If you agree with me that JFNA has morphed into Bizarro World, the following will just be further bizarre chapters among so many.
1. In so many roles, JFNA has some wonderful professional leadership -- William Daroff, Marc Gurvis, Renee Rothstein, Brian Abrahams, among many others. So, the question has to arise: if JFNA has so may good pros in place, why is the organization in such a rut, doing so poorly in so may ways it feels compelled to inflate dismal results and hide so many others from review? You probably know the answer I am about to provide -- Jerry Silverman. For JFNA is the institutional embodiment of the tried and true maxim: fish rot from the head. And, man, is this fish ever rotten.
2. Then there is the continuing bizarre effort by JFNA to have any relevance whatsoever in the Negev -- be it in the absolute or the relative. JFNA has involved some wonderful federation leaders in manufacturing its own relevance in the Negev where it offers so little -- with minor allocations to a strangely named "Initiative." Viz:
"Critical role" -- yeah, right. There have been examples through JAFI's P2gether with individual and consortia of federations (in which JFNA has played no role) of important accomplishments but the Negev Vitality Initiative? Really? Instead, as we have written before, JFNA and its Negev Task Force should seriously review the success of JNF, which has made a $65 million investment in Be'er Sheva and an aggregate investment of in excess of $100,000,000 in the Negev, and see if there is a collaborative role that the federations could play through JFNA with JNF going forward.
I know that JFNA likes to give lip service to "partnerships," and doesn't understand collaboration, but maybe, just maybe, a real effort here with JNF, an organization that is not only about bragging about its accomplishments but actually having them in the Negev, could benefit our Israeli mishpacha in the Negev. Isn't that what we want to do, even in bizarro world?
3. At the recent Milken Global Conference 2017 our Board Chair moderated a panel with the provocative title: Things That Will Blow Your Mind. God I would have loved to have been there because in Bizarro JFNAWorld Richard's leadership is "blowing my mind" every day. If you ask, or even if you don't, Richard would tell you that when it comes to JFNA "I didn't ask for this job." Well, he took it and he knows what his leadership responsibilities are. Yes, he knows...