Sunday, December 14, 2014


JFNA -- the fun never stops:

1. Kal ha'kavod to  ejewishphilanthropy for attempting to encourage positive change at JFNA, our failed continental organization where "change" is a term with which its leaders are unfamiliar. Link to;utm_campaign=Mon+Nov+24&utm_medium=email and provide Dan Brown and his colleagues with your thoughts for change. This could do what JFNA leaders can't bring themselves to do; then again, probably not.

Unbelievably, the UIA Chair devoted an entire UIA Officers Meeting to rant against this ejp initiative. Why, you might ask? Ostensibly because Dan Brown, ejp Founder has written some pieces that this Chair (and other job aspirants at JFNA) found "negative" without citation.

But the first submission, published last Wednesday, sadly anonymously, was a brilliant "United Jewish America (UJA) Press Conference Report." The author, a federation professional, offered some superb insights and excellent suggestions. Keep them coming; those who believe "everything is just fine" and "I just want to be JFNA Chair" be ignored.

2. Then there is this: while the failed Global Planning Table flounders, it's "voluntary funded Initiative" branded "I-REP" will focus on issues related and, I guess, unrelated to civil marriage in Israel, the New York Jewish Week reported on December 3 that a new Coalition had been formed, led by the American Jewish Committee that is already at work on this issue and others coordinating with Israeli counterparts. Numerous American Jewish organizations are engaged with the newly-formed Jewish Religious Equality Coalition; and guess which organization isn't...that's right, JFNA and its GPT. As an article in Haaretz on the Coalition disclosed:
"There was no representative of the Jewish Federations of North America, the umbrella body for the federation movement, at the AJC-hosted meeting, though months ago there had been discussion of their participation. Instead, JFNA has started it’s own effort.
“We have only recently launched iRep (The Israel Religious Expression Platform), which will focus on enhancing religious pluralism in Israel,” said Rebecca Dinar, a JFNA spokesperson, by email. “With regard to promoting freedom of choice in marriage in Israel, we are currently exploring how we might collaborate with other organizations that share our goals. AJC’s J-REC program presents one such potential opportunity and we will continue to have discussions with them, and others, as the iRep initiative develops.”
You read it correctly -- JFNA chose to go it alone in an effort that will only duplicate and confuse North American Jewry's positions on the civil society. In another universe -- you know, the one most non-profits work in -- the sane universe, someone would say to those who espouse going it alone: "forget about it." But in the universe that JFNA occupies -- the universe of the failed -- we only join coalitions that we form, thank you and best of luck. Really, shouldn't heads be rolling here before we waste more money in a duplicative effort?

And what is the acronym of the new AJC-led coalition? J-REC. It almost makes Susie Gellman, the Chair of the GPT's I-REP, almost totally underfunded to date by the Gellmans, want to cry. All of this is consistent, of course, with JFNA and the GPT operating in their own minuscule bubble of self-congratulatory ephemera, sowing confusion and failure in their wake. 

3. Finally, JFNA-Israel posted the following two weeks ago: "Due to planned maintenance in our offices in Jerusalem, we anticipate having limited e-mail access and no telephone service Thursday and Friday -- December 4th and December 5th." No one noticed...or cared.



Anonymous said...

Maybe Becky and company didn't want to get any last minute emails before the next meeting of the GPT (or whatever it is called) on Monday morning at 8:30 in NY.

Anonymous said...

number 3 shows that you are a bit over-zealous in your criticism - there was a planned power outage at the part of thr main JAFI building occupied by JFNA on those days - should they not have notified people of the down time? - pretty petty criticism - no?

Anonymous said...

The UIA Chair did not "devote an entire meeting" to the eJP call for submissions and certainly did not "rant against it". He simply brought it to everyone's attention and encouraged participation. You need to be more careful about your sources and interpretations before you fire away at the good guys - not everyone is the enemy.

RWEX said...

Just so I understand: What three persons present told me was this leader's diatribe against participation in the ejp's outreach was really an endorsement and encouragement of participation?