Tuesday, November 21, 2017


1. The incredible (not in a good way) FedWorld reported:
"A grant from the Jim Joseph Foundation will enable Federation Young Leadership staff to receive intensive Jewish education and leadership development training from the world-renowned Center for Creative Leadership* and M2 Institute for Experiential Jewish EducationClick here for more information and read more."
So I "clicked" and "read more."

First, understand that one should only applaud the Jim Joseph Foundation for its incredible, impactful support of quality Jewish education. It has been and is a Foundation that is focused and consistently following its mission. Then understand that JFNA is once again engaged in creative writing. The JFNA headline is just plain misleading: Jim Joseph Fdn Invests $23M+ in Jewish Professional/Leadership Development." The grants, as I have read them, are for Jewish education and Jewish educators. You can read the details in, where else, ejewishphilanthropyhttp://ejewishphilanthropy.com/jim-joseph-foundation-invests-over-23m-in-jewish-educator-professional-and-leadership-development/. Yes, friends, a series of large and meaningful grants for "Jewish educator professional and leadership development." Note to FedWorld: what's so hard to understand?

2. Richard Sandler transmitted the JFNA Resolution on Religious Diversity in Israel with some very strange "highlights" --

  • First, it's the "revised resolution based on (the Board's feedback" -- yes, a single Preamble clause with a minor revision apparently the sole fruit of an "engaged conversation" at the Board meeting**; and
  • Then, Richard closed his transmittal with "[W]e look forward to the enactment of the Resolution." Huh?? Reading the stories on this Resolution in, among others, JTA and Haaretz, it is clear that the media were told that this Resolution was "enacted."

So, ask yourself the  eternal question: why does JFNA do this time and time again? Embellishment, inflation, hyperbole, hiding facts behind claims of confidentiality -- under this administration, these have become the organization's stock in trade. Maybe it's a function of the lack of accountability, the lack of transparency contributing to a sense of absolute comfort in just writing and saying whatever they think they can away with.

It's silly, really. Except for the multitude of consultant contracts deemed "confidential" and hidden away from view, the truth always outs. And the result is always embarrassment. Some of you might remember a Board meeting a little over one year ago, attendance "limited" by an ad hoc, never explained, decision to include only "voting Board members" for fear that we, the non-voting ones (or maybe it was just I) would spill the beans. In the end the purpose of the meeting was to authorize mission visits to Judea and Samaria without anyone "outside" knowing about it even though, as an exclusive expose of the entire mess was revealed by the wonderful reporter, Debra Nussbaum Cohen. Such idiots producing such idiocy -- all the more so because leadership was apparently totally unaware that Missions had been visiting settlements and development towns since at least 1975, my first Mission. 

Friends, the JFNA of today continues to get caught up in its own fabrications and fabulations  compounded by its then cover-ups. Someday they will learn...

...or not.


* I am convinced that the Center for Creative Leadership is an inspired organization but its incredibly large faculty and professionals might include a few more Jewish leaders than they do, don't you think?

** I would probably have a better understanding of the debate and outcome on the Resolution had I been able to remain on the call into the Board meeting. Unfortunately, the breakfast meeting, called for 7-9:30 a.m. didn't begin until 7:30 a.m. and the business portion didn't begin until 7:50 when I had to leave the meeting for a client issue. My loss.

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