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CJF Approves Study Charting Plans for Federations in 1980s

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A three-year study charting the future of Jewish Federations and Welfare Funds and their umbrella agency, the Council of Jewish Federations, for the 1980s was adopted at a special CJF General Assembly here by an overwhelming majority of the 300 delegates representing most of the 190 member Federations in the United States and Canada.

The community representatives adopted the final; review report which emerged from three years of analyses and consultations involving more than 1500 community leaders in the United States and Canada Morton L. Mandel of Cleveland, CJF president, said the review report examines every major aspect of the CJF philosophy, operation and objectives and how the CJF can best meet the needs of its member Federations.

Review committee recommendations approved by the delegates covered the following areas strengthening communities and Federations; United Jewish Appeal-CJF relations, priorities and planning; national and overseas Jewish agencies cooperation, governance of CJF, communications, human resources and staff organization, and budget. Mandel said periodic evaluations will be made of the implementation of the recommendations and results reported to the Federations.

Mandel said the review “took account of the major changes taking place in Jewish life both here in North America and in Israel and overseas. The CJF has a responsibility to identify and anticipate change and to help communities cope with them as quickly and effectively as possible. “He added that the review “recommends a number of specific revisions in the Council’s services procedures, structure, staffing and budget. All the recommendations are in the context of developing more cohesive and stronger Jewish communities.”

PERSONNEL PROGRAM APPROVED

The delegates also unanimously adopted the report of the CJF Personnel Task Force recommending a comprehensive personnel development program to meet the future professional staff needs of Federations. The delegates also changed CJF by – laws implementing key provisions of the review report providing for greater involvement of community representatives in the governance of CJF. The necessary budget changes also were approved by the delegates to permit implementation of the review recommendations to begin in September.

More than 140 communities were visited during the review process to obtain information, with Federation officers, executive committee members and staff professionals contributing their views.

The review committee which drafted the final document was headed by Raymond Epstein of Chicago, former CJF president. Forty lay and professional community leaders worked with him, as did a CJF professional consultant/staff team headed by Henry L. Zucker, vice president emeritus of the Jewish Community Federation of Cleveland.

The CJF Personnel Study Task Force report was presented by Samuel J. Silberman of New York. He noted the three key Task Force recommendations: extension of the CJF Federation Executive Recruitment and Education Program (FEREP), which provides scholarship/loan assistance to outstanding young people to undertake careers in Federation fields; continuing professional education programs to advance the knowledge and skills of present Federation professionals; and an Alternate Track Program to train and recruit people for middle-management and executive positions in Federations.

Mandel said key provisions for the new by-laws adopted at the special General Assembly specify that community delegates to the CJF General Assembly be appointed at the beginning of each calendar year, and be involved in guiding CJF programs throughout the year; enlargement of the CJF Board of Directors to include leaders from more cities; and reorganization of CJF committees.

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