In an unfortunate example of blatant opportunism, immediately after receiving a copy of the JFNA Executive Committee call for a "voluntary campaign" to raise $10,000,000 to assist our Israeli family during the terrorists' barrage, we received the "roll-out" of the preliminary GA Program. And the Program looks excellent -- for the first time in years. Terrific speakers, including Justices Ruth Bader Ginsberg and Elana Kagan and with Chuck Todd and Andrea Mitchell, a liberal's "dream team" at a time of a rejection of liberalism by so many in the communities, thoughtful and relevant break-outs; a relatively good bang for the buck of the early Registration Fee of $499.
There is still the issue of location -- a $64 taxi ride (roundtrip) to D.C./Georgetown (or a $14 Water taxi one-way + a taxi to where you might really want to be). I am going to stop kvetching about the choice of a headquarters Convention Hotel -- just go to Trip Advisor, read the reviews at http://www.tripadvisor.com/Hotel_Review-g60925-d678239-Reviews-Gaylord_National_Resort_Convention_Center-Oxon_Hill_Maryland.html
and decide for yourselves. Suffice it to say, this may be the first instance where a neighboring Residence Inn gets higher marks. Just settle in at National Harbor, somewhere south of Alexandria and enjoy the General Assembly; you will get to the District by bus for some "special evening" (or maybe not at all).
Here is the problem. All the fine pre-planning may be in vain if the crises Israel faces and those our Israeli partners face compounded by the costs, physical and emotional, to our Israeli mishpacha, require, as was done at the Los Angeles GA just a few years ago, a total refocus of the GA. Inasmuch as someone at JFNA believed it appropriate to hype GA attendance on the very backs of our Israeli family at a time of incredible pain and crisis, maybe they know that a refocus will/may be necessary. Let's hope that these JFNA leaders are up to it and that the GA Co-Chairs, Gail Norry and Howard Friedman, demand it.
So far, so good.