-conceived gathering, convened by the leadership of the Intermediate Federations, to discuss issues of unique importance to this constituency. It was not, as the rhetoric implies, a JFNA attempt to brainwash Intermediate Federations to JFNA’s agenda. To that end, I think Richard’s blog title, “Total Kool Aid,” was totally off base.

Back to Anonymous’ hateful/hurtful comment that one simply ‘show up with the ability to read’ to serve as the lay chairperson of a city-size group, I can’t speak for the other city size groups, but this comment is offensive when considering Dr. Viroslav. She is a renowned radiologist and respected volunteer. She was active in UJC/JFNA National Young Leadership culminating in her serving as national co-chairperson. She continues her national involvement in fundraising and on the JFNA Board of Trustees. Unlike many national leaders, she remains active in her home Federation: after having served as FRD chairperson, she is now the Federation’s board chairperson. She is also active at the JCPA and chaired their national Plenum a few years back.

The Intermediate Federations have a history of excellent group lay leadership and Dr. Viroslav continues that tradition.