QUI TACET CONSENTIRE
It's abundantly clear to this observer that the lay leadership of JFNA and the most senior professional leadership of our communities lack the will or the energy to make JFNA the viable leadership organization it was intended to be at the time of its creation. Instead, like Nero, they fiddle while Rome burns.
Friends, I have no answer to the question of why this so-called "leadership" has abandoned fiduciary responsibility for affability -- and, wow, are they ever affable...with each other. It's not that they don't know what needs to happen to make JFNA viable -- and "viability" isn't measured by how many times JFNA (Silverman) appears in the media or how many invites our "leaders" get to the White House -- they just can't remove the blinders long enough to do what must be done.
Any objective "leader" knows that JFNA, under the Smilin' One, is engaged in a walk down the up escalator. The fiduciary malpractice is on-going on a gross scale. It was once said by a limited partner in the New York Yankees during the George Steinbrenner era: "There is nothing more limited than being a limited partner of George Steinbrenner." Today, in practice, by their own choice, there is nothing more meaningless than being a Board Member of JFNA.
It's all so painful to watch, let alone in which to participate. To paraphrase one of my favorite cynics: "What can you say about JFNA at this point that you haven't said about a colonoscopy?"
Worse than the mismanagement that has resulted in the massive professional void at "Philanthropic Resources" and Consulting Services, and, even with many (too many) sitting in the ineffectual offices at JFNA-Israel with the commensurate massive waste of federation resources, is an almost total lack of understanding that a weak, ineffective JFNA ultimately weakens the very federations which support it financially and in silence. So many communities are in need of services from JFNA -- and they don't/can't get them from an organization that is incapable of assisting its own constituency. This is what happens when "leadership" places loyalty ahead of accountability. By demanding nothing of its CEO/President other than showing up, and then compensating him as if he were an outstanding leader, the JFNA lay leadership has proved the adage that good gets better and bad just gets worse.
There is a Dutch social media group of Euro-skeptics calling themselves GeenPell -- that means "not a clue" -- they might have talking about JFNA for the last decade. And what do we do about it? Nothing...nada...zip.
It was John Greenleaf Whittier who wrote: "For all the words of tongue or pen, The saddest might be 'what could have been.'" That's what those historians who will review the demise of the North American Jewish community will write about us...us.
Qui tacet consentire.