UJC Gives Birth to The Jewish Federations of North America

There has been a lot of ‘noise’ recently in the Web 2.0 world about changes underway within the UJC system. Let’s cut to the tachlis. Here’s how the UJC frames a few new initiatives (all quotes are taken from yesterday’s emailed Leadership Briefing):

1. The UJC name is history.

“As part of an overarching effort to create a stronger continental brand for the Federation system, and based on brand research results, UJC’s strategy calls for changing its name to Jewish Federations of North America to better align and reflect the names of member organizations…UJC plans to launch the new brand…around the 2009 General Assembly in November.”

For you brand pundits out there, take a look at the GA Website. No name branding; no organization logo; read the about section and you’ll find no mention of the UJC brand. So while the official launch may be months off, practical change is already underway.

Now, we can only hope the UJC leadership goes one step further, takes a lesson from the Jewish Agency, and puts to a quick death the term Next Gen. [see our post from last November, The NextGen – R.I.P.]

2. The UJC has engaged Blue State Digital, the masterminds behind Obama’s $500 million campaign, to develop “…an e-philanthropy guidebook designed specifically for Federations, including email templates for new, existing, and lost donors.”

3. The UJC will be creating a system wide effort to promote Jewish volunteerism to engage Jews of all ages.

“The Jewish Service Initiative aims to collaborate with other domestic and overseas partners to promote and develop more opportunities for hands-on volunteerism through the Federation system, allowing Jews of all ages to better connect with Federations while meeting expanding needs…” and “…is studying collaborations with existing service groups such as Repair the Word…”

4. As to the speculation regarding Howard Rieger’s replacement as CEO, here’s the official word:

Incoming UJC Chair Kathy Manning, who chaired the CEO Search Committee to identify Rieger’s successor, reported that the committee was “closer to a resolution” and that “we hope to make a decision in the very near future.”

Guess negotiations aren’t going as well as hoped.