Wednesday, April 16, 2014


1. The apparent abdication of his responsibilities as JFNA Board Chair has inspired a number of Comments. Some have appeared on these pages, others have been sent to me off-line. The theme that runs through them all can be summarized as follows: "This wouldn't be happening if Michael Siegal were still the Chairman of the Board."

2. Remember Matt Freedman? Back in 2011 we applauded his hire away from The Associated, the Baltimore federation, as JFNA's Associated Vice-President for Philanthropic Resources. Imagine, an experienced campaigner from a great federation now on the staff of JFNA. And, with all things JFNA...nothing. It was as if Matt had been swallowed up in the black hole that JFNA had become. First, perhaps the cause of the mysterious disappearance, Paul Kane, hired by Silverman to do...almost nothing it appeared...seems to have tasked to Matt the impossible job of collecting non-binding federation non-commitments to the Ethiopian National Project, and, then, similar, the non-binding non-commitments to "Completing the Journey." Then, JFNA hired another New York UJA pro to "succeed" Kane upon his retirement. And, now, Matt has resigned...or been forced out. Another example of Silverman's managerial acumen.

3. Writing of Paul Kane reminded me -- has he really retired? What is the amount of his consulting contract that sees him at 25 Broadway almost more than when he was a full-time employee? What is he doing beyond the non-performing Millionaires Round Table? Any answers will be appreciated, of course.

4. Looking for CEO Jerry? A friend of the Blog tried to reach Mr. Silverman by e-mail on April 10 (the date is important). Here is what that correspondent received as a reply:
"I will be out of the office from November 22nd through December 1st. I will not be checking e-mail during this time. Please feel free to contact my assistant..."
I often think that JFNA would be far ahead of where it is were Jerry's assistant (and Howard's before him) in charge.

5. And on April 9, Globes reported that an Israeli Government Committee recommended that Hadassah Hospital be "taken away" from the control of WZOA ("It's not our fault") Hadassah.

And so it goes here in Lake Woebegone.



Anonymous said...

From personal experience it is my belief that our national agency senior staff is composed of only two types: those there to do a job and speak truth and those committed to a paycheck and self promotion or survival. The former, like Matt and other good folk before him, are gone quickly while the latter survive in their irrelevancy.

Anonymous said...

The Matt Freedman example is a poor one. Terrific professional (with a Baltimore pedigree), yet I am not sure truly made out for FRD. He came to our community several times, spoke well, yet in essence provided little more than "cookie cutter" FRD advice and consultation.

And, that continues to be a struggle for JFNA. A "one size fits all" mentality.

Anonymous said...

Matt Freedman came to your town and gave stale FRD advice? Hey, Paul Kane came to our community and told us how great Jerry Silverman is. It is clear that JFNA is what it is -- a joke.

Anonymous said...

JFNA is not a joke. It is a crime. I cannot imagine what are donors would say if they knew this is how we spend $30 million

Anonymous said...

NO!! Current CEO is no Julie Louis D. More Dan Quayle. LoL!!

Anonymous said...

In Forward article this week, CEO Silverman attacks the Annual Campaign and the collective. HE MUST GO.

Anonymous said...


Can you cite a single area that the merger cited as a focus of the new organization where JFNA has advanced the federation cause, is advancing the federation cause or might advance the federation cause? It's crystal clear that those who ostensibly lead JFNA are driving it and the system toward irrelevancy if they haven't arrived at that destination already. It's as bad a picture as you have painted if not worse.

Where is the outrage?