Saturday, March 19, 2016


1. Now: Apparently JFNA, with few accomplishments to show for itself, believes that it must publicize time and again its LGBTQ Mission everywhere that it can. Website, that FEDWorld thing, and most recently in a recruiting pitch from the JFNA Chair. The outreach to the LGBTQ community is great; we are late getting on board, as it always is it seems, but it's better late than never. But is it necessary, in a self-congratulatory constant, to bang the drum loudly as to how great we are to do this? Then: Shortly after he release of the 1990 National Jewish Population Study, when I was UJA National Campaign Chair, we initiated the first of many Missions for Inter-married couples, shortly after those we merely and quietly integrated the inter-married population into our expansive Missions program. We just did the Missions, we didn't congratulate ourselves for doing so. Our mistake.

2. Now: I have to admit that when JFNA staffers told me about this the images in my mind sent me into, first, hysterics; and, then, fear. What they told me was that in a quest for fitness that had theretofore eluded him, Smilin" Jerry threw out the desk from his office and replaced it with a standing easel and a treadmill. Perhaps, however, he has yet to use least, not much in the way of evidence. Don't know who paid for the (a) treadmill and (b) the reinforcement of the floor under the treadmill. Perhaps Jerry has been replaced by a hamster...or a large gerbil. Then: Both Stanley Horowitz and his predecessors as UJA CEO and Marty Kraar and his CEO predecessors at CJF,  "old school" professionals, got along with a small office, a desk and a small conference table with side chairs. None had a treadmill; but I am confident that if they had had one, they would have used it. OK: who paid for CEO Silverman's treadmill?

3. Now. We call it FEDovation. It's something that arises every November for the last two years. JFNA talks about the circulation of innovative programs initiated by the federations  (certainly not by JFNA...certainly not)...and, then, does nothing. In certain instances federations themselves, within their City-size groupings discuss innovations among themselves. JFNA has moved on to what it now calls FEDCentral -- another brand (of course, it's always about a brand isn't it?), another shiny object -- where apparently federations will be able to access the FEDovations. You see, as it has become clear, JFNA had to wait two f'ing years until it had a "brand something" to deliver...Then...the best practices that the UJA and the CJF delivered year-in and year-out for more than a decade before the merger might..."might" being the operative word....suddenly emerge. (You see, best practices are nothing less than FEDovations without the confusion of the FED brand...and, as they have existed for decades, the phrase "best practices" may never be used.)

So, there you have it. It doesn't really have to be a choice between Then and Now, does it? It is a choice between an effective continental organization and what we have today. And we already know how that turns out, don't we?



PAUL JESER said...


Anonymous said...

This is not funny. Gerbil or hamster be damned. If they installed a small workout room for all employees, I would applaud. A personal office treadmill is a personal purchase. I think we are entitled to know who paid for it. My charitable dollars or Jerry's personal pocket.

If he paid for it himself, he should use it in good health, although I cannot understand how he can meet with people, which I assume is not an insignificant part of the JFNA CEO's job, while trotting or plodding on a treadmill.

Facts are called for under the circumstances. If he reimburses now it is very different than if he paid for it himself in the first place. These contraptions require special desks.

Who paid for it?

Anonymous said...

Maybe this is like the modern version of the College Basketball Coach. Back in the day, it was "Coach Knight," or "Coach K;" today, it is as at Yale: "Yale Men's Basketball James Jones. Joel E. Smilow, Class of 1954 Head Coach.." Perhaps, it is the "Kathy Manning CEO Jerry Silverman, Treadmill."

RWEX said...

I know that some, a few of you, would like me to censor Paul Jeser -- there seems to be something very personal in much of this. I won't print personal attacks on any correspondent -- they will be rejected. At one and the same time, If Paul or anyone else offers a Comment I find to be egregious, it won't be printed.

Anonymous said...

NOW: no unity - no appeal.

THEN: We Are One.
NOW: We Are Lost.

THEN: common agenda
NOW: no agenda - anything goes

THEN: lay leadership
NOW: "professional" management

THEN: dedication and caring
NOW: who cares?

Anonymous said...

I make a 6 figure gift to my Federation. A piece of that money goes to JFNA. I want to know who bought the treadmill?

Chairman Sandler is it too much to ask?