- The Board Chair sends out a Notice that Susie Stern (it was "a privilege" for him to work with her) had to vacate her position as the organization's only remaining Vice-Chair because she has joined the campaign of "one of the presidential candidates." For reasons known only to him, Richard Sandler found it impossible to state that that candidate is Hillary Clinton (Oh, wait, is it a secret??). Is that because Richard thought mentioning Clinton at all violates some unknown JFNA policy? Or was it because Sandler did not wish to "speak her name" out of fear of generating some imagined controversy?
- Silverman publishes one of the "From the Desk of..." sermons on "can't we all be respectful of everyone" but never, ever suggests that JFNA -- you know, the organization, not Jerry -- adopt a Resolution on the topic. Is it Silverman's expectation that his exhortations like this one have "the force of law" absent a resolution adopted by the Board? Is there no longer a JFNA Resolutions process?
- Have you a clue as to what JFNA's purposes and priorities are? Are they set by the Budget Committee; are they set by the JFNA "silos" -- you know, Israel and Overseas, Washington, JFNA Israel (which appears to exist independent of the Global: Israel and Overseas Department), FRD (which now appears to be in overlap/duplication with that which once was Community Services and with Israel and Overseas)? Are there any priorities at all? Or are they coopted by whichever Department wants to do so?Who's the ringmaster at this circus?
- The Answer: Scott Baio, Marcus Lattrell, the "Duck Dynasty" Guy and Rudy Giuliani. The Question: Who are on the exciting new lineup of speakers for this November's GA?
- When the afore-mentioned Susie Stern resigned for higher purpose, I advised some friends of the person I thought would emerge as the successor Vice-Chair. That name was also placed on a small piece of paper and placed in a safe-deposit box. It's almost a certainty that Lori Klinghoffer (the Nominating Committee Chair for life, apparently) was inundated with "candidates" themselves or by their supporters for this position that John Garner, or was it Alben Barkley, described as "not worth a bucket of warm spit." (Yeah, I know, it's a springboard to the Chairmanship. Although not for Susie Stern.) Sure enough, I was prescient. No one should have to ask how this happened. Congrats to her.
- New York UJA, after years of threatening to do so, abandoned its funding of the woeful Federation-National Agency Alliance -- the Alliance is on life-support and the National Agencies are forced to go back, federation-by-federation, to evermore-intensive fund raising. How will JFNA fund its "New Education and Planning Unit" if it can't extort (if there is a better descriptive term, please advise) the hundreds of thousands it "needs" from a near-defunct Alliance?
- The Answer: "Mired in Mediocrity." The Question: "How did the GM of the baseball team for which I and my colleagues own Season Tickets, describe the Chicago White Sox?" Not: Though Jewish, that GM is unaware of JFNA or Smilin' Jerry.
Yes, it's a mess,