Tuesday, March 6, 2018


What's up at JFNA and Elsewhere?  Try these...

1. There's the reality that at our Continental organization Israel has become a terrible after-thought. At a time that our presence is demanded in response to actions such as the Prime Minister's breach of his agreement that there be an egalitarian prayer space at the Kotel...
  • JFNA's Vice-Chair is actively recruiting leaders for 24 hour "Fly-ins" to Houston (with no fund raising);
  • JFNA promotes its major FRD Mission: "It's time for a game-changing trip...in Berlin and Budapest."
  • National Women's Philanthropy takes its Mission to Argentina
  • The Joshua Society convened an important Mission to...Cuba
Reasons -- 

  • The Missions Director has been ill
  • The GA will be in Tel Aviv and people don't want to go to Israel twice (given the lack of GA attendance, maybe they should just call it a large national Mission and do some serious recruiting)
  • Israel is so 90's

JFNA has lost its way. 

2. At is Atlanta Board Meeting Renee Rothstein presented an excellent and candid Report on recent GAs and offered alternatives (including continuing the GA annual gathering at a cost of $2,500,000 per year for the dwindling number of Registrants) for the jFNA Board's consideration. Kal hakavod to Rothstein for her candor and the transparency of her presentation; sadly, this serious matter was placed at the end of a long agenda on a long day, and, though I was not there, I sensed that participants were wheeling their luggage out on their way to their transportation from EWR, LGA and JFK during the presentation. 

I don't believe that Renee received much in the way of direction. (My favorite question from a Board member: "What do you want from us?") 

My sense is that the GA will continue as is.Change for this organization is (1) so hard and (2) the Large City Execs like them (for reasons unclear). 

More to follow? Maybe. (It's JFNA after all.)

3. My jaw dropped when I hit the liink for the JCPA 2018 Plenum and discovered that the cost of "Full Registration" is $525...$525!!!! I'm sure it will be worth every dollar. (BTW, the Young Leadership registration is only $425...$425!!!) Goddam the Plenum must be so much better today than back in the days of my attendance (then again, it would have to be). Don't miss it if you can afford it.



Anonymous said...

As far as JFNA is concerned Israel isn't really that important anymore. There are more interesting tourist draws around the world and we need to give the people what they want rather than exhibit leadership and guidance as to what is important to the Jewish People.
The resources spent on Israel and Overseas (even that is now called Global Operations with no reference to Israel in its title) which are supposed to be furthering Israel advocacy are not moving the needle at best - actually moving it in a negative direction by wasting resources, being distracted by irrelevant issues and activities and generally operating with no supervision by anyone - lay or professional.
Israel deserves better, our Federations deserve better and our People deserve better.
Unfortunately, in order to achieve results one has to invest some effort and that appears to be something that nobody that has any connection with our continental organization is really willing to do.

Anonymous said...

Richard, our or what used to be "our" organizations are bankrupt, devoid of apparent purpose, and in that realm JFNA is truly a leader. If one just examines one "silo", JFNA-Israel, one can understand the bankruptcy. As you have pointed out this entity has not produced one important outcome for the communities un Caspi's leadership, not a single one. Meanwhile JFNA-Israel has swallowed up 10s of millions without any evidence of accountability. This has been open-going for over a decade and nothing is done. It is THE MINI-ME OF JFNA.


Anonymous said...

It will [hopefully] stop when we have a board chair who understands his/her responsibilities! Not happening under Sandler.

Anonymous said...

It won't stop this year because that would be "disruptive" to holding the GA in Israel in October (not really but it makes for a good excuse to leave it alone). Is there any chance that this will be the final year of the fiasco that has been going on in Israel for the last decade?
The whole operation should be closed down, leaving perhaps just a small liaison office in Israel. The important role of Israel advocacy should be located in the USA anyway and the rest of what they do - whatever that is, if anything - will certainly not be missed.
Does anyone have a figure as to how much money could be saved, not to mention the benefit of eliminating the embarrassment and damage caused by this operation every single day?