As ejewishphilanthropy wrote:
"The appointment of Goldstein – a lay leader with no known professional work experience in the nonprofit world – as CEO of North America’s largest Jewish Federation, has already been described to eJP as a tsunami for communal professionals – particularly the up and coming working in the North American federation system. For decades younger professionals have moved to other communities all the while being groomed for more senior roles. Taken together with recent choices at other federations to hire “outside” CEO’s, many are concerned about their own career trajectories. Additionally other organizational professionals, particularly those in the overseas arena, express nervousness about a new cohort of leaders who, at best, have a different understanding of communal responsibility." - See more at: http://ejewishphilanthropy.com/uja-fed-ny-selects-professional-outsider-as-new-ceo/?On these pages we have decried this evident collapse of the professional selection process and the results that lead inevitably to the conclusion that the federation system is in collapse. What was once a selection "outside the box" is now the new, new normal. And, the history is clear -- there is not one federation that has hired a "professional outsider" that has any demonstrated success. We can only hope that somehow Eric Goldstein will be mentored and will seek advice from within and without UJA-Federation and will break the chain of failure. (I have asked you, my readers, to tell me of a single federation that has gone "outside" those professionally trained and experienced within the best federations who have led a community to success. I have heard from...none.)
A long-time communal professional and leader has written me a passionate charge to the leaders of the system in which he/she has toiled and to which she/he is so dedicated. This is how it read in pertinent part:
"This should be a growing concern for our Jewish communal professional field. I do not know Mr. Goldstein so I cannot comment on his credentials and qualifications. But his appointment, along with the growing trend of appointing Jewish communal professional executives from outside the field and system, should be ringing an alarm bell throughout our profession. As this article (in ejp) indicates: it is sending waves of concern to the already nervous cadre of young professionals, mid-level executives and senior professionals...who is next? Where is JFNA "thought leadership" on this issue? Where are our professional organizations like AJCOP or JCSA? Where are the voices of our senior colleagues, ______ included? What about the schools of Jewish Communal Service? And perhaps we have ourselves to blame for not truly organizing our profession, requiring licensing and demonstrating competencies required for the work we do and demanding recognition, respect and practical benefits for a systemwide profession. Both the Rabbinical Assembly and Central Conference of Reform Rabbis require ordination to be recognized as a bonafide Rabbi for the movements and establish compensation and benefit parameters that all participating congregations must adhere to. What does the Jewish Federation movement have? Nothing. We all fend for ourselves. There is no national pension program or other benefit program. There are no guidelines, no criteria, etc. This appointment, and others that are similar to it in recent years, should be a wake up call."
In what is now considered to be the distant past, federation professional leaders like Sandy Solender and Stanley Horowitz, among other of the great federation chief professional officers now past, prided themselves on the number of their proteges, whom they trained so well, who became federation CEOs around the Continent. Today, our best and brightest don't even bother with succession plans for themselves, let alone in promoting the best of their staff in Search processes around the country. Why...why have the giants of today been so remiss in building the professional federation leadership cadre? Why have these men...and they are all men...allowed Mandel to promote its CEO searches as JFNA's agent as, first and foremost, looking outside the system? There seems to be not of whit of care that this hire, as excellent as Eric Goldstein may turn out to be, is, as one of the most knowledgeable of what is happening today wrote me: It's another "black eye for the system."
And, that's all from system Woebegone for the moment.