Global, Politics

Another Shocking Revelation; Federations: change or die

I don’t know that there’s so much more to be said about this. It seems to me that this topic has been pretty well mined out, but it keeps coming up again. How many times can we hear that Federations are not thriving today; they pander to the wealthy and the elderly, and exclude – more or less by accident, which doesn’t reveal much positive in their internal decision making processes- the young, or really anyone who is of working age, still working on the model of sty-at-home women who have time and desire to volunteer to go to meetings in the middle of the day; they don’t appeal to people who want to direct where there money goes, rather than have the organization make the decision (this actually isn’t in itself a bad thing – lots of non-sexy but essential programs would never get funded if it weren’t for this, but it’s difficult to get people to contribute on this model); they give money to lots of causes outside of the Jewish community, and – how to say this in a very gentle way – to parts of the Jewish community that don’t themselves contribute because they’re happy to take that money, but don’t consider the donors “true Jews;” and they work on an assumption that of course Jews will automatically fund federations, because that’s what we’re supposed to do.
And none of these are functional things to do. So how many articles do we need before someone actually does something?
Just askin’

4 thoughts on “Another Shocking Revelation; Federations: change or die

  1. Readers might note that Jewschool’s founder is slated to speak at the upcoming UJC/Federation General Assembly in Nashville, along with other next-generation figures — part of an overall UJC strategy that is engaging younger Jews in the power of our collective community. For details please see

  2. I think the stupidest part of the federation system (at least in New York) is that there are a number of organizations which receive permanent funding. Permanent. No question about whether their services are effective or even relevant anymore, but permanent funding. Sure, they get a lot of consulting advice about how to BECOME relevant, but really that’s a bunch of crock.
    If the federation system were more flexible in terms of what funds are earmarked where, the system might fix itself. But the legacy institutions have too much at stake — and get too much say — in that structure.

  3. Joe-
    The fact that Dan (aka Mobius) is speaking at the UJC GAdoes not change anything. In fact, the Next Generation Plenary seems like window dressing. Dan’s own complaints about the system and in particular, the unwieldy beast that is this gathering, are well known and on target. Have Aaron Bisman’s closing comments from last year’s big show been heeded? See:
    If you want to engage you leaders, you have to listen to them and empower them. Not simply invite them to speak and preach to the choir. Proper support for initiatives formed and lead by young adults outside of the Federation system must be given their due.
    And that’s just to engage us. Then you have to let us have our say in directing the future. Give us a seat at the table and decision making power. Make it actionable at the local and national levels.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site is protected by reCAPTCHA and the Google Privacy Policy and Terms of Service apply.

The reCAPTCHA verification period has expired. Please reload the page.

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.