Wednesday, February 7, 2018


To be "complicit" in terrible things -- turning a blind eye, keeping your head down, shrugging it off -- is starting to look almost as bad as doing them yourself. The New York Times Magazine, January 21, 2018

Today's topic, my friends, is "complicity," if you hadn't guessed from the title, the quote and this. Because everywhere one looks...complicity in the deconstruction of the federation system. As The New York Times Magazine piece continued: Complicity often calls for pretending not to know what you know, not to see what you see. 

I don't have an answer as to "why complicity?" But I do know that the result of this readily observable complicity is the aid and comfort it gives and has given to the JFNA CEO and Board Chair in what can only be characterized as the feckless, constant deconstruction of the Jewish Federations of North America. This cannot be allowed to continue.

And, who are the complicit? The JFNA Board Chair and Vice Chair, the Budget & Finance Chair, the JFNA Executive Committee, the JFNA Board members, and every Federation CEO (that's every one of them). Each and every one of them, of you, who sits in silence ignoring the observable reality of failure at every turn is complicit.

Is complicity permissible? Is it OK to turn the blind eye for some undefined "greater good" or for sh'lom bayit? As I have recalled on these pages, long before this Blog began I privately challenged a JFNA Officers' decision; I was castigated by a friend, challenged to either "go along or resign." That friend believed that one's complicity is required even demanded of all of us -- "go along or resign." My friend was one of the unwitting catalysts for what became this Blog. I didn't "go along or resign." I was, as were others, ignored and cast aside; yet, that demand is exactly the one to be ignored.

Complicity in the context of JFNA is now totally baked in: 

  • Complicit in the egregious amounts paid Silverman, Caspi and, now, Gurvis, for "services unrendered"
  • Complicit in the continuation of a bloated JFNA-Israel accomplishing nothing without even the hope of accomplishing something
  • Complicit in the theft of over $1,000,000 allegedly applied to an Education and Planning Unit which some of you characterized as "a con job"
  • Complicit in the collapse of core allocations to the system's overseas partners -- year-after-year of record lows in cash to JAFI/JDC/WorldORT
  • Complicit in hiding consultant contracts from scrutiny by Board members under a false claim of "confidentiality"
  • Complicit in the total lack of transparency at every level of JFNA activity, including but not limited to the reallocation of approved Budget line items to other activities without  governance approval; and
  • On and on and on
Yes...and on and on and on. Complicity everywhere one looks.



Anonymous said...

Richard, nailed it. There is so much complicity to go around. In fact, spoiler alert, like Murder on the Orient Express, everyone is complicit. Actively complicit. What does it take to wake these people up? Can you find out what each federation pays JFNA in Dues and publish that list? That would make you even less popular, if that is even possible, but it might awaken the dead.

JProactivists said...

Evil occurs when good people do nothing.