Friday, August 26, 2016

JFNA'S 2014 990

As is annually the case, JFNA waited to the last possible moment permitted by regulation to file its annual 990 -- this one for FY2014-2015.  And, as usual, it discloses many things and doesn't disclose so much. Let's examine just some of the disclosures:

  • In the covered fiscal year, JFNA paid the New Orleans Sheraton $648,949 for "meeting space and services for TribeFest." Yes, that totally failed Festivus for None of Us created a remarkable cost. No doubt there was some off-setting income but I would wager it nowhere approached $649,000.
  • Jerry Silverman continues to smile while earning $724,000 in FY2014-2015 for exactly what then...and now? This compensation remains the most incredible in Jewish organizational life if one equates compensation with success.
  • Then there's Becky Caspi -- earned $341,000 in FY2014-2015.It should be noted that Prime Minister Netanyahu earned $141,000 (true his benefits are incalculable) and England's Prime Minister earned $215,000 but, of course, Caspi was responsible for...?
  • In the fiscal year 12 JFNA professionals earned over $150,000 each, 5 of whom are no longer longer there by their choice not that of the Smilin' One;
  • Another matter of great interest to all of us who believe  in equal work for equal pay should be that one senior professional is being paid in the 2014-2015 Fiscal Year far, far less -- almost 50% less -- than was paid her male predecessor for the same position in 2011-2012. Just another example of JFNA being an exemplar of "do as we say, not as we do;"
  • We have already written of the strange case of the "confidentiality" attached to a $1,000,000 conduit through JFNA to the SS+K firm, identified on the 990 as an "Independent Contractor," in Shepardson Stern and Kaminsky LLC -- Who Are These Guys? The question remains after JFNA asserted "confidentiality" as to the contract between a secret donor and SS+K for a secret project. And JFNA lay leadership has apparently supported the claimed confidentiality.
  • The 990 disclosed that 15...that's right 15... consultants earned in excess of $100,000 each in 2014-2015 -- we know little if anything about any of them. Compare and contrast with the 5 consultants earning over that minimum contract amount in the prior year.
  • I am certain it can be easily explained, though it never is, why JFNA had a net Accounts Receivable balance at fiscal year-end 2015 of $54,825,185. Unpaid Dues, perhaps?
  • Then there's the claimed expenditures of $8.4 million on "Fundraising" and another $3 million on the "Power of the Collective" (Class, define and discuss, please) Really. Lots of flexibility in how the Budget was spent, wasn't/isn't there?
There's never any shame or accountability when it comes to JFNA.



Anonymous said...

It is clear that JFNA considers now hides its excessive expenditures, its unlawful actions as a conduit, its consultant contracts behind a false claim of "confidentiality" even against its own Board members. It's not pathetic, it's despicable. Thank you for attempting to lift the veil of secrecy behind which JFNA abuses its own Budget year after year. Its top lay leaders have become co-conspirators

Anonymous said...

Why don't you write an open letter to the Finance Chair from those years, asking for an explanation?
Along with a copy to JFNA's legal counsel.
And see if you receive a response.

Anonymous said...

Has anyone ever ran the numbers for JFNA executive compensation as it relates to IRS guidelines? It would be one thing if results were generated, but this is just obscene.

RWEX said...

Responding to the last two Anons:

1. I have written to the Chief Volunteer Officer with regard to the conduit transaction with SS+K and JFNA' staff's claim of confidentiality, what he has done in response to that letter is unknown.

2. In response to a now long-ago Post in which I disclosed that the then Board Chair had publicly argued that "Zionism was too controversial" to appear in a JFNA document, I was told by many whom I respect that my disclosure was going to result in "many donors" walking away from their communal commitments -- there is no evidence that any contributions were lost -- I would suggest that more contributions have been reduced or lost because of the compensation being paid those in charge than for any other reason.

Anonymous said...

We continue to see Richard's blogs and mostly supportive responses about the many issues facing the JFNA - but no action.