"As a Fed Exec I was stunned by first the mail and then letter. No warning...no advance notice...and as you said our allocations decisions were made in May/June. the issue had to be known by then.
A call with execs would have been helpful before the email. The email did not sit well with my lay chair since our community has given more overseas and is a leading federation in that regard.
Bad form to say the sky is falling when this, as you said, is no new revelation."
"In response to a question today from JTA (what do you do when a survey comes along showing that the number of U.S. Jews engaging with Jewish life and religion is plummeting?) Silverman says,After well over 100 federation visits, this CEO has concluded that the federation lay and professional leaders who attend the General Assembly aren't capable of "thinking...through" the critical issues confronting North American Jewry? And the GA itself is "...not the forum?" As another of you wrote: "So much for that whole "Marketplace of Dialogue and Debate" thing." And, then:
“You really need to bring together thinkers and thought leaders who can really think this through. I don’t think that’s the G.A. population. That’s not the forum to think this through.”(emphasis added)
Well, if the GA isn't the place, maybe Silverman plans to discuss the subject at TribeFest! Or, perhaps he simply feels JFNA just doesn't have any interest in hosting such an important conversation. Or maybe they just have lots of high-priced consultants but no real thinkers!
If he waited this long to break his silence on the importance of collective responsibility (interesting timing on his part with his contract is up for renewal) maybe he will eventually see the light and convene a conversation on shrinking Jewish engagement and the effect on the federation system!
Wishful thinking, I know."
"Silverman is an embarrassment but he is our embarrassment representing as he does the worst no-nothingnism of our system. We have never really valued critical thought nor have we ever allowed intellectual mediocrity to be a barrier to positions of authority lay or professional. Thinkers? When was the last time a federation personage of any so called stature even commented on e-Jewish philanthropy, in the Forward, or other forums where serious Jewish ideas are discussed. Silverman spoke an inconvenient truth while too dumb to know how damning it was"
And, at the end of the day, your question: "After 4 years how can Jerry Silverman insult the intelligence of Federation leaders and continue to serve as the chief professional officer of the federation entity? Are our leaders so blind, deaf and dumb? Or are they not leaders at all?"