The mood around 25 Broadway is pretty mellow this week as the Jewish Federations of North America (JFNA) began their latest round of staff reductions. So far, at least six employees [from their already bare-bones staff] have been let go with additional lay-offs in the works. A staff meeting to explain the changes is weeks off, currently scheduled for April 12th. The last significant staff reduction at then UJC was in April 2009 when 31 positions were eliminated.
Separately, David Saginaw, their Managing Director of Development, has departed JFNA to join the Birthright Israel Foundation.
The timing of the reductions follows the acknowledgement that the much heralded TribeFest program in Las Vegas, rather than being revenue neutral, incurred a net cost of $250,000 to JFNA.
In a sign of better days ahead, lay leaders have been told that $1.4 million has been “set aside” in next year’s budget for the Global Planning Table, including four new hires.
JFNA did not respond when questioned about the current staff reductions.