Friday, July 14, 2017


A correspondent with the handle Jproactivists wrote us in response to our recent Post In the Land of the Blind...
"JFNA-UJC had as its public goal in 2000 to raise the campaign levels and thus raise the overseas allocations as well. The efforts toward this goal are an utter failure. It is time ... as others have said for lay leaders to decide to stop funding JFNA until there is ageement on purpose.

The combined UJA/CJF/UIA budgets were $52M. Today UIA has the same budget as (it did in) 2000 more or less which at a cost to JFNA of about half or less than $700,000; UIA still produces millions in real income. The UJA budget was about $30 million...funded not out of dues but from the overseas funding streams; UJA produced or helped produce millions annually in real campaign dollars. CJF had dues for its support as a consulting and convening body for and owned by federations. It did professional placement (gone under JFNA); shared leadership development with UJA (now a weak shadow of what it once was) and provided a great resource in its planning department to federations(gone under JFNA).

UJA will not be resurrected: UIA continues to provide a real service. JFNA needs to recalibrate as a service arm to federations with the Washington office, a...research and planning team, a rabbinic and leadership cabinet worth having, a serious placement effort, the Network and, perhaps, scan. Were JFNA well run the budget would be (far) less and the value of JFNA improved.

P.S., the JFNA-Israel operation is almost entirely unnecessary and a huge drain for no gain." 
"[A] huge drain for no gain" -- let every federation leader reading this Blog understand that truth. And fully understand how far off the path this JFNA has been driven by a tiny cabal, a "circle of trust." As our correspondent has noted, today and for the past few years, JFNA's operating Budget, Dues and other revenue, now exceeds...exceeds...the combined budgets of the legacy organizations at the time of merger. And JFNA qua JFNA, unlike UJA, generates no income...not for the overseas beneficiaries and not for the federations.

So, all we have at 25 Broadway is a shell of once was, today an organization that knows not how to produce revenue, not how to manage the revenues that pour into it and not how to spend the tens of millions that are provided to it according to its own Budget. This JFNA, whose leaders for so long complained that the millions allocated to the federations' overseas partners disappeared into a black hole, has become the ultimate black hole itself.  

And JFNA's leaders make no pretense about how meaningless its Budget really is. That document speaks, more than once, to the constant "need" to always be "...sharpening our focus on our core mission and aligning our resources and budget with that mission." And that promise of constant "alignment" is nothing more than a fiction that has been and will be used to rationalize budgetary changes with no further governance action required -- or so these leaders believe.

The conclusions and suggestions from Jproactivists are (or should be) self-evident.The recommendations are not exhaustive but they would be, in the vernacular, "a good start" were they even considered by the cabal running the JFNA shit-show. 

But, they make too much good sense to ever be discussed let alone considered. And that's the pity of it all.



Anonymous said...

...don't you get it? The past we had is no longer.
It's about stories not facts. Get with the program.

Anonymous said...

And the biggest story of all is the fairy tales the CEO spins.

Anonymous said...

It amazes me that the Board Chair, Executive Committee and Board continue to tolerate a CEO whose only apparent contribution to the organization is getting his picture in the Jewish press un;ss one considers the promise of "things are going to change" repeated over and over and over again with no results year-after-year to be a contribution worthy of this person keeping of job he has demonstrated he cannot perform. Sandler, YOU are the one who now owns this failure.

Anonymous said...

So after killing UJA, JFNA is not raising any substantial campaign funds but continues to operate on a dues-based $30 Million budget? That sounds pretty outrageous for what has basically become an extremely limited and weak trade organization for the federations.
Most of JFNA's activities are a futile attempt to maintain relevance where there is none.

What all this boils down to is evidently the following:
1) UJA and FRD for campaign are dead. If there is going to be a campaign, it should pay for its own administrative costs.
2) UIA continues to provide an important service for a relatively small budget and an even smaller cost to JFNA. Keep up the good work!
3) If federations want to be provided with services and are willing to pay for them under a dues-driven model that is fine but that would certainly not cost anything near what the current cost of JFNA is and the federations should determine what they want and need and are willing to pay for.
4) The Washington Office seems to be providing important national services which should be continued. Keep up the good work!
5) There are probably some other functions that should be continued and/or restored and someone should have a serious look at that.
6) The Israel Office (Israel & Overseas) is indeed a futile attempt to provide unnecessary services - very well put in this post: "huge drain for no gain!"

So, this is pretty much a no-brainer for anyone with any brains and perhaps a little but of courage and leadership motivation.

So why is nothing happening except continued failure and mismanagement under the ridiculously wasteful and irrelevant status quo?!

Anonymous said...

Shouldn't you who care start a mailing list of the lay board of the top four or five Federations and raise these issues directly?

After all, do you think the NY board is aware of this blog?