I’m sorry I have not been writing. I have been Tebowing in the dark for the last several months, hoping that they might start fracking in Scottsdale so that a hole in the earth would open up and swallow both the Federation and the JCC, sparing the Jews of Phoenix the pain and suffering of this cancer. I am afraid that my prayers have not been answered.
According to the Jewish News of January 20, 2010, the JCA (the new name of the merged JCC and the Jewish Federation of Phoenix), raised 3.4 million dollars, dispensed 1.6 million to partner agencies, pocketed 1.4 million dollars to sustain the health club at the JCC, while using $800,000 for their own overhead. True to character, they reduced funding allocations again to Kivel and other needy agencies so that we Jews have a state of the art health club.
I particularly love this quote:
In a summary of its major allocations decisions dated Jan. 7, the JCA explained the campus funding by saying, “The success of the campus is imperative to the survival of a strong, cohesive Jewish community in Metro Phoenix,” but added that the current funding level represents “an unsustainable model.”
Who came up with this idea? Why does the survival of the Jewish community in Phoenix depend on the success of an economically unviable health club? If the building gets hit by a meteorite, do all the Jews of Phoenix turn into a puddle of goo like the witch from the Wizard of OZ? What does that building/campus possess that gives life to the Jewish Community of Phoenix? I have never been in the vault in there, but maybe they have that scroll that they put under the Golem’s tongue to bring it to life to protect us from Arpaio. Maybe it is the recipe for Gefilte fish, or just maybe it is a copy of a Bernard Madoff Management Book, which has most likely been consulted continuously so that this economically unsustainable (their words, not mine) health club can be supported. Isn’t a ponzi scheme something where you bring in new money to sustain a scheme that is unsustainable and use the money to pay off earlier mistakes?
That campus shines brightly as a constant reminder of the idiocy of the Federation management that built that campus and the ego driven need of the donors to give their money to the project and get their names on the wall.
I guess the one thing that can be said about the building is that it does help Jews lose weight, both the Jews sweating from their workouts and the Jews getting by on less food: you know, the Jews from Kivel and other needy agencies whose funding was cut to support the campus.
Love your writing and your viewpoint. It’s mentality like this that turned me away from my Jewish community here in Tucson. It’s about what you wear, where you live, who you know, and getting your name on a wall. The greatest act of charity is supposed to be anonymous, or so I thought. When I was ten, I approached my secular Jewish parents about becoming Bat Mitzvah and getting Hebrew lessons. They went to the local (only one) Synagogue in our mostly Catholic/WASP town, and were told, sure, I can be taught, as long as they make a $10,000 endowment to the new building fund. That was the end of my religious training. Here in Tucson, I can’t understand selling tickets to High Holy Day services. Even if they’ll “make acceptions for financial hardship”, why would you put somebody in the position of asking for charity to worship on the holiest days of the year? I don’t get it. It’s shameful.
Good blog post. I definitely appreciate this site.
Keep it up!