Oh, and still enforce the rules or you're out."
The chances of this leadership making this happen are sadly...nil.
"Which brings us to the next part of this saga: In creating the program to honor Jerry for his 10 years of leadership, what will the list of accomplishments look like?I'm sorry to say but the singular achievement of Jerry's almost one decade of service was that he kept a job he could not perform for almost ten years. Not just an achievement...a real miracle.
Talk about fake news."
More will follow...and soon did. Here was Richard Sandler's letter to his leadership:"Dear Colleagues,I want to share some news with you. As you may be aware, I have worked for JFNA for more than 8 years. My current contract ends September 7, 2019, and as is appropriate, our Board Chair Richard Sandler, asked me recently what my plans are going forward. After much discussion with my family, I have decided not to seek a renewal of my contract.I have been blessed with a world class team at JFNA. I feel privileged to work with you each and every day. Serving the Jewish People has been an honor. Although we have dealt with major domestic disasters, wars in Israel, and changes across Federations, I believe that – together – we will continue to make a difference in the lives of others across the globe.We are announcing this decision now in order to allow JFNA the time necessary to plan for and conduct a proper, high level search. JFNA is a complex national organization with so many stakeholders and constituent members. A CEO search could take more than a year.I wholeheartedly plan to continue at my usual pace until September 2019. My decision is bittersweet. However, as I have always stated, family comes first.We will have an opportunity for our staff to gather later today so that I can share some more thoughts with you personally and answer any questions you may have..."
"One of my primary responsibilities as the board chair of JFNA is to work very closely with our CEO, Jerry Silverman. As you may be aware, Jerry has now completed 3 ½ years of his current contract with JFNA. After much discussion with his family, Jerry recently shared with me that he has decided not to seek a renewal contract. He will fully complete his agreement, which ends September 7, 2019.As we know, the position of JFNA CEO is one of the most demanding in Jewish communal life, and Jerry will have completed 10 years in the role, making him the longest serving CEO of our national system since merger. I appreciate and respect Jerry’s decision. It is certainly a privilege for me to work closely with and learn from such a knowledgeable and committed leader.We are currently in our nominations process for the next team of JFNA officers, which will be formally elected at the GA in October. Once the Nominating Committee has completed its work, I will begin discussing the search process with the board chair nominee. We will, of course, follow the customary procedures for a national search for a position of this scope and complexity.We are very appreciative of the tremendous impact Jerry has had, and will continue to have."
If any of you can decipher the meaning of all this, please explain it to me. I have intuited that this was written by intelligent people. Don't ask me how. It seems like a long and complicated route to the emergence of new ideas.
"It’s a great honor to have everybody at Mar-a-Lago, a special place for a special group of people,” Trump told the gathering in a video message recorded shortly before the gala. The president left his weekend retreat several hours before the start of the event to head back to Washington, D.C. “I wanted to be there so badly. I had to leave—we have some pretty big things going on with our country, but our country is doing really well. Your taxes are down, your regulations are down, a lot of good things are happening, we’re appointing a lot of fantastic federal judges, and I think you are all very happy with the results. So I’ll see you next time. I hope you have a fantastic evening.”Then, I will leave it to you to judge whether, at the end of the day, retaining Mar-a-Lago at great, great cost compared to other venues was worth the "investment" even as a "strategic decision." (BTW, it didn't appear that President Trump mentioned Rabbi Eckstein by name in his brief remarks. Wait 'Til Next Year.)
"Why do the big federations and their leadership allow this waste of money to persist?
Don't they know that the national organization is what the new millennial donors will see and become disaffected to supporting Federations?
The catchwords today...transparency, accountability and effectiveness." (emphasis added)
If an organization's "transparency, accountability and effectiveness" are the measures of an organization's relevance -- and I would agree that they are among the most critical measures along with values and purpose -- how would you measure JFNA by those few criteria?"
"Ah...another lament for the end of something that wasn't working anymore for anyone. Please stop measuring success as the funding of things that "used to be oh so great." (Similarly, please stop judging the system by how much money JAFI and JDC and ORT get.) JFNA does need to figure out what Federations can/should/are willing to do together -- and it's done a lousy job of that, but ending the Alliance was a necessary thing to do because times have changed. So many things that you, Richard, count as major JFNA failings would have died no matter the national structure (merger or no merger) because Federations, communities and the giving landscape are so different now. The question to tackle is -- what can and should be done collectively now given today's realities?"This was certainly fair commentary even as it excuses all -- that's all -- of JFNA's failures over its existence and then suggests that it's up to JFNA "...to figure out what Federations can/should/are willing to do." Up to JFNA -- really? This formulation reminds me of the story of the child who murders his parents and then asks for mercy as the murderer is now an orphan.
"Times are indeed changing and things are getting worse and worse. The problem is that nobody is doing anything about it.We are in the midst of systemic failure while JFNA Jerry continues to be distracted by the next shiny object he may see...or thinks he sees.
If indeed what is happening would have happened anyway what does that tell us about the obscene waste of hundreds of millions of dollars to fund an organization that is supposed to be doing something about it?
We are wasting so much of our valuable resources, yet Federations get no value at all. With no leadership, no accountability and no supervision or oversight, our presence in Israel does more damage than good while wasting still more millions of Dollars under more than a decade of Becky Caspi's decadent regime.
The whole thing is a total mess and current leadership will go down in history as being responsible for the death of our collective Jewish organizational life.
Does anybody care?"