Thursday, November 16, 2017


I hope that those of you who attended the now completed GA 2017 had an opportunity to look around and think about the incredible strides that the Jewish Federation of Greater Los Angeles has taken since the last General Assembly in that great City. Under a succession of excellent Board Chairs there has been one constant, the terrific professional leadership of Jay Sanderson.

I think back to my first visit on behalf of UJA, to that Community, in the 90's -- at a time the Federation was millions of dollars in arrears on its allocations payments; a significant part of the historic communal leadership alienated from the Federation; so lacking in lay leader succession planning that a Campaign Chair was plucked from literally out of nowhere; at a time that the number of six figure gifts to the campaign could be counted on the fingers of two hands. 

And, today, under Jay's great professional-lay partnership: the development of a series of creative and pioneering young leadership efforts exemplified by YALA -- Young Adults of  Los Angeles; page after page in the Federation's Annual Report of major gifts and the contributors; a community revisioning in Federation 20/20 to increase engagement and resources; one terrific lay Board and Campaign Chair after another.; and a rededication to communal values.

To me, the JFGLA is a Phoenix  not just rising (not the Phoenix, mind you); the community has risen. And, with all on his plate, Jay Sanderson has taken the time to offer mentoring -- the mentoring he never received when he became LA's President and CEO -- to new colleagues. He has also taken the time to criticize -- often in the strongest terms -- this Blogger for my errors; for Jay does not suffer fools...and from my first meeting with him has always...always...let anyone within earshot know how he feels and what he believes.

Bottom line, Los Angeles is a remarkable example of the product of the best in lay-professional partnerships and what a strong partnership with visionary leadership can produce.

I wish we saw this in many more places.



Anonymous said...

You want Jay's head to swell even bigger? He already sees himself as omnipresent and all knowing.

Anonymous said...

I agree with 9:42. Also, his score on the collective is quite poor. LA may be good as a stand alone but what we need more than solid individual federations is a united group effort - the glue that binds us each to each other. Without that we are lost.

Anonymous said...

I guess that the consummate Spin Doctor has you fooled. Beyond bravado, LA continues to be quite weak. Interview some millenials who jumped the Fed due to lack of a soul at that place. On all accounts underachieving. Less impact,less money, and a gravitation to the shiny things. Nothing that a podcast hosted by the Phoenix Rising can't overcome.

Anonymous said...

“You can fool all the people some of the time and some of the people all the time, but you cannot fool all the people all the time.”
- Abraham Lincoln

$56 million dollar annual campaign - $2.4 million unrestricted to the Jewish Agency

These are Los Angeles Rules.

The Phoenix is a fraud.

Anonymous said...

To anon 12:49

Can you help me understand what you mean by the $2.4 mill to JAFI?

That seems far too much for a bureaucratic mess that is all things to all people on a $300 million budget, and is the largest home of political cronyism in Israel. but does very little in practice,

They were kicked out of Aliyah in North America, the UK, and Ukraine and a bunch of other places, now pursue a vague ephemeral goal of Jewish peoplehood by copying others programs, and their premier US program is staff supplementation for College Hillel's while extracting a big overhead tax on the funds that are roundtripped from America to Israel and back again.

Meanwhile, they have an annual scandal about self-dealing in real estate for their pension plan.

Isn't it time that the useful parts of JAFI just get re-absorbed by the Israeli government?

After all, by contract, the top jobs are sinecures for political appointees of the Likud and Shas.

Anonymous said...

To Anon 22:38

I would suggest you read the entire article that appears in the press, but it seems that you don’t even complete reading the headlines.

Without entering into your opinion, I will only attempt to correct Your so called facts.

1) no one was kicked out of Aliyah. The Jewish Agency processes 100% of all Olim from outside of Israel. There are other wonderful organizations involved in Aliyah promotion.

2) there is no annual scandal in self dealing in real estate. There was never a scandal involving self dealing. The Government of Israel required the Jewish Agency to turn over assets to secure the pension fund many years ago. The one time process ended. Every few years there are the protests over the pension fund changing the purpose of properties no longer being utilized as intended.

3) the Jewish Agency has no contracts regarding leadership, political, sinecure or otherwise.

You would be hard pressed to find a representative of Shas anywhere on the Board

It is true that the Prime Minister lobbies for the chairman of the executive. The bylaws do not take it into consideration.

Anonymous said...

To anon @9:32 -" It is true that the Prime Minister lobbies for the chairman of the executive. The bylaws do not take it into consideration."

Now, let's talk reality:

The current Board chair will NEVER, EVER say no to the current PM. On anything. He made that very clear in his remarks when as JFNA chair he nominated Sharansky for a 2nd term.