Saturday, June 17, 2017


I wasn't familiar with the military slogan that provided the title to this Post until the Manager of the Chicago Cubs slapped it on team T-shirts and adopted it for the 2017 Season. The saying intrigued me for reasons you can probably assume. Here's what I have learned it means:
"The Armed Forces have no other choice. If they’re out in the Iraqi desert or in the mountains of Afghanistan, the only way they’re going to get through those challenging experiences is by embracing (rather than denying or ignoring) them."

Read more:
Relevant to JFNA? I think so.

For no group of lay leaders actually has rejected the underlying rationale embodied in "embrace the suck" more than the acolytes at the top of the JFNA food chain. Faced with the challenges of an organization mired in the muck of mediocrity and waste and worse, they deny the reality -- often responding to critics with claims that their "integrity" has been sullied rather than face the facts that they are doing nothing to halt the organization's slide -- ignore the realities, and wait for someone, anyone else to do something about them. In other words, JFNA's leaders have decided to "ignore the suck" that they themselves have created.

Yes, it sucks that JFNA has come to resemble one of those prehistoric dinosaurs that are so far gone they will continue to twitch even after their demise. Hope is fading as this Titanic sinks and leaders like Richard Sandler, otherwise a wonderful philanthropist and in his life outside JFNA no doubt a realist, continues to play the piano and chime "all's well."

A dear friend, one of the nation's most prominent leaders in critical areas of K-8 non-profit education, and I engaged in a discussion about non-profits about which we are concerned. She stated: "I am a firm believer that an effective and enduring organization needs to identify its non-negotiable core values- not just mission and vision." Speaking of JFNA and the merger, forgotten/discarded by a succession of JFNA leaders, I could state without fear of contradiction: (1) that JFNA has no longer any "non-negotiable core values" and has rejected those that the legacy organizations -- UJA, CJF and UIA -- brought to the merger; and (2) in addition, incredibly, it is not driven by any sense of "mission and vision." Of course, my friend was aghast: "How can that be," she asked, and concluded: "then there's no hope."

"No hope." 

Keep on sucking.


1 comment:

Anonymous said...

We need to face the fact that the merger was a disaster. It merged three great organizations, killing one (UJA), still trying to kill another (UIA) and weakening all the rest to the point that it is worthless.
We need to restore real Israel advocacy (not the I&O fiasco of today) and a real FRD campaign for Israel which were and still should be the center of our mission.
Where is mission? Where is leadership?
When will our lay leadership realize what is expected of them and begin to lead us out of this desert?