The Cost of Criticism

Yesterday morning, we published an opinion piece by Michal Kohane, a professional at the Jewish Community Federation of San Francisco, titled 40 Plus and Screwed: More on Less Young Adult Engagement. The lede on the piece, “Building a sustainable community can’t be just about paying for buses full of young people in hopes they will make Jewish babies.”

The piece was widely circulated and garnered significant commentary, both on- and off- line; multiple communal professionals weighed in.

That evening, the author advised us she was let go from federation because of the article.

Further conversation was spurred including in the “hallways” at the Israeli Presidential Conference, in process at the time.

We must ask, why is it that our organizations cannot accept criticism? Why is it that our largest organizations behave vindictively towards anyone – employees, lay leaders, the media – that say anything critical of any initiative or policy? Are their CEO egos so fragile? Are their missions so questionable that some behave like the worst dictatorships in history?

Feel free to add your thoughts below.