Haaretz asks, “Who will save Conservative Judaism?”, and does a pretty good job of pointing out some flaws in the USCJ’s biennial plenary sessions, like the rather vague criticism of the movement that the leaders offer (Conservative Judaism “failing to live up to its best ideals”), and the similarly vague statement that the movement’s “detractors” don’t recognize its importance in “Jewish life.”
Really.  The best criticism these guys can come up with is that they haven’t met their ideals and that they’re underappreciated?  Having very little existing knowledge about the prior careers and current work of the leaders in question, I definitely can’t make a judgment on whether or not it’s their “fault” that the movement is, as they seem to be describing, sputtering.  The reason I point out this article is not to blame the evil establishment for guiding Conservative Judaism off the rails.  No, it’s to point out the contradiction of having a body that wants to “centralize” its leadership, as the USCJ does through the reformation of its organizational bylaws described in the article, and accomplishing said centralization by removing “governing” power from constituent synagogues, as these reformations would effect.  In other words, if you need someone to save you, don’t suddenly take away the voice of everyone except your board of directors.  As we know, boards of directors and such executive advising or decision-making bodies are notoriously bad at providing consistent advice or policy in the interest of constituents without some kind of direct responsibility to those constituents.
I’m not calling the USCJ a corrupt organization, or one that doesn’t honestly want to help its members. But I question the judgment of revitalizing a movement by astroturfing it.  Something as large and diverse as Conservative Judaism can can’t be sustained just from the top down.  The job of an organization like the USCJ should be to provide resources and assistance to smaller Conservative organizations, be they synagogues, think tanks, or independent minyans with a focus on Conservative practices.
I was raised Conservative, but with very little connection to our synagogue, a place that never really excited me that much.  I don’t feel beholden to the Conservative movement, as apparently does Yona Schulman, quoted in the article as wanting the USCJ to  “help us get our message out.”  To me, placing your ability to reach out to constituents in the hands of a distant organization you have no control over is sort of asking for stagnation or disinterest.  The Havurah movement has taught us that when people can get involved, the’re likely to assemble an organization that exists to serve them, not to define them.  When I describe the NHC to people, I say that the essence of the Havurah concept is that it’s not centralized.  It’s not a sect, it’s a social movement.  There’s no governing body.  The NHC is the manifestation of havurahniks’ desire to connect and share.  If the USCJ has a fundamentally different mission, then that’s their right.  But I’d still say it’s a mistake.