Sunshine at the JFN?

As most of you know, the Jewish Funders Network held their recent conference here in Jerusalem. Due to pressure from the participating Israeli philanthropists, all sessions were closed; no press releases or other information were issued. When I inquired following the conference if JFN would be providing any summaries, announcements of conference happenings etc. (besides the fact they plan to open an Israel office), this was the response:

“There is really nothing else to say about the conference. People spoke, people listened. A few initiatives have emerged.”


Well, perhaps, just perhaps, a little sunshine is peaking through. For six weeks later, the JFN has released something: President Mark Charendoff’s Address to the 2008 Conference.

Let’s hope this little bit, though belated, is an auspicious beginning with more to come. For until the JFN demonstrates through their actions that they are not afraid of transparency (or at least Mark publicly commits to doing so or provides a policy statement as to why not), this blog will, while bringing to you whatever little morsels they provide, continue to be critical of their actions.

Here’s Mark’s presentation where he speaks of recent endeavors the JFN has undertaken along with a glimpse to their future. Mark also has some on-target comments about reaching out to the younger generation and the concept of social networking, including this:

“One of the ways we’re challenging ourselves at JFN is to take hold of technological innovation—not because it’s trendy or flashy—but because we know that it’s one of the best ways to open up our network—to reach out to more people across our community, especially those in their 20s and 30s.”

All in all, a positive, uplifting and worth reading address; a shame it took so long to be made available.