JFNA Responds to Recent Criticism

by Joe Berkofsky

We always welcome constructive dialogue about JFNA and promoting Jewish Federations and our values. But your commentary is nothing more than erroneous speculation based on supposition and a lack of facts.

We hope you will agree that any strategy, PR or otherwise, must be measured by whether it delivers on its goals.

So let’s discuss what JFNA’s PR efforts actually achieve. Benefitting from an actionable strategic communications plan, in the past year alone, JFNA has generated thousands of news stories on important Jewish Federation initiatives, from the annual GA to the newly created TribeFest for younger Jews to our Israel advocacy work to the life-saving projects we support in Israel and around the world.

Throughout the year, JFNA appeared in The New York Times, Wall St. Journal, Washington Post, USA Today, CNN, the BBC, NPR, the Huffington Post, Chronicle of Philanthropy, JTA, the Forward, N.Y. Jewish Week, L.A. Jewish Journal, Ha’aretz and the Jerusalem Post. Those were just some of the top-tier general, Jewish and Israeli media that covered us.

What’s the impact of that media coverage? In addition to being quantifiably measured in hundreds of millions of viewers, these stories showcased our leadership on a range of important issues in Israel and North America; informed the Jewish community and others about our work; and raised awareness of Jewish Federations.

JFNA also employs a broad social media strategy to enhance our PR and to reach other groups through such key venues as Facebook and Twitter, as well as through a range of blogs such as Jewcy and Jewlicious.

As you can see, JFNA Leadership Briefings alone are hardly the sum total of our communications strategy. In fact, they are but one, single channel we employ to communicate with the broad Jewish Federations community.

Also overlooked in your commentary is that, as the continental organization for Jewish Federations, an important aspect of our PR mission involves working closely with communities across North America to enhance their PR impact locally and to provide strategic PR guidance.

Aside from all of the inaccuracies we’ve pointed out, we do appreciate you mentioning the Heart 2 Heart mission, which is a great story that we’ve promoted for three years running, just as we publicize many other important missions overseas. Thank you for the opportunity to set the record straight. We urge those wishing to learn more about JFNA to visit us at jewishfederations.org; Facebook.com/JFederations; and Twitter.com/JFederations.

Joe Berkofsky is Managing Director, Communications and Media Relations, The Jewish Federations of North America.