from an editorial in today’s New York Jewish Week by Gary Rosenblatt:
This is the moment, in the midst of philanthropic crisis, for Jewish federations to reclaim their status as the primary and central address of the American Jewish community. But while one could make the case, logically, there is more to leadership than logic. And the fact is that the national federation system, embodied by United Jewish Communities (UJC), the umbrella group of North American federations, has been a major disappointment to many of its members, seen as lacking focus and behind the curve. Executives and lay leaders question whether it is up to the current challenge, with the philanthropic community at a crossroads, if not a precipice…
What is clear is that the community is facing major decisions about how to move forward at a time of economic contraction, and questioning priorities, modes of operation, and goals. Such reflection can be healthy, and the federation system should be poised to step in and say, in effect, “follow us.” But so far the silence is deafening.
Especially if you are connected to the Federation system, make sure you read the complete opinion piece, Can Federations Seize The Moment?