The UJC has been in decline for a while. It merged with its only rival in 1999 to shore up their position and funding. It hasn’t worked. Young generations of Jews have no need for a behemoth fund raising machine, some call it an old-boys network, with obvious inefficiencies. Add to that that many Jews don’t even have strong ties to Israel or their fellow Jews. Oh, and one more thing, the entire Federation system cannot compete with private foundations that are making huge strides in all areas of Jewish and civic life. In other words, the Feds are out of touch, out of style, and out to lunch just one too many times on the people’s dime.
Today’s news that the UJC will be changing is good. The bad news is they are making the wrong decisions, again.
The dissolution of the organization’s four pillars that until now have defined the group’s areas of focus. This would include the end to the Renewal and Renaissance pillar, whose focus on Jewish identity building and education had became central to the federation system after the 1990 National Jewish Population Survey showed a dramatic increase in the intermarriage rate.
Basically they are going to green pastures of untapped Jewish wealth – israel and Russia. They once were busy telling everyone to donate money to send to Israel and Russia, and now they have turned an about face and will be raising money there.
Instead of realizing that the entire system needs to be dismantled, they are looking for new money – is this not the obvious signs of a desperate creature?