"Regarding the first meeting, at which senior representatives of groups like the World Jewish Congress, the Conference of Presidents and the Anti-Defamation League were present, one source said the conversation was “difficult” and “depressing.” The source added that “nobody was breaking ground, they were at cross purposes.” An attendee who spoke with JTA described the gathering as “intense” and said, “There was an openheartedness, there were some deep reflections by the president.” Other participants who spoke with JTA used the term “therapeutic” to describe the tone of the talks."We'll put aside for the moment the propriety of our Continental organization being represented at this meeting called at the White House by a professional, let alone this one -- he is, after all, the CEO -- when relevant organizations had their lay Chairs present. Let's focus instead on a singular reality -- here it is, April 28, more than two weeks after this meeting, and Silverman has yet to advise his Board of what occurred there (let alone why he was there); a dereliction of responsibility that is beyond irresponsibility. Does Jerry believe he had been invited to meetings of this nature, including this specific meeting, because of who he is rather than who he is supposed to represent? And...this is not the first time. My guess is that CEO Jerry just sat there like a good boy, grinning that grin of his, maybe eating some peanuts or whatever the President puts out for his guests and is just hoping against hope that his good behavior gets him another invitation...and soon. Don't we at least get a selfie of Silverman, Daroff and the President?
2. A friend sent me an above the headline, page 1 ad in The Times of Israel in which the JDC and the International Fellowship of Christians and Jews were paired in an apparent expression of partnership -- the same "partnership" that was a threshold demand of Rabbi Yechiel Eckstein for continuing his organization's incredible allocations to the Jewish Agency. At the time of that demand of JAFI, which was just one of many...many...federation Large City Executives vehemently objected citing the federation system's allocations to JAFI which had never been promoted in such a way. So JAFI backed away and Eckstein, reiterating that "this has never been about ego," pulled the plug. So, though I would not go so far as to suggest that JDC has sold its soul for a bit of porridge, who would doubt that if it hasn't already, that day will be demanded real soon.
3. JFNA is promoting its May 31-June 1 Board meetings with the fact that the wonderful Abe Foxman will be the featured ("only") speaker. I say "whooppee" and count me in -- can't wait to hear Abe. Also, Linda Hurwitz will be honored for her many years as National Cheerleader-in-Chief and, presumably, Michael Siegal will announce her secret successor -- who has no doubt been promised Michael and Jerry's "total support" -- whatever that means or ever meant. I wonder if Linda's successor comes from a federated community that allocates at the same level or higher than its City-size average. What are the chances?
4. In January 2014 JFNA proudly announced that one of North America's most valued Jewish philanthropists and leaders, Mark Wilf, had been appointed "to lead a new initiative* that will 'assess and communicate the needs of the Holocaust survivor programs' and bridge budget shortfalls of those programs." Mark and the Wilf Family have evidenced their commitment to the holocaust survivor community by their constant generosity to and leadership of this most major cause in their lives and memories to organizations ranging from Yad V'Shem, to Project Heart, the United States Holocaust Memorial Museum and the Los Angeles Museum of the Holocaust, among so many others. But here we have another JFNA "Initiative" that we hear about with great fanfare at its "launch" and then it disappears. I don't have to write about these pathetic failures that induce the best and brightest of leaders -- the Mark Wilks of our world -- and, then...nada, zilch, nothing.
5. One person (maybe there are more but none that I know other that I know of) took a careful look and published The Complete List of Jewish Communal Leaders..." who requested leniency from New York's courts upon William Rapfogel's conviction for stealing over $9 million from New York's Metropolitan Council on Poverty. I read some of the letters, all of which referenced "Willie's" good deeds (most of which were done in the normal course of business BTW) all of which were performed while he was stealing over $9 million from the agency he led -- a pattern of theft that appeared to have begun upon or shortly after his first day on the job. All I can say, after reading these pleas for leniency, is "what a great guy!!"
* Yes, friends, another failed "initiative" -- a word that at JFNA has no meaning whatsoever.