Thursday, April 20, 2017


1. This seems as good or bad a place to start as any:
"There is a midrash that, when standing at Sinai to receive the Torah, each person received their own personal revelation but responded in one voice, saying, “Na’aseh v’nishma” — “We will do and we will hear.” It is in that exquisite moment that we became one People. Each of us is an individual, but we — and our fate — are inextricably linked, and we are each responsible for one another."
After weeks -- after 148 JCCs were evacuated, synagogues defaced, cemeteries vandalized -- JFNA's leaders, Sandler and Silverman, finally pulled their heads out of...the sand and began their statement on these crimes with the beautiful words above. And, shortly thereafter, the perpetrator was arrested. Connection? Probably not.

In this Statement, distributed to us on March 14, Standing Again As One, Richard and Jerry recited what everyone else was doing -- the Secure Community Network, the federations themselves, the ADL and Hillel and G-d knows who else -- while telling us that...JFNA is busy working with all of them and JFNA is busy co-convening meetings with JCCA and others. That's what we do....that's all we do.

Oh, wait, that's not all...We underfund the SCN which made its incredible work during this crisis all the more remarkable. We also make sure that we Jerry is available for photo ops at all photo op-worthy (that means "any") meetings. And, this:
"Within the next few weeks we will be enabling every Federation to implement a new, powerful and cost-efficient emergency notification system to link them with the leadership of local Jewish institutions and organizations to enable immediate response to crisis situations."
Sounds like a swell idea. Hey, Richard/Jerry, it's now been 5 weeks since this dramatic promise. What's up? Remember Na'aseh v'nishma.

2. remember when Richard/Jerry admonished anyone within listening/reading distance that organizational Statements are bad...very bad...very,very bad. They are distractions; they offend people and serve to divide, not unite us. Yada, yada, yada. And they said it and wrote it often.

Sooooo, apparently what this meant was, you shut up while we talk. Because lo and behold, Sandler has been quite busy making statements in his capacity as JFNA Board Chair -- once he endorsed Trump's presidential potential and David Friedman's nomination as U.S. Ambassador to Israel, then he advised us, again, to make no statements. He defended those distractions as, I guess, just exercising his freedom of speech (although it's almost a certainty that he would not have been interviewed in his capacity as General Counsel and EVP of the Milken Family Foundation). 

Then, unable to stop himself, Richard had an Op-Ed published in The Hill (way to go JFNA-Washington!!), after JFNA joined in a Statement, yes, a Statement -- Jewish Groups Join Letter Urging Congress to Resist Trump Bid To Allow Church Politicking as JTA described it. Richard's Op-Ed was a well-written indictment of the Trump-led effort -- We Need to Pass the Anti-Semitism Awareness Act to Fight Hate and Bigotry. Here is what Richard wrote in pertinent part:
"That is why the Jewish Federation of North America stands with the Anti-Defamation League, American-Israeli Public Affairs Committee (AIPAC), Simon Wiesenthal Center, the Brandeis Center for Human Rights, and many other groups in support of the Anti-Semitism Awareness Act."
Yes, Richard decided that JFNA had decided to make a "stand." Unfortunately, JFNA had not "decided" a thing.

I was pretty certain that JFNA was not going to be making/taking any "stands." I'm pretty damn certain that the JFNA Board hasn't taken any "stand;" wasn't even asked to do so. But, I get it: JFNA shall not issue Statements BUT its Board Chair is free to do so in the name of the organization whenever he damn well pleases,

Perhaps, you all could explain this to me...


1 comment:

Anonymous said...

JFNA, as usual, speaks with "forked tongue." When you have both a CEO and Board Chair who believe the rules don't apply to them, what do you expect?

To paraphrase a commentator from yesterday, there will be no change until Eric Goldstein, Steve Nasatir, Jacob Solomon and Steve Hoffman ACT as leaders and not complicit bystanders. It IS within their collective power to change the status quo. It's obvious they have no interest, or desire, to do so.