Jewish Federations / Jewish Organizations

“The reasons that the federated and legacy systems have been teetering are not simply size, but about capacity to pivot into trends, a weakness that innovative organizations have exploited effectively”

As we are all aware, the good processes of innovation – which changed communal priorities, shone light on the marketplace that Jewish organizations are meant to serve, and promoted a wide array of new voices and leaders who were able to lead organizations sooner than they would have through toiling in the legacy system – are now countered by a good bit of organizational clutter which needs to be cleaned up. I am not that concerned about the capacity of philanthropy to provide for many different institutions, but I am concerned about attention span and real interest in seeing innovative interventions move into the phase of full organizational life. The innovation sector is particularly vulnerable to this. Innovative organizations can either make the leap or they can bring their particular interventions in-house with the legacy organizations (as in this particular example) or in partnership with peer organizations (as with the massive Joshua Venture/Bikkurim/UpStart convergence). The reasons that the federated and legacy systems have been teetering are not simply size, but about capacity to pivot into trends, a weakness that innovative organizations have exploited effectively. Now could be a useful moment to reorganize and reconsolidate so that the system can internalize those pivots more effectively, and can use the leverage of large-scale institutions and budgets to actually make change on these fronts.

Yehuda Kurtzer, Facebook post (24 August 2017) [https://www.facebook.com/yehuda.kurtzer/posts/10155741396697174]