Sunday, August 24, 2014


1. Stop the Sirens. Someone at JFNA (or somewhere) came up with this as the tag line to a "campaign" or "goal" arising out of Operation Protective Edge. Pardon me for asking that which you may already asked yourselves: "What the hell does this mean?" Will our funds raised actually "stop the sirens," in some way bring the Terrorists' War on Israel to a close? Huh? I know, just forget it and contribute; it's meaningless, just a slogan -- you know, like "We are one"...only better, way better. Why "better?" Because it means nothing -- from the folks who brought us the "Circle of the 15 Second Club." Makes me so proud.

2. They live. You may remember, or more probably don't, that I have noted on more than one occasion that the GA has apparently been kidnapped by professionals -- that substantive materials on the GA were now being transmitted by JFNA pros without even a reference to the GA Co-Chairs. As if in rebuttal, the GA Co-Chairs reappeared in a mailing designed to "excite" us about the GA "campaign session"  -- it should be a very brief Plenary given JFNA's limited acquaintance with the concept. Welcome back, Gail and Howard. Makes me so proud.

3. The end to Collective Responsibility. Now it might have happened without  the huckstership of CEO Silverman, but he gave it without an apparent second though of the implications when federations demanded that they be empowered to directly allocate funds raised to meet the Israel Emergency to beneficiaries of their choosing. Maybe it's just an acquiescence to the current reality, an irresistible tidal wave but, at least to me, it is the inevitable outcome in a system in which an unknowing set of leaders don't see the train coming right at them. It all started, really, in the first months of the then UJC when one federation (you can probably guess which) sent its funds directly to the JDC. I pleaded with UJC leaders to approach the Joint and request it not accept this direct payment -- they did nothing. Now we are where we are...nowhere.

And, what else? JFNA has projected federation core allocations to JAFI for year-end 2014 at just a bit above $85,000,000 -- friends, that is truly astounding as it is $100,000,000 less than was allocated to the Jewish Agency alone at the onset of JFNA...and not a word of public shame...or protest. It's a horror story without apparent end. And, what of JFNA's advocacy for core allocations -- a major plank under Chairman Siegal's agenda -- oh, that? Silverman reported to the Jewish Agency in the weeks just passed, that he/JFNA would focus on larger allocations to P2gether efforts -- knowing/not knowing that those allocations are "anti-core" in almost every instance. 

4. The futility of context. This story appeared in the Chicago Tribune, August 17, 2014:
"An Orthodox Jew whose religious traditions suggest that the deceased should be buried whole in preparation for the afterlife is suing Skokie Hospital for cremating his amputated leg instead of preserving the limb to be buried next to him..."
And no comment is necessary -- just a question: how might this Orthodox Jew be compensated in some way (and which way) for this grievance?

And so it goes in Lake Woebegone.


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