The plan by the United Jewish Communities to dissolve its pillar system and shift some of its operations to Israel were only part of the proposed changes outlined in its internal background paper drafted March 16.
Drafted by selected lay and professional leaders of UJC, the paper suggested 23 changes deemed to be “required to enable the reorganization of UJC to become fully effective.
The goal is to streamline UJC while creating a unified message and better connecting the federations to UJC and its overseas partners, according to the chairman of its board of trustees, Joseph Kanfer.
Some of the suggested changes included in the document include:
* Agree upon a common name for UJC and the federations which can help bridge the gaps created by a mobile population, so that when Jews move to new communities they will be able to easily find and recognize their new community s federation;
* Phase out pillars in favor of a unified UJC governance process;
* Eliminate the distinction between UJC consulting and financial resource development departments, thus creating a seamless outreach to federations;
* Invest in a video-conferencing capacity for the system to allow for a more cost effective deployment of UJC resources;
* Eliminate programs with minimal impact on federations as a whole;
* Consolidate overseas missions and give them a common theme based on UJC priorites. This would be done through the Israel office;
* Focus on giving next-generation professionals and lay leaders more major responsibilities;
* Eliminate the once-a-decade National Jewish Population Study in favor of more frequent targeted studies of policy areas that affect UJC and the federations;
* Create a national donor database;
* Create a common Web format for UJC and larger federations to improve product and name recognition for all federations;
* Promote non-traditional relationships with foundations and individual donors to leverage UJC impact;
* Work with the Jewish Agency for Israel and the American Jewish Joint Distribution Committee on outcomes-based investments, and creating core aspects of programming to allow for federation funding partnerships.