Saturday, December 7, 2013


Yes, that loop attached to the earlier Post did capture the essence of JFNA. and even I have to marvel at the accuracy of the metaphor. For recent examples:

  • Start with the kal ha'kavod we delivered to JFNA's Chairs for their letter urging federations to increase their overseas core allocations. Then we learn during questions at the JFNA October Board meeting, that that letter had never been sent to (or, at least, received by) the JFNA Board members -- at least, not all of them. Where does the buck stop at 25 Broadway?
  • What organization that you know of would permit a major part of its agenda to be high-jacked by one of its Committees, operating independently of the organization's governance? The answer should be none -- but that is exactly what has happened at our beloved JFNA. The Co-Chairs have apparently acquiesced in the "Partnership Committee" -- a wholly self-created and self-serving "Committee" of another, the Global Planning Table -- having made itself responsible for dictating allocations outcomes, and, supposedly, advocating for the system's historic overseas partners (without any apparent competency to do so). This makes even less sense given that JFNA has an eager Israel and Overseas Committee which appears to be perfectly positioned to undertake this responsibility with the expertise of, among others, UIA. (We, of course, well understand and sympathize with the Partnership Committee Chair's acquisitive desire to be at the forefront of any effort that might keep her "in play" for her next run at the Chair of the Conference of Presidents.) 
  • How many times can one request a list of JFNA's consulting agreements and the amounts thereof...and never get a response? Many, many times, apparently. Maybe the Chairs now know the answer.
  • Here's a strange one given the whining heard from 25 Broadway about a lack of sufficient money from the JFNA Budget to accomplish great things (or anything, really). Although I found it hard to believe, I read it in a JFNA Briefing on staff positions -- strangely not from CEO Jerry but from Chairman Siegal -- that one of CEO Jerry's acolytes has been appointed to the newly created position of "Vice President, Institutional Advancement/Thought Leadership." (I am not making this up.) I believe this person was one of those who "thought up" TribeFest (she certainly defended it vehemently). After all, how can you claim your organization is engaged in "thought leadership" if you don't have a "thought leader" on your staff? But "thought leadership" in this case seems to be related to this "how does JFNA raise money for itself from your donors?" This may help to explain why some of the best and brightest of the JFNA professionals have their resumes on the street.
  • On the subject of "thought leadership..." Is this CEO Jerry's new role...and were the "roll-out" the preposterous interviews pre-GA and the misplaced, insincere "big ideas" of a $1 billion dollar "campaign" for a "free" Jewish education with no substance along with tripling the number of Jewish campers over a few years and "give us 350,000 names, Birthright" the best/worst evidence? Actually...there was no real thought given, was there? Along with no planning, no consultation...nothing.
  • Now that you have read the previews, see JFNA the Movie,The Sequel:

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

"no planning, no thought" = no hope.