Tuesday, July 22, 2014


We raised the question on these pages as to how much the JFNA Ukraine Emergency Allocations Committee had available to it and how much had been allotted and to whom. Of course, we never were advised of those amounts from JFNA. But here's what we have learned: 


     o $500,000 was directed to JDC for expanded social services to Ukraine’s most vulnerable
   o $225,000 to JAFI for enhanced security needs on the ground including security for JAFI sites, JDC sites, Jewish schools, synagogues, community centers, etc.
   o $25,000 to World ORT for security enhancements at their schools in Ukraine

So the questions are: from where, and how much has JFNA collected and distributed? There have yet to be any answers. Do the Co-Chairs of the "effort" (that's a terrible word for what JFNA has done here inasmuch as there has been no "effort" at all) even know?

And, the answer is: who knows? Though some argued that there should be a continental goal, and there had been talk of raising $1 million, and communities were asked to "raise" their Fair Share of $1 million (in a letter, of course) in a non-bonding sort of way, never was there a debate, a vote or anything close. Why? Because that might look like a "campaign" -- and, well, JFNA just doesn't do "campaigns." Not under this leadership, anyway. 

Thus, some communities just opened mailboxes. Whatever they collected, they sent on to JFNA. Others pre-committed and then engaged in a quiet fund-raising effort with no specificity as to how funds would be allocated other than "Ukraine." Other federations received the original letter from JFNA, awaited "further instructions," and receiving none did their own allocations in frustration. (It should be noted that JFNA did convene at least ttwo conference calls but it is unclear whether those were updates on the crisis or further information on funding.

Then there is today the even more ambitious and critical "Israel Emergency Fund" in which the federations were asked to participate in a $10 million initial "funding" to meet our partners emergency needs during the Terrorists' War on Israel. One may fairly ask: where did the $10 million amount come from -- out of the blue? Out of a desperate desire to be "in the game," JFNA and the federation leaders who dictated this amount just "low-balled" the needs without regard for the fund raising consequences. Just two weeks later, it has become even more clear that the Terrorists' War on Israel has created needs even greater than those of the Israel Emergency Campaign -- one that raised over $350 million just six years ago. JFNA has "allocated" $5 million of its $10 million "non-campaign." How much has actually been raised and collected by JFNA; we are not to know.

And today, JFNA is just a collection and allocations agent neither raising any of the critical funds nor executing any on the ground work with our Israeli extended family (pardon me, other than the Jerry and Becky daily story hours). Every one of us knows that when a body that raises no dollars engages only in allocating them, it is allocations in a vacuum -- it just doesn't work...and JFNA has proved it. It appointed an Allocations Committee, as it always does, but it has no clue how much has been raised other than as dollars literally dribble in from the communities. There is no FRD effort, no collections effort...no effort at all. And a goal so temporary, so ethereal as to be meaningless.

Friends, there can be no one...that's no one...except maybe those in the Clown Car, who believed that $10,000,000 would satisfy the emergency needs -- all one needed to look at was the extent of the effort during the Israel Emergency Campaign. Yet, JFNA failed completely to (a) explain to the federations that $10,000,000 was not a "goal," it was an interim need; and (b) the time frame in which JFNA would return to the federations with a real estimate of the needs on the ground. Thus, federations that knew no better and some that did went out to their donors as if their allotted share of $10,000,000 was the extent of it -- while JFNA twiddled its thumbs. Can we give this organization some adult supervision and new leadership? 

And, now, JFNA  has embarked on its efforts to raise the required $30,000,000 to fund two Global "Signature Initiatives." Are you kidding me?



Anonymous said...

What would you expect from an organization that does no fund raising -- even though fund raising was its main purpose. I remember "more dollars, more donors" as the mantra of JFNA at the beginning. Now it is forgotten on both fronts. Disgrace.

Anonymous said...

Perhaps now that JFNA/federations are raising $10-30 million they will say to JFNA we can't go back to our donors and ask for them to fund new signature initiatives. R.I.P signature initiatives.

RWEX said...

Who is going to tell them that it's past time for "Signature Initiatives?" Because unless someone with power tells those in power, this will just be another disaster or two to add to the list of disasters that preceded them.