And just where is the accountability? Maureen Dowd recently described a flame out in another context as: "...utterly unqualified and unintelligible, spouting (his) own special Yoda-like language..." She wasn't, but she could have been describing the Smilin' One. Maybe the JFNA lay leaders' mantra is "we won't find anyone better;" if so there is the reciprocal, "well we won't find anyone worse." Give it a try, folks. If this were the circumstance in Los Angeles, Chicago, Miami...anywhere, Large, Intermediate or Small...there would be change, no doubt about it. But...not at our JFNA.
When I finally received the JFNA 2016 Board of Trustees' Reference Guide (a valuable tool, BTW), I read it with interest and growing frustration. Forget for a moment that there's the let's pretend section on financial resource development, and similar; in fact, there isn't even a mention of the work of JFNA-Consulting Services. Does Consulting Services no longer exist? I know its long-time professional leader left (without any mention in any JFNA publication, no recognition...nothing) in 2015 for the greener pastures of the Jewish Federation of Greater LA, but there is still an excellent Chair and a Committee/Council/Work Group isn't there -- isn't there? -- even if they have nothing to do?
If you're into totaling stuff up, ponder this: two of your most major Departments -- FRD and Consulting Services -- have no senior professional leader, a void at both for over six months. The Young Leadership Cabinets lost their senior professional within a year of hiring who has just been replaced. Global Services: Israel and Overseas, with the most bloated staff of any area of JFNA, still hasn't a single measurable accomplishment (and, duh, the yet to be implemented, may never be implemented Wall space for the Reform/Conservative/Women of the Wall, if an "achievement" at all, certainly was not JFNA's); the Global Planning Table, after wasting a yet-to-be-revealed millions in staff and consulting costs, is no more; and Jumping' Jerry has farmed out more and more JFNA responsibilities to the Mandel Center for Leadership Excellence with no apparent accountability.
"Accountability" -- it seems to be a word the meaning of which is unknown within the lay and professional leadership of JFNA. Were it included in the Lingo Guide (yes, that's what they call it) section of the Handbook, it would read something like this:
A Accountability -- Huh?Each and every year, the Budget and Finance Committee and Board have been promised documented accountability and have neither demanded any nor received any. Ya' know, they just can't be bothered. This year the Budget actually created measurable goals for the FRD Department. We'll look at how well that's going in a future Post. And FRD at jana appears to be being "run" (if that's what it can be called right now) by a consultant -- an excellent one, but, still, a consultant with a contract no one has ever seen.
Meanwhile, the circus moves on.