Friends, I don't know whom "Jacob Levy" is -- but he has distributed and redistributed the "JAFI CIRCLES THE DRAIN" Posts and now has offered the expansive Comment which follows:
"Mr. Wexler's blog is true everything that is written. One could talk to any senior Agency employee in private and hear all the same things. Everyone knows what Mr. Wexler wrote. But, the Blog article misses the point. The main thing about Alan Hoffmann is not his contempt, lack of support and undermining the most capable and dedicated employees. It is not about his extravagant and wasteful spending, excess travel, and ugly pet names for everyone who works at the agency, like "the dwarf" or “the witch”.
The main thing is that he fails systematically in every mission he touches. When Alan became Director General the Agency were three very well running departments of knowledge people. Some said they (were) too strong. Alan was unable to put together a reasonable alternative organizational structure. His structure (has) more than doubled or tripled the silos within the agency and created total confusion in the structure of authority and responsibility for some tasks, and there are too many hands managing others, and many tasks (are) just falling through the cracks. That is the real balagan.
Alan announce a new strategic plan? And after an investment of hundreds of thousands of dollars.
There were 4 pillars to the plan. Let’s look:
Pillar One: Jewish Experience and Israel Experience in Israel. The result: Birthright/Taglit already existed; MASA/Israel Journey already existed in one way or another for over 60 years. After the Strategic Plan then Agency adds another program in between - ONWARD - and after a huge investment in public relations, marketing and investing money to develop new jobs to a successful program last year of about 1,000 young people in these programs. It is a beautiful and an important program. But is that the scale of strategic revolution? The largest global Jewish organization can only succeed at making do with influencing 1000 young adults to forgo long term programs and come for 4-8 weeks? This (was) described by the Agency as great earthquake of strategic move but in truth is a nice program of almost negligible magnitude!!!!!!
Pillar Two: Young Activism in Israel: After a lot of noise and public relations, new jobs, more money, development budgets and the result? Project TEN - a few dozen beautiful young Israelis in volunteer programs, it was promised as Jewish young people from around the world working and studying Jewish subjects together. Israelis and Non-Israelis. (Except) for the Center in Kibbutz HarDuf in Israel, which by the way is at Director Lahav’s kibbutz on a no bid basis, there have almost never been any non-Israelis in attendance. First Center in India – closed. Center in Ghana – never opened. Mexico – barely functioning. A success story only on paper and in presentations. This is a failure in all of its promises. Jewish kids from all over the world working and studying Torah together. That was Alan’s promise – NEVER HAPPENED. There have been several cycles of excellent Pre-army Academy Programs. – A small drop in the ocean that is totally incompatible with the definition of a revolution in strategic organization that costs hundreds of millions of dollars
Pillar Three: Immigration and Absorption. Result: A total loss of exclusivity. Nefesh b’Nefesh taking credit for Immigrants that Sochnut brings from the Former Soviet Union. The humiliation by the Government changing the Ministry of Absorption to the Ministry of Absorption and Aliyah, the Government creating a company for the Public Benefit for Aliyah, closing great programs like the Student Authority that brought and college education tens of thousands of young new Immigrants at a time that it would bring huge numbers from the Former Soviet Union, the wholesale closing of successful Ulpans all over the country.
The Government was told the Jewish Agency was changing from Aliyah to Education by Alan Hoffmann. They believed him and were angry that the Agency was breaking its agreement with the Government. This is what has led the government of Israel to not want to work with the Jewish Agency and not trust the Agency on matters of Immigration.
Pillar Four: Significant Growth in Shlichim (Emissaries). Results: Evaporated into thin air. What was before is what remains. The only big change is on College Campuses. And this successful initiative is led by Natan Sharansky himself with money raised from Sheldon Adelson.
The truth of the Strategic Plan is that it is like a sword and a shield. Alan is the sole person who carries both weapons. He decides what is “in” the plan or “out of the plan”. Lay leadership is forgotten and not informed. For Alan they are just an audience to be educated/entertained. Lay people are just in the way. So after four or five years of the new strategic plan, the question what has actually happened? What has changed? What represents the expression of the new strategic moves of this huge organization? Why did we close the previously successful programs that served us so well in the past?
And where the hell went all the money invested in all this extravagant process??
In fact, what one would expect? Alan Hoffmann is the same Alan that followed this pattern as well when he was Director General of the SOCHNUT Education Department. Great Power Points. No results. Does anyone remember NACIE? - A would be coalition of North American Federations for Israel Education???? No one remembers it – it never happened.
Makom - a think-practice tank focused on re-imagining the place of Israel in Jewish life, and a grand global center for the development and training programs for educators about Israel. Several talented Israel educators doing what they did before and after the Strategic plan. No success or growth anywhere in sight. Just another brilliant Power Point with lots of circles. There are a few minor and isolated “Pilot Programs" that were there in the first place...
This all sounds harsh and nasty but the claims of Alan’s victory in the faces of his failures are...offensive to all those that have worked so hard at the Agency. Every time Alan gets a job as Director General – he has to hire a director general. Ayelet Shilo Tamir and Gerda Feuerstein in the Education Department and again now Ayelet Shilo Tamir at the Agency.
Jewish Agency web bio claims Alan developed MASA/Israel Journey – not true. These programs were mostly all in existence – some of them for over 60 years. Alan created the umbrella organization to channel the Government of Israel funding brought by Sallai Meridor. A careful reading of the MASA program book is embarrassment. The Jewish Agency is funding some completely inappropriate programs, some of them in direct opposition to SOCHNUT’s core Zionist values for the sole purpose of artificially inflating the number of participants – and maybe only for the purpose of inflating an ego? If the donors only understood it, they would be humiliated.
Alan has a habit of finding work and international travel for his friends. The circle of Alan trust that Mr. Wexler spoke about. It is possible that Alan is not deserving of as much trust. The Jewish Agency has a Youth Travel company (The Israel Experience). When some SOCHNUT programs need travel services the Jewish Agency owned company is not always allowed to match bid the services, we are sure that Alan must have disclosed his family relationship and connection to the competing company that keeps winning the bids.
When Mr. Wexler wrote about the, all but dead, Government of Israel Initiative, he left off it was Alan that supported the initiative moving from the Prime Minister’s Office to Diaspora Affairs Director General Dvir Kahana –because Dvir was his close friend and a great friend of the Jewish Agency – the rest is too pain for comment. Except another waste of hundreds and hundreds of thousands of dollars.
The promise of the Strategic plan was to also improve the Agency’s position and perceived role in Israeli society. Today it could not be worse. Better to tell your neighbors that you work anywhere than tell them you work at the Jewish Agency.
Vast amounts of money spent on the process of change but failed in realizing any meaningful ideas!
The major point that we all agree on with Mr. Wexler, is that it is time for Alan Hoffmann to go home."
I still do not know whom Jacob is...wish I did.