1. Richard Sandler and Jerry Silverman published their thoughts on hate speech and civility (again), the need to both respond and be vigilant (again). Of course, this has become a theme -- tell us what to do but do nothing themselves -- as when JFNA's leaders issue their sermonette and in doing nothing more make it clear that they got it out of their system. Once again, JFNA tells us what to do while it does nothing. Then, the Board Chair goes totally off the reservation. Gevalt.
2. Speaking of doing nothing, have you heard or read a Statement from JFNA condemning the threats numbering close to 100 JCC's nationwide? Not even an expression outrage about the desecration of a Chicago synagogue or a St. Louis Cemetery? Too controversial? Not part of our Mission? And, what exactly is that Mission? Can anyone tell? #pitiful
3. When UJA's leaders determined to opt in to the merger that created JFNA, they did so with the admonition of Corky Goodman resonating with them. Corky had told us: "We have to trust the federations." We did so. Now in its 17th year, we heard a plea from the Campaign Chair for federations to "trust" JFNA with campaign data. Curious isn't it that the federations, which own the entity, don't trust it with information basic to that organization's functioning; you wonder why? Couple that with JFNA's leadership refusal to trust these federation owners with basic information about how JFNA conducts its business and you have a formula for exactly the dysfunction that JFNA evidences every single day.
4. For an organization that should be encouraging inclusion in all that it does, and probably thinks it is doing so, there is ample evidence (again) that it doesn't know what it's doing. Take, for example, the roster of the JFNA Board Committees: setting aside our Board Chair, who serves as Chair of three Committees, in addition to chairing the Board itself; there are multiple Trustees who serve two Committees; one who serves on three; and one who sits on four. And there are only five Board Committees. This insularity, this inbreeding, not only demonstrates leadership's trust in only the few, the special; it excludes from participation many who would be both willing and more than able -- or at least equally able to those who are repetitively appointed and reappointed and reappointed again to positions others could (and would ) fill. An Illinois State Representative commented on the mess that is Illinois' legislative body: "The state is not really a representative democracy anymore. You have too few people making too many big decisions.” Could have been speaking about our JFNA.
5. The Young Leadership Cabinet took 110 members on its Study Mission...to India. That's a great number...to India. They could have gone to Israel but, instead they went...to India. They went to study by going...to India. Our dear friend and mentor, Rabbi Herb Friedman, z'l, is crying once again.
And that's it for now from Lake Woebegone.