Saturday, April 14, 2018


One of you, a perceptive leader, recently wrote anonymously (of course) about JFNA:

"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?"

I agree with the Commentator -- measure JFNA by its "transparency, accountability and effectiveness," and I wager that anyone and everyone would agree that JFNA fails in every...each and every...area. 

  • Transparency? You have to be kidding. One only has to recall that upon my inquiry (which I renew right here, right now) as to the parties to what has proved to be a multi-year, multi-million dollar pass through "consultancy," I was told "it's confidential and none of your business." In response to a further inquiry as to the terms of JFNA's then 22 (probably more today) consultant contracts, I was told "it's confidential and none of your business." Or you can look at JFNA's Budget, overseen by Budget Chair, Jodi Schwartz, New York-UJA's long-term lay leader, of whom more responsibility and transparency might have been expected, which Silverman treats like an ATM to redirect funds willy-nilly with neither oversight nor accountability;
  • Speaking of Accountability -- there is none. The best/worst proof? Jerry is still on the job. It does not appear to the naked eye that any...any...JFNA program is ever reviewed, that any professional effort is ever measured for its value to the federations, for meeting its intended results. Thus, no goals are ever set for JFNA's FRD, because, then someone might more readily evaluate success or failure. And, where accountability has been promised...never happens;
  • And, then there is Effectiveness. At JFNA, where is effectiveness. JFNA-Washington, sure; elsewhere, nothing. JFNA-Israel, to every Federation professional with whom I have spoken, the Israel outpost is, as several put it, "a joke." FRD? Not a single Special fundraising effort (we used to call them "campaigns" but, no longer), not a single Mailbox has achieved its goals in the past 15 years, so the results are buried. JFNA has become nothing more, really, than an "allocator" in an age when more and more and more federations believe that they can do a better job of allocating.
Friends, failure at 25 Broadway is writ large.



Anonymous said...

transparency: since there is nothing there, there is nothing to see anyway.

accountability: nobody is in charge or asking so there isn't anything to account for or anyone - lay or professional - to account to.

effectiveness: in an organization that sets no mesurable goals there is no way to evaluate if goals are being met.

hear nothing, see nothing, say nothing - ask for nothing and get nothing!

Anonymous said...

JFNA has expended, by my count, close to $900,000,000 over its existence with almost nothing to show for it. This is now beyond unconscionable. About $6,000,000 has been thrown at Jerry Silverman -- does that sound as unconscionable to you as it does to me? This is craziness, this is insane. "Effectiveness" -- thqat is in JFNA's case a tragic joke repeated and repeated and repeated qgain and again and again. The stench is overwhelming.