In earlier Posts I have commented on the futility of The Alliance, the national lack of effort to create and enhance a national pool of funds in support of the national agencies created by our system. The Alliance has become nothing more than a national joke and, in The Alliance's treatment of the NCSJ -- Advocates on Behalf of Jews in Russia, Ukraine, the Baltic States & Eurasia -- a paradigm of JFNA's own failures...everywhere.
To The Alliance lay and professional "leadership" the NCSJ allocation looked like just another ATM machine to be drawn down to fund other agencies and purposes. So the NCSJ was deprecated, its purposes and impacts in its areas of operation and expertise derided and its allocations cut, cut and cut again. In 2007, the NCSJ allocation from The Alliance was $450,000; by 2014 that was down to $132,000 -- a 2/3rds reduction. Other funded national agencies also suffered cuts from the funding pool, but none as Draconian as the cuts to the NCSJ. When explanations were sought, none were provided -- "do more with less" was the mantra. At no time did The Alliance "leaders" aggressively seek more members and greater funding -- too busy with other stuff, I guess.
While those who were engaged with the NCSJ and those who had been assisted through its efforts advocated for the NCSJ Budget, The Alliance "leaders", rather than doing their jobs -- rather than vigorously reaching out to expand its membership and increase the funding pool, focused instead on just...exactly what? My belief was and is that, at the least, the NCSJ serves as an insurance policy for the continental Jewish community in the event of crises in the Republics of the Former Soviet Union and a cost-effective one that cried out for greater federation financial support. I guess that these Alliance "leaders" disagreed. And, look at what has happened.
The NCSJ has been our federations window through which we have learned of the impact of the Ukraine-Russia crisis in almost real time. The NCSJ communiques are being distributed to federation leadership on a daily basis in my federation and, I hope, in yours. The NCSJ contacts within the Jewish organizations and structures in the Ukraine and its reach within the new government there has provided our system with vital insights. The NCSJ has proved its worth ten times over if not more.
But, what The Alliance has done through its ineptitude has been to force national agencies to do exactly that which The Alliance (and its predecessor entities) was created to forestall -- engage in vigorous fund-raising. And, NCSJ and its fellow agencies have done so merely to survive, merely to perform the functions the national system had created them to perform.
And so it was that here in Spring 2014 the NCSJ has been the sole source for detailed, comprehensive in-depth information, contacts and expertise on what has happened and is on-going in the Ukraine and the impacts of what has happened there on the Ukrainian Jewish community. Yes, the Jewish Agency and JDC are engaged in critical work on the ground in the Ukraine but neither of them have the reach of the NCSJ. The NCSJ has been there for us today, in the current crisis, because it has been there last year, the year before, and even the decades before those years. Where have our communities looked for information, for Updates, for expertise -- the same place, the NCSJ, which The Alliance has ignored even undercut since its formation.
Oh, and while cutting the national agency allocations to those agencies which were created by our system, The Alliance invited two organizations to join The Alliance -- organizations neither created by nor part of our system (and which have been raising funds in competition with it). Yes, We Welcome...you!!