Things I’ve heard and overheard at the Lion of Judah Conference:
- From a UJC professional: Large federations most likely will come through 2008 in fairly decent shape because their fiscal years ended in late summer or early fall. But small federations with campaigns of $3 million or less may be in serious trouble because their fiscal years don’t end until December 31, and most do not have cash in hand for the pledges they took in the early part of the year. There is serious concern that they will fall short on their projections because donors will not be able to pay their pledges.
- From a federation lay leader: Several large federations are now role-playing out several scenarios in which their campaign takes a slight – or significant – dip in 2009 and what happens if domestic need shoots way up. In some scenarios, their allocations will look drastically different than they do now. And the federation in Washignton has already gone through some layoffs.
- From a federation professional: The federation in Atlanta so far in 2008-2009 has not seen a dip in the size of donations from the major donors who have already made their pledes. But it is about $2 million off of pace from last year, because many major donors have told the federation that they cannot give right now, and that they should ask again later in the year.
- From a lay leader: “My 401k is now a 200.5k.
- From an executive board member ot the National Teamsters Union: The Teamsters gave $2.3 million to the Rabin Center.
- From a JAFI official: “We are terrified” that American young adults will not be able to afford to take part in MASA programs, even with the $3,000 scholarships.
- From a top Lion of Judah lay leader: “I didn’t even know what MASA was.”
- From a Lion of Judah participant: “What does JAFI stand for?”