I blogged a bit about the #JFNAGA earlier this month and earlier this week, someone bounced me a link to a website where I might better improve my Understanding [of] Select Core Priorities 2011 – the new JFNA funding scheme whereby a bigger group of tailored individuals would decision-make and non-profits would be required to compete for funds.  Which, incidentally, sounds like a great premise for a new reality TV program…

Coming this Hannukah, Dreidling for Dollars will follow several teams of non-profit competitors as they jockey for position to secure funding for their initiatives.  Who will eat the most latkes?  Who can best withstand wax burns from lighting 1,000 Tzfat beeswax candles?  Who can sing ALL the verses of Maoz Tzur?  Our celebrity panel of judges, which will include the biggest cross-section of machers assembled to date, will express their communities’ priorities as they determine, based on revolutionary, new funding formulas, who will share the grand prize: guaranteed revenue for fiscal 2011 into 2012!

So I read through the short paragraphs which promised to “drive clarity and understanding around the new JFNA allocations model, Select Core Priorities 2011” and I must admit I had an easier time working through Derrida’s Writing and Difference. Despite much effort over the years, I have never been able to crack the nut of this particular discourse.   Drive clarity indeed.

Incidentally, not only do I need remediation and accommodations for MBA-speak and  Non-profit-ese, I also need someone to help me out with “the innovation ecosystem”.   But I digress.

Jonathan Sarna, Brandeis University historian of American Jewry, was quoted in the Forward as saying that this new process reflects a more free market and competitive approach.  This dynamic, he claims, has “very, very deep roots in our history.”

To which I respond:  Gosh.  Considering all that has happened since 2008, it is not outrageous to ask if, perhaps, we might find a better tzedakah alternative than the “free market approach”…?


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