Monday, April 10, 2017


Yes, be prepared to hear, read, see the dictate "Letting the Light In" many, many times in the weeks ahead inasmuch as Jerry Silverman chose this mantra for his uplifting Pesach sermonette -- and, then, used it over and over again. But the critical part of that message read this way:
"And so, as is our mission, we are working together with our partners — the American Jewish Joint Distribution Committee (JDC), The Jewish Agency for Israel, and others — to care for our family in Ukraine. Much of this work takes place behind the scenes, where we can be more effective on a personal, human level. It is critical, nonetheless, that we understand what is taking place to help the 'light get in.'" (Italics added)
Just a couple of problems with this sentiment -- they are highlighted in italics above:

  1. Unless you consider sending federation allocated dollars on to the JDC, JAFI and World ORT to be "working together," there just isn't any "working together" by JFNA whatsoever -- not in the Ukraine, not anywhere -- if there was, my guess is that Rabbi Jerry would cite some examples;
  2. Jerry clearly forgot the abject failure of JFNA's special fund raising effort on behalf of Ukrainian Jewry; 
  3. But Smilin' Jerry explains why there are no examples, doesn't he, when he explains that "[M]uch of this work takes place behind the scenes, where we can be more effective..." 
Really? I mean, really have you ever read more bullshit? Does even CEO Silverman believe this? Do the enablers -- Sandler, et al. -- believe this absolute crap? It is way beyond belief that Silverman may actually believe that JFNA is working "behind the scenes, where we can be more effective." (Perhaps, Jerry believes that as he went of a Mission that experienced JDC's work, Jerry thought he [in the l'etat c'est moi sense] was being "effective...behind the scenes.") 

To Jerry's credit, he lists a set of enumerated, vital activities of JAFI and JDC in the Ukraine as examples of what I'm guessing are efforts he would characterize as taking place somewhere in the darkness, somewhere behind the scenes. Yet, the only reason these activities haven't been viewed in the light is that JFNA has done nothing, or, at best, too little...way too expose them to the federations.

If someone can cite examples of JFNA's own quiet work "behind the scenes" in the Ukraine, or anywhere else, send them to me and I will print them right here.

But there are some things on which we can "let some light shine:"

  1. JFNA is a parlous mess; doing so little that it must claim secrecy to so much and then make the claim that its real " (whatever that is, never explained), takes place behind the scenes;"
  2. Instead of building on successes, because there are none, JFNA fudges numbers (e.g., GA lay registration, Negev funding), hides consultant contracts behind false claims of confidentiality, moves Budget-approved funding from line item to line item with no governance approval; and more and more;
  3. And rather than promote the work of the Overseas partners, who have been relegated to no more than supplicants ordered to show up periodically to publicly thank JFNA and the federations for their allocations, even as those allocations have sunk to unprecedented low levels. 

Give us all a break. 

Chag Pesach sameach.


1 comment:

Anonymous said...

This reminds me of people who claim to have been abducted by UFO's. They tell the story so much, they start to believe it themselves.