Tuesday, November 19, 2013


So, what are we hearing?
  • Resumes from the few remaining best and brightest at JFNA are literally flooding the in-boxes of other national and Israeli-based organizations, Jewish and not. Is anyone asking "why?" 
  • Here is a classic: in the midst of whining about "not enough money" while, by my reckoning, wasting at least 1/2 of its $29.6 million budget,  Silverman created the position of "Vice-President, Institutional Advancement/Thought Leadership" and then filled it with one from inside JFNA.  BTW, as described by JFNA, it is evident that this is another position all about JFNA having nothing at all to do with the federations.
  • JFNA and federation lay leaders who might otherwise be lobbying for a new CEO, are now asking the question: "...who's out there who would (a) take the job and (b) be better than CEO Jerry?" Then there's this one: "Who would want this job?" These are a parallel arguments to Jerry's: "If you terminate the GPT, JFNA will collapse and die." There's no proof that either premise is correct - on these pages we have suggested at least 10 people who might be considered for CEO. They are out there; they just need to be recruited with a commitment that they will have the total support from the federation movement not just before they take the job but after as we. 
  • And, post-GA we are hearing that CEO Jerry will have his contract renewed. Why? Well, the current rationale is that if he isn't renewed "we'll have to start over." This raises the obvious question: "What would be so bad about starting over?" 
  • Is one major federation about to replace its long-time CEO under whose brilliant leadership the community has pulled itself out of the doldrums and into the light? What's wrong here?
  • Has a prominent lay leader from southern Florida been registering his dissatisfaction with having served as Chair of Israel and Overseas for 2+ years and watched as every matter related to his Committee's purpose has been co-opted by the Global Planning Table? Who is in charge here? (I am reminded of a fantastic philanthropist who was asked to Chair UJA's first lay Marketing Committee. After a few months he resigned in frustration; I asked him why. "If the National Chair is going to do the job I was asked to do, he can have the job himself."
  • Then there is this: a group of courageous federation lay and professional leaders from a number of communities within one of the important City-size Federation groupings -- one that pays 13% of JFNA's budget -- has written and distributed a well-reasoned plea to JFNA's leaders pleading for the attention and participation they deserve. To my knowledge, the only response these leaders have received is to be characterized as "rebels," that is, as in renegades. 
It's all coming apart, all around. Who's listening?



Anonymous said...

If a tree falls in the woods and no one is there does it make a noise?

Anonymous said...

As a member of that city-size group, I want to clarify. I believe that the group itself identifies itself as "rebels." JFNA has not.

In addition, after speaking to one of the writers of their "paper," they got a quick response from JFNA and a meeting is taking place at some point in the near future. Even that "rebel" felt they were responded to quickly and appropriately by JFNA.

Anonymous said...

Who's listening? Clearly Michael and Dede aren't!
Then again, seems like Hoffmann is calling all the shots these days and he clearly isn't interested in rocking the boat.

Anonymous said...

To the "member of that city-size group" -- were there real grievances to which JFNA "responded to quickly and appropriately" -- or were these merely a fantasy of some kind? I guess all is right in the world...to some.