Where has all the money gone, long time passing?Do you ever wonder where our money goes...or who is watching to confirm that it is being properly spent as the allocators have contemplated? Or are you, like our leaders, disinterested? Or do you assume that our federations and their agent, JFNA, are actually demanding accountability? In its 990 filings with the IRS, JFNA states clearly that over $800,000,000 are its responsibility -- 100's of millions pass through its bureaucracy designated for third parties. What happens to the money after JFNA sends it on? Who/what is monitoring that those funds are being properly applied? It's not that our money is being misspent that we know of, anyway; it's that no one knows, do they?
Where has all the money gone, long time ago?....
Oh, when will they ever learn?
Oh, when will they ever learn?
Who's watching the store? When JFNA opens one of those many, many Mailboxes -- say for Haiti Relief for which millions were collected by JFNA and sent on after the devastation of Hurricane Jeanne -- who gets the money and who assures that it's properly spent? Does JFNA get a report in writing? The Wall Street Journal recently suggested wanton waste, money not getting to the intended beneficiaries, etc., and The Red Cross being unable to account for the expenditure of tens of millions -- no doubt, some of it the funds JFNA transmitted. Ask JFNA if it can account for the Haiti Relief dollars (or Nepal Relief or funds sent by communities to the Jewish Coalition on Disaster Relief or other) and you will no doubt get the following: a smirk, a Mad Magazine, z'l, stupid grin and "we'll have to get back to you on that. (And, then, two things happen:  nothing and  your name goes on a JFNA "do not call" list.)
Do the federations have any interest in where their/our money goes? They seem to ask no questions, maybe they fear the answers they will/won't get. This is not like the situation with the Jewish Agency where UIA, JFNA's subsidiary, is monitoring the federations' allocations not just for the system but for the U.S. State Department in the application of U.S. Refugee Resettlement Grant. And JDC? Well it annually receives $10s of millions in federation allocations and 100s of millions from the Claims Conference. Just read the latest on the corruption and negligence of the Claims Conference under the Joint's noses (and, perhaps, its management) and maybe, just maybe, the light bulb will go off and someone at JFNA will demand a line item accounting of where the tens of millions of federation allocations have gone, how the money has been spent and on what...not alone the funds from multiple Mailboxes, but, for example, the millions ultimately wasted on the no dead Global Planning Table. But...probably not.
This neglect is symptomatic of so much that is wrong with our system today. Too many -- not all but too, too many -- seem to view their Board membership, especially their Board membership at JFNA, as some kind of honorarium excusing Board members from seriously embracing their responsibilities and exercising them. I have to admit with sorrow that some may not even know what those responsibilities are. Monitoring? Accountability? We'll leave that to the professionals. (And, as we have noted, at least one JFNA venture seems to have no lay leadership involvement whatsoever.) Us...we set the policies --that's what we do -- and that's all we do. Actually, in too many instances, "we" don't even do that. We show up at meetings, nod our heads, vote as we're told and return home satisfied that we have met our responsibilities...
And that's how our organizations have turned to crap...congratulations.
One of you has Commented as follows:
I want to be clear: Federations monitor their allocations to local agencies through internal allocations and budgeting processes; Federations have every reason to believe that JFNA, the recipient and conduit for allocations, will monitor funds transmitted to and through it to assure that those funds are properly applied. JFNA, even though it receives (and, in the main, wastes) $30 million annually in Dues, does no monitoring. And, there's the rub.