Monday, November 10, 2014


Given the dismal attendance at this GA being held at National Harbor, Maryland (or is it Harbour Island, The Bahamas?), you would have thought that next year's venue would be both exciting and an attraction, in and of itself. And, so it is...the 2015 GA, November 8-10, will be held at...drum roll, please...National Harbor, Maryland. It's no longer about the location (even though that was the one criterion emerging from Kathy Manning's one-woman "GA Reset Committee" that was implemented, causing the then next year's GA to be snatched from Houston as I recall), and it's clearly not about attracting attendance, it's not about the federations, it's apparently all about the deal.

Vice President Biden assured an overflow crowd (the magic of meeting in a smaller room) that he staked his personal reputation on Iran never having a nuclear bomb and that Israel is America's greatest friend and vice-versa -- "we're family." Perhaps, he should have delivered this speech in the Oval Office directly to the President.

I am so blessed to have such incredible Commentators -- Anonymous or no -- whose insights offer a constant wisdom. Here is one on this GA -- equally applicable to so much of the narishkeit JFNA today:
"As has been stated by other contributors neither JFNA nor its constituent federations can offer an inspired shared purpose or compelling shared agenda. So is it a surprise that the GA is irrelevant?
It is a conference without a reason for an organization that is similarly uncertain about what role it plays. And the marketplace knows it."
The question is: why doesn't Michael Siegel know it? Why don't the federations know it? (I won't ask why Silverman doesn't know it.)

On a positive note, my friends advise that the few Plenaries have been well run and well-managed. On a note less positive, reporters from a wide array -- maybe a "swath"(?) -- of break-outs have described most of them in terms ranging from "worthless" to "same old same old." (I think that's just two ways of saying the same things.)

Enjoy your receptions, dinners and what could be an excellent Panel on perceptions of Israel.



Anonymous said...

Anonymous Anonymous said...
And to Quote the Forward "Speaking before a crowd of more than 2,000 at the conference center just outside Washington, Breyer said the most remarkable thing about there being three Jews among the nine Supreme Court justices is how unremarkable it is in America today."

The police should have arrested everyone in the room since the legally allowable capacity as posted was slightly over 1,500. Not to mention lots of wide open spaces in the back that I would have estimated at more than 20% of the room. Plus there were large spaces taken up by video camera operators, sound operators, the press core and a curtained off area in the back.

Anonymous said...

Did those who lead this thing actually pay for a GA "poet in residence?" If so, that would be reason enough to throw the bums out.

Anonymous said...

Please explain to me how JFNA can place the CEO of the Milwaukee Federation on Panel about ANYTHING?? A Federation that has practically eliminated its allocation to overseas needs, raises a disappointing amount in its campaign and has lost its best and brightest lay leaders? This promoting failure.