Friday, September 19, 2014


In a September 18 Leadership Briefing, JFNA CEO Silverman issued a call for help:
"Though there is no shortage of pain and suffering throughout the world, there is one tragic situation we can do something about. Right now, thousands are losing their lives and livelihoods in a region that once boasted a thriving Jewish population. Ongoing fighting between Ukrainians and pro-Russian rebels has imperiled tens of thousands of Jews in Ukraine – particularly the elderly and infirm – who need urgent aid now more than ever. The Jewish Federations of North America is in a position to help"
Yes, after ignoring the tragic situation confronting Ukrainian Jewry for weeks, the  poor folks at JFNA recite "[W]e are engaged in a campaign to raise $2 million to support our partners providing services to people in need." We are? Really? A "campaign." Really? And just what is that "campaign?" And where did the "goal" of $2 million come from? Is that on top of the earlier, abandoned "goal"? 

I call this pip-squeak fund raising -- it bears no resemblance to any campaign. It is the real embodiment of all that is wrong at JFNA. The core problem -- these guys don't even know what's wrong with themselves. 

We have written it before -- this circus needs a competent ringmaster; it is out of control. It is tragic comedy. It is shameful.



Anonymous said...

The lead professionals in Development should be ashamed of themselves, unless they were forced to come up with this effort; and if that's the case, we should all feel very sorry for them.
A $2 million appeal to the federation system that collectively raises and grants over $2 BILLION?
Campaign volunteer leadership and staff actually sat around a table, discussed the situation, and came up with this solution....a $2 million appeal to the system?
And there was concensus that it was a worthy plan?
Doesn't anyone ask questions at 25 Broadway?

Anonymous said...

It would be beneficial, Richard, if you would consider polling the 3 partner organizations (or more) to see if they were asked for input and if so what did they say were their needs?

Anonymous said...

we all need to accept that jfna is a trade, advocacy and support organization. it is not a fundraising organization and hasn't been for some time. this may not fly well with some veterans but it's a fact. and, it is our system's new reality. the genie is out of the bottle. lets make our national organization the best that it can be without clinging to old paradigms.

Anonymous said...


Here's the latest:

"As a follow up to the email regarding cash needs distributed earlier this week from the Desk of Michael Siegal, a report on commitments and cash remittances by Federations to the Stop the Sirens campaign is attached. Updated data may be emailed to

Our next update will include information on the status of the Ukraine Emergency Assistance Fund."

From, Jerry Silverman

Anonymous said...

The end result of this incompetence is that the JDC, JAFI and ORT are all out in the communities raising money. Congratulations to Siegal and Silverman: you have made major contributions to the destruction of our federation system.

RWEX said...

To Anon 2 above -- the "3 partner organizations" would not fear the retribution that would come from directly responding to any questions from your Blogger.