In the always vacuous FedWorld, January 13, 2016, this highlighted citation appeared:
"AT A TOP GATHERING OF ISRAEL’S CIVIL SOCIETY LEADERS in Sderot, Federations’ support of Israel during Operation Protective Edge was featured as an important part of strengthening the Negev. Ongoing regional support is provided through the Negev Funding Coalition, made up of 7 Federations."Now this would be great if the JFNA Negev Funding Coalition was actually engaged in any substantive "funding" of projects in this vital Region. Sadly, that's not the case. We have examined on these pages the real multi-million dollar investments of, for example, Ben Gurion University of the Negev and of the Jewish National Fund -- projects that are actually making a difference today...on the ground...in the Negev...just not in FedWorld.
Learn about JNF's Project Negev which has already begun to bring hundreds of thousands of new residents to Israel's South for which tens of millions have already been raised. Or learn about "BGU’s Jacob Blaustein Institutes for Desert Research (BIDR) is focused on harnessing the arid-zone ecosystem for human habitation." These are but two projects already in implementation by two great organizations focused on the Negev. Then there's the JFNA Negev Funding Coalition -- well-intentioned to be sure. The Coalition was "founded in 2011," almost 5 years ago. Google "Negev Funding Coalition" and eventually you will get to a Project for which implementation was to begin in 2013. But, first:
"Secure commitments of $25,000 each from 15 members: federations, other philanthropic bodie (sic) and Negev institutions by June 1, 2012"
Sorry, you just have to ask: how did that go? Answer: ask JFNA. This is how Three Card Monte is played at 25 Broadway, There are wonderful and creative federations among the 7 federation members of the Coalition; I'm sure they are doing their best. Another "project" -- probably with JFNA-Israel -- on paper and, no doubt, fully staffed. 15 members making $25,000 commitments? Ask JFNA. But the Coalition is doing something:
"INAUGURAL MASTER CLASS ON CREATIVE PLACEMAKING, organized by Federations’ Negev Funding Coalition, was held earlier this month in Be’er Sheva and additional towns in the region. The 3-day summit convened 200 changemakers, including elected officials, business leaders and artists, to discuss how arts and culture can revitalize community spaces"Yes, cf., the work of JNF, the work of Ben Gurion U. with a Master Class on Creative Placemaking. OMG!! OMG!!
It's perfectly fine for JFNA to continue to hearken back to the federations emergency funding of support to Victims of Terror in the 2014 Operation Protective Edge and raid the Fund for Master Classes. That's the best JFNA can do even as the FRD effort then failed to reach the level of need. Any intelligent, creative organization would see the value of partnering with a JNF and/or BGU in their successful efforts at making the desert bloom and realizing Ben Gurion's dream.
If JNF or BGU would have them.