$6.1 million is a major allocation -- too major to be merely "announced" without any detail whatsoever, and without any review and ratification by a governance body -- in fact it would be a perfect function for an Executive Committee but, sadly and of course, JFNA has decided in its wisdom to do away with its Executive Committee.
With all of that as preamble, I decided to inquire of the JFNA Board Chair and the Chair of Israel and Overseas -- and I learned that while there was some controversy in the allocations process, leadership engaged in what has been characterized as "robust debate" within an open process in which the major funding communities of Operation Protective Edge FRD participated along with other federation leadership. Apparently there was dissent but the allocations decisions were consensual and the Committee Co-Chairs assured a fair result. (Board Chair Siegal, in an email response to me on which, CEO Jerry was copied, promised me that I wold receive a print-out breaking down the allocations of the $6.1 million. Here it is, one week later, and I have received...nothing!! Unfortunately, this is typical.)
Sure, there are legitimate questions that can be raised about the flip of millions of dollars from terror relief by JFNA essentially to itself through its dormant Negev Work Group and Negev Funding Coalition; whether these millions might not be better held in a Terror Relief Fund escrow for future emergencies and, thereby, remain true to the donors' intent especially when the fund raising for Operation Protective Shield fell far below any reasonable goal and, as reported last week from Gaza in Tablet, actions there are "creeping toward another explosion;" and whether JFNA is merely attempting through this reallocation to revivify the futile, bloated silo of its Israel Office. I hope, but do not know that those issues were part of the Committee's debate.
But we as a Continental Jewish polity should be satisfied that the allocations decisions were fairly arrived at with the right leaders in on the decision. If only all of JFNA's decisions were arrived at in similar fashion.