"The Education unit funding is simply fraud. There is no such thing, no such unit, no such product. It was an interesting idea of those who did not want to let go of the idea of JESNA. But it never started, never produced, and never breathed. JFNA just took the money plain and simple.If the Commentator is correct, then this alone should be the ultimate evidence of JFNA's abysmal failure coupled with a lack of integrity -- the latter, something that Richard Sandler cares deeply about. What will he do about this? Will he just ask his CEO "is this true" and when Silverman replies "Let me explain<" will Sandler once again just accept anything he is told?
Crooked Jerry go home.
I am not sure JFNA can survive but at least we will maintain the last vestige of dignity."
But, how can this be? Could JFNA have already abandoned its inane attempt to go operational in the field of Jewish Education? Here's what JFNA says it's doing:
"The Jewish Education and Engagement department empowers and supports Federations as they reach out to Jews wherever they are, giving them the tools they need to live more vibrant and meaningful Jewish lives. It’s an investment in enriching our people and our communities, now and in the future."So, you see, there is a "Department" apparently fully engaged in...how to say it...total bullshit. JFNA continues:
"We are a laboratory for new ideas, challenging the status quo and shaping conversations that reimagine strategies, leadership, and Jewish community in response to evolving needs."Yep...total bullshit squared.
Understand, at the time that Silverman contemplated this "Unit," he was warned by, among others, John Ruskay, then the President-CEO of UJA-Federation of New York, that it would be a mistake for JFNA to go "operational;" Jerry ignored this counsel. Silverman committed to raise the funds that would be required to jumpstart this effort while hitting the bricks to hire a bright, young professional from Chicago as the Unit's "Director" and added an Associate Director never disclosing that his internal fundraising was a non-starter. So Jerry just found another source; unfortunately, it wasn't "his" money; he just took it from others without their consent...without even consultation.
Now, if our Commentator is correct, "bullshit" evolved into misappropriation -- no "Education Unit." no "Education Department." Just Jerry's demand that there be an immediate transfer of over $1,000,000 from the National Agencies -- in fact and law, those funds belonged to the National Agencies when they were deposited in the National Agencies Alliance Funding Pool -- to the JFNA Budget where those funds just plain disappeared into that black hole; no questions asked...ever. To Silverman that's "internal fund raising;" to us it is part of the kleptocracy that JFNA has been permitted to become by the "hear no evil, see no evil, speak no evil" crowd.
Finally, quoting JFNA's own description of its "leadership" in Jewish Education:
"We convene changemakers who share smart practices and resources and make data-informed decisions to create more and better education and engagement opportunities. And we help them strengthen connections to each other and local partners, from synagogues to supermarkets."So there you have it -- making connections "...from synagogues to supermarkets." "Supermarkets" indeed. The order must have been issued from the Executive Suite at 25 Broadway: "get me something in writing on our Education thing" and this is what emerged. Maybe this is what our correspondent meant when he wrote "no such Unit, no such Department, no such product." It's there...but it isn't. Just like JFNA.
This whole thing stinks to high heaven. It is paradigmatic of JFNA itself. It is shameful. In any responsible organization the CEO who directed this failed scheme would be gone. Instead, as in so many things, JFNA tries to hide its failures behind a wall of secrecy. If you want answers, you can try to penetrate that wall.
Don't hold your breath: JFNA's "leaders" are doing that for you, hoping as always that this just goes away.