Sunday, October 5, 2014


Through the windows of our home I can watch the seasons changing, the leaves, brown, red and yellow, fall like the snow that will soon follow, and change is everywhere...except at JFNA.

They never cease to amaze...

  • JFNA proudly announced a Mission of the system's largest donors that sounds exactly like parody: "King David Society Mission to China     A community of philanthropists with a passionate concern for the worldwide Jewish community will be travelling to China. Today’s China is a fascinating mix of the modern and the ancient. We’ll tour imperial palaces, climb the Great Wall and explore winding backstreets. We’ll encounter the incredible Shanghai Jewish community - founded by Baghdadi Jews, a refuge during the Holocaust and the Russian Revolution, and still going strong today. March 9-17, 2015." Yep, "...and still going strong today." Uh, huh, sure. When Chabad came to Shanghai, the native Jewish population was estimated at 150; today the community, consisting mainly of foreign Jews working in Shanghai is estimated at 1500. The history is fascinating -- but while huge Jewish populations in France, in England, in Germany and on and on, are facing enormous anti-semitic attack, while in Hungary, Jews (and, in particular, Survivors) face anti-semitism not felt since the 1930s and '40s), while the Jewish communities of Ukraine are facing life and death decisions, for JFNA to send a Mission of its major donor constituency to...Shanghai? This borders on, or may be, institutional insanity.
  • And in a Tweet on September 29, CEO I-Might-Be-Raising-Money-But-I-Have-No-Time, we viewed a photo, maybe a selfie, of himself in an empty chamber, proudly reported: "Looking Forward to Seeing the PM Speak at the General Assembly." Sure you are, Jerry, so glad you were there. Later Jerry reported: "Amazing speech." Thanks.
  • Dan Brown, the brilliant and incisive Founder and Publisher of ejewishphilanthropy wrote a Comment to a recent Post in which he noted. with some deserved disgust: "Not one person - professional or lay - has the courage to write a serious article on the Jewish communal system as it exists today. I know - I've invited submissions from some of the most visible." I am certain that Dan was not surprised; submitting "a serious article" would entail taking a position (risky) or demonstrating some understanding of the systemic condition (very risky) -- and what professional or lay person engaged in our system today would want or be able to do that? Or, equally likely, they just don't have time to write -- too busy attending speeches at the U.N. or planning Missions to China, or something of equal importance.
Any wonder that some can write that we no longer have a system? 



Anonymous said...

Richard, check out this video from a talk Nancy Lublin gave recently, as it relates to your points on this Federation mission. I think she is on point (the whole video is worthwhile too):

RWEX said...

Loved/love it!!


Anonymous said...

Maybe this is why she hasn't been invited back to a GA for so many years.

Anonymous said...

It's hard to believe that there is a set of lay leaders who continue to tolerate the mess that is in front of them. Do they not see; do they not understand?

Anonymous said...

...and, Richard, you didn't include the UIA Chair in the litany who is trying to fill the void left by the inept JFNA leadership with his own inflated sense of his limited organization's capacity. Maybe "stuck on stupid" is like a disease?