Monday, March 28, 2016


A few weeks ago an Anonymous Commentator alerted us to a new JFNA publication:
"Richard, I'm sure by now you've received the 2016 Board of Trustees Reference Guide, but in case you haven't, there are a few 'interesting' things about the content:
1. Under the first Tab, 'JFNA Resources', the first page refers to the 'Development Department', etc. My recollection is that it has been called 'Philanthropic Resources' for the last number of years. Could it be that the section was just 'copied and pasted' from a previous Resource Book?
2. Under the Tab 'JFNA Committees', there is an Endowment Committee and a Planned Giving and Endowment Committee; however there is no 'Campaign Committee'....what a shame!
3. Probably the most 'interesting' Tab, the 'Lingo Guide', is an alphabetical list of the acronyms that have been used in the system throughout the years......but 'UJA' isn't there.......someone had to make a decision to leave it out.
4. Tab 'JFNA Key Contacts/Professional Leadership Team', related to my Point #2 above, there is no Professional on the list for Philanthropic Resources/Development/Fundraising.....
Here we have a $30 Million organization without any professional leadership in fundraising.
Sort of speaks for itself."
I had not then received the 2016 Board of Trustees Reference Guide. Having now read it in full I must admit that the JFNA professional staff is really good at one thing -- writing fiction. (Or gibberish -- more on that in a few days.) Of course, I knew this to be the case long before this Guide was published; now that reality has been confirmed. But, inasmuch as there is just nothing going on at 25 Broadway, there is plenty of both time and need for creative writing (including a whole bunch of resumes).

Everything that the Commentator above has written is spades. The Guide is nothing if it is not the most recent evidence of the reality that is JFNA empty vessel, devoid of purpose, devoid of priorities...and totally removed from its intended purposes. Other than on these pages, where is the hue and cry? Why is there none? Are the leaders of our system today so removed from our values that they continue, year after year, to permit $30 million in waste...compounded? 

Or are they just too busy? Or are those who are in leadership of JFNA so distracted by personal ambition that they are just willing to look the other way, willing to set aside their fiduciary responsibilities to our donors, our communities and our values? Or do they truly believe in the face of all of the facts that all is well?

It's time, past time, to take a stand, isn't it?



Anonymous said...

They are just "too busy." After all if the best of them can still manage the time to be the Top Jewish Twitter according to JTA, there must be a whole lot of available time to write and write and write some more.

Anonymous said...

There are any number of ways to destroy a good idea, a valuable concept or a significant movement. Among the most insidious and frustrating are benign neglect and willfull forgetting. Within a predictable period of time the legacy of Federation and the network of agencies surrounding it ( as has already occurred to the memory of UJA) will yet be a contested footnote in American Jewish history. Those that the usurpers and mini-gods of Jewish organizational life would destroy they will first define as an irrelevant myth. It is as if we accomplished nothing and never existed. They would have us dissapear with less than a whimper.