A Friend of the Blog sent me the following:
And, here we are: Law applied. I wish there were another explanation for the shit-show of JFNA 2017 where down is up, failure is success and black is white. Now, within the Law as applied and as detailed below I would exclude Board Chair Richard Sandler and past Chair of the Executive Dede Feinberg -- I know they care first and foremost about the institution they were elected to serve, and surely there are others who do so as well. But as an outsider observing an institution I have known well, the "golden ring" of "power for power's" sake has influenced too, too many...and JFNA and the federations are the losers."Iron Law of Institutions. The Iron Law of Institutions is: the people who control institutions care first and foremost about their power within the institution rather than the power of the institution itself. Thus, they would rather the institution "fail" while they remain in power within the institution than for the institution to "succeed" if that requires them to lose power within the institution."
In our communities and at JFNA I watch as in too many places generous women and men have bought their way to organizational power in a wholly transparent manner (they don't hide it) and they have been permitted to do so; for, if power weren't bestowed upon these generous but acquisitive men and women, they will take their charitable dollars and the power of their gifts to another charity that will reward them immediately with no more than a snap of their fingers. For so many of these folks it's just notches on their personal leadership totem poles; their personal agendas become the agendas of the institution they were elected to lead; agendas often hidden from view on their way to "the top," and, in the case of JFNA, too often far, far away from the needs of the members which support it.
I can think of no other explanation for how, in so many ways including in the past and, potentially in the future, JFNA leaders can possibly demonstrate so little interest in "leading." There is such a leadership void at JFNA that a succession of superbly credentialed federation leaders aspire to high office, and having gained it...nothing. Over the past 8 years, approaching the 9th, these leaders have kept Jerry Silverman at the wheel unfettered by things like, you know, accountability as he continues to steer the ship directly into the abyss. Perhaps the most infelicitous CEO of any Jewish organization, Jerry is propped up by a debased laity and a group of federation CEOs who know better but care not.
As one of you recently observed:
"...it all goes back to Lay Leadership, and they have just walked away.They are not "clueless" -- at least that would be an excuse of sorts.
What gets me is that for some reason these local federation leaders either are clueless to the folly at 25 Broadway, or they are aware, but for some reason they see something good in being involved with an organization so devoid of purpose.
I don't know which is worse.'
And so let us end as we began, with a quote from Fargo 2017:“You think the world is something and then it turns out to be something else.” And that is exactly where JFNA is now "something else"...somewhere else...but not the place that those of us who led this merger intended it to be, not close. No, "unfathomable pinheadery" has gotten us to this wretched place -- where an organization with the promise of greatness has sunk into a hole of its own making, devoid of vision or purpose.
And never is heard a discouraging word; and the skies are not cloudy all day.