Friends in the profession sent me this amazing (not in a good way) announcement:
"The Mandelkorn Award for Distinguished Service recognizes individuals who have made significant and enduring contributions in the field of Jewish community organization practice. This year's recipients are Rabbi B. Elka Abrahamson, President of the Wexner Foundation, and Gerald ("Jerry") Silverman..."JPRO could not have chosen a more distinguished recipient than Rabbi Abrahamson.
Here is what one fantastic community professional wrote me about the other recipient: "No words." Others expressed how "flabbergasted" they were; another:
"Can you believe that Silverman was given this award? Ben Mandelkorn must be rolling over in his grave."Another said he was considering returning the Mandelkorn Award that he had received years earlier. And another wrote of his "anger, frustration and betrayal," while one FOB wrote that "this would be the equivalent of handing The National Enquirer the Pulitzer."
To a person, the professionals who have written or called me to express their disgust and disbelief to a person have identified Jerry Silverman as undeserving of this honor as one has done more to debase the profession than anyone in their memory. Many of those who communicated with me were past Mandelkorn Award winners.
Perhaps the "Award Committee" was unaware that after Silverman's hiring as JFNA CEO, JFNA's designated in-house Search functionaries were telling federation CEO applicants that they were "prioritizing" those from outside the system over those with federation experience. Why? Because the "Jerry model" was to become primary...until failure became self-evident. The point: the profession was being systematically diminished, from the inside. Now?
This Award to this recipient is as inexplicable as was Silverman's hiring compounded by the extension granted him at the end of his first term. I assume that the Mandelkorn Award Committee was under tremendous pressure to grant Jerry the Award. There can be no other explanation. In tract, not even that is an explanation.
Because There Is None.