Where to begin?
1. JTA recently reported that an Orthodox Rabbi threatened to bolt Naftali Bennett's HaBayit Ha'Yehudi party because the party employs a lesbian as an aide. Where and when do these nefarious acts stop? Bennett who, when in America, has articulated a real grasp of the meaning and impact of pluralism and the civil society could do those causes a great service by simply throwing this Rabbi out of his party -- immediately. Any bets?
2. Let's continue with a now former Federation CEO who, with a private sector background, parachuted into a Federation leadership position and, over what I think was a 15 year run, tried numerous times to parlay what appeared at first glance to be impressive revenue ("campaign") growth into a CEO position with a larger community. But, on a little (very little) further inquiry, it was always evident that this so-called "growth" was really nothing more than counting funds for which the federation was nothing more than a conduit of donors' designated gifts to agencies, synagogues, even secular charities as if those had been raised by federation/for federation. This CEO had the time to attend JFNA meetings, JAFI meetings and to interview for multiple positions.The Forward found him to be "...willing to go further than your traditional federation CEO...he took on the ice bucket challenge. His suit soaking wet, he added the 'hummus not Hamas' challenge, spreading chickpea paste all over his head as a sign of solidarity with Israel’s fight against Hamas." With this "creativity" there was no doubt that his perseverance would ultimately pay off; he is now heading one of the most successful "Friends of..." entities...we wish them all continued success.
3. The counting of funds for which the institution is merely a conduit as "revenue" is also evident at JFNA. Just read the IRS 990 filings and you discover that federation allocations and the proceeds of special campaigns, as examples, for which JFNA is nothing but a pass-through to the intended destinations, are counted as "Revenue." This, of course, makes JFNA's "Expenses" look a whole lot better...a whole lot. This accounting prestidigitation, all the worse as JFNA is an organization which, as we know, itself raises almost no money whatsoever, fools not just GuideStar and others, sadly seems to have convinced some in JFNA leadership that all is just fine. They are comforted by this claptrap. Results, accountability; they don't matter -- look at all the money that flows to us; we're great. Nobody knows; nobody cares.
4. Then there's the woebegone JFNA-Israel. The CEO of JFNA-Israel has reported to the JFNA Israel and Overseas Department that she is working "quietly and intensively" with members of the Knesset on overturning the Prime Minister's support of the Conversion legislation now on "suspension" in the Knesset. Apparently still developing a "plan." It's clear that under the Silverman mal-administration lay leaders are to be kept out at all times; and I think I understand the reason. If lay leaders are directly engaged in anything but, in particular in direct lobbying the Knesset and Prime Minister, they will soon learn that JFNA lacks the professional capacity necessary to achieve the goals that have been set for it...or even those set for themselves, if any.
It's so often a shell game, so often Three Card Monte. Truth and transparency just aren't there in too may places, and those who should be demanding accountability are often "too busy," too detached, too willing to just accept what they are told if they inquire at all. These are wonderful leaders unwilling to ask the hard questions -- questions they should not even have to ask.