Monday, February 11, 2008


The Blog has generated many sincere Comments. Many of you have welcomed us and our Posts and have responded with your own concerns, experiences and, where we may have shed heat, have shined a light. Others, who find the Blog distasteful, intrusive or destructive, have responded to it in kind, in effect, shooting the unknown messenger. To those who believe they can speak for the entirety of the "Next Generation," you make us fear for our future -- both within Jewish communal life and outside of it. To those of you who believe that "all is well" at UJC, we would certainly not deny you your opinion even as we question your grasp on the reality of our situation here or of UJC's relevance to your communties.

In response to a recent Blog, we received a Comment (and a later response) in which a correspondent first attacked us and, then, in a further fit of pique, attacked one who responded politely to him/her. That purported "representative" of the "Next Gen" (and, we seriously doubt that that writer is any younger than we) has an option available: stop reading this Blog. Why spoil your day reading anything that might enrage you to the kind of apoplexy exemplified by your Comments?

We have noticed that, in the main, those who support our Posts have published thoughtful, often provocative, Comments; and those who oppose the publication of this Blog can't contain their anger and rage...toward us. We don't believe we have expressed anger (except as to how UJC professionals have been forced out of their jobs after years of service -- facts to which those most angry with us dismiss by their silence), certainly not rage, only disappointment and frustration with the very matters and the means of their implementation some of our correspondents, sadly, applaud. ("Bringing concept papers to the Board for discussion before implementation" is viewed as "hard fought progress." Wow!!)

We have no monopoly on truth, we just haven't gulped down the UJC Kool-Aid to find ours.


tikvah said...

I support your blog wholeheartedly. Blogging has become a valuable tool to increase openess and dialogue across many organizations and industries. We in the Jewish community should embrace this medium and use it to make our community even stronger and more vibrant.

However, I am truly disappointed that your blog postings have deteriorated in such a short period of time. What began as a thoughtful and high-minded attempt to "bring truth to power" has degenerated into name calling and what comes off as whining by disgruntled low level employees.

"He said; she said" is not important - in this I reference yesterday's post that was taken down.

When you complain about being out of the loop on the Board Meeting, you really come across as immature and you discredit your credibility. I don't know too many CEOs that come back from Board Meetings and immediately call an full staff meeting to give an update.

Please, for the sake of our community and for the sake of improving the system - and for the sake of the long term credibility of this blog, stick to big issues. Stick to the thoughtful high minded approach with which you began this endeavor. If you don't have a real idea to post, then wait until you do.

If you take the high road, you will still get your message across - and you will have so much more impact.

I'm rooting for you.

chai said...

I agree with Tikvah.

This blog has provided much valuable information, provided a great forum for discussion, and driven a bunch of UJC bureaucrats crazy. A trifecta!

So please don't water down the value by complaining that you're not treated like the CEO, which, given the situations you describe, it's good for you that you're not.

And please keep on keeping on. We are all here because we want to help; you have a real opportunity to be an agent for change.

Thank you.

NextGenRep said...

Well said tikvah and chai. Well I may have appeared on the previous post as "the enemy," my deliberate rant to get the attention of boys and girls was meant to be a wake up call that he (or she) has lately crossed the line of productive dialogue into a frenzied mob bashing of UJC leadership. I just hope participants on this blog don't trade in one flavor of kool aid for another.

fromwhereisat said...

Dear Anonymous,

As a former UJC "professional" myself, I must say that I disagree with your characterization about the nature of "how UJC professionals have been forced out of their jobs after years of service."

In fact, after reading your blog, I wonder if we both really worked for the same organization!

Do you really believe that UJC had a successful/innovative marketing department under the stewardship of Gail Hyman and fran Sommers? or that the campaign/FRD department under Mrs. Agron's leadership added value to the organization and system as a whole?

if so, what data supports your claim?

During my unpleasant tenure at UJC, I came to exactly the opposite conclusions and IMO these and other departures were, if anything, too little, too late.

Hmmm, let's see...

during "years of service," these senior professionals collected very generous salaries (which, let's not forget, are culled from donor's contributions) while national campaigns stagnated and the donor base actually SHRANK.

Are these trends indicative of an effective marketing operation or successful financial resource development?!

I suggest that in the "real world," i.e the FOR-profit world, few if any of UJC's "professionals" would still have jobs.

In my experience, the vast majority of UJC's "professionals" (especially those whose departures you lament on this blog) were uncreative, unmotivated, afraid of change, and ANYTHING but assets to the system as whole.

And as far as Howard Rieger goes, my major criticism is that these changes were, as I said earlier, too little, too late.

...Although, knowing how the North American Jewish Federation system seems incapable of embracing visionary and dramatic change, as typified by your expressed views, I doubt that greater change would have been possible.

just for the fun of it, ask yourself this question: what would Jack Welch have done as CEO of UJC?