Thursday, July 14, 2011

No Israel Trip This Summer

Since it is now public that I am not going to be the next executive director at JCRC, I thought I might check in and share a few choice thoughts.

I won't be going to Israel this summer.  It makes me sad, but it made no sense to go when my employment status at JCRC is so unclear.  I've made no decisions and closed no doors, but it seemed imprudent to have me invest in new long term relationships.

So what am I thinking about these days?  Well, on the Israel front it is the new anti-boycott law and other measures that, in my humble opinion (remember, not necessarily the positions of my employers) hurt Israel's ability to make the case that it is the bastion of democracy in the middle east.  On the home front, I am looking forward to our trip to California this summer, albeit to take G-Dubbs to his new adventure at Pitzer college.  We will miss him terribly but I am very excited to see what this next chapter of his life will bring.  Pretty banal stuff, I admit.  But family is really the only important thing -- as I have learned far too well in the last month and a half.  

So what does the future hold for me?  Doors are opening and new possibilities await.  JCRC will be in good hands whether I am there or not.  The Jewish people will continue to survive and thrive even if I am not there professionally.  No one is irreplaceable but only a small few are irrepressible.  I am the latter.

So, at 44, it's time to turn a page.  Should I go the easy way out and stick around, or find something in my "wheelhouse"?  Or should I explore the great unknown?  Maybe I can find a way to do both... 

I will be writing more, that's for sure.  I'm going to try to get a few articles published... so you can look for those.  Something will be coming out soon... Just waiting for my co-author to come back from vacation.

Stay tuned... it's going to be a hell of a ride and as Lady Macbeth said "Screw your courage to the sticking place and we'll not fail."

And, by the way, I'd love suggestions and any good advice you have.

So here I go.


  1. I have no advice, I am just a little speechless that you are not going to be the next director of JCRC. I think you would have been incredible and you have certainly earned it. Wherever you land, I know you will be immensely valued and effective in your role.

  2. Alan

    Beautiful and painful words. Thinking of you here in ירושלים. Shabbat shalom.

    Eric G

  3. I have only respect and high regard for you. We were a terrific team for 10 years and I know how much you are capable of. I am there for you as you explore the next chapter of your life!
    Nancy K.

  4. So sorry you didn't come to Israel this summer, Alan -- but then again, it was a very hot one, so you might have spared yourself all the sweat. Besides, with the current gov't coalition in power, you have spared yourself much heartburn from all your angst and their disagreeable policies (most of which I actually support).

    So, you haven't made it into the sanctum of the JCRC -- bummer, eh? With your patron (Nancy Kaufman) gone, you had to compete on the merits, no? But then again, whadda I know about the inner workings of JCRC, anyway? Whatever ...

    You know, Alan, you could've come to Israel on your own dime, rather than courtesy of all the generous (but mostly uninformed and misguided) donors who've made such trips possible for you before. Hell, I've come here several times before making aliyah, and I paid my own airfare, accommodations, meals, etc. You didn't hear me complaining about that, did ya?

    BTW, do you only invest in long-term relationships when those have to do with your job, position, status, perks, benefits, money, etc.? If so, I feel sorry for you. I thought that such relationships had their own inherent value. But whadda I know about the human nature ...

    Apropos this last post of yours, before you start criticizing the Israeli gov't again, you should decide on the wholesale vs. retail issue (see my 1 Dec. 2011 comments to your 14 Aug. 2009 post as well as my comment to your very first post).

    BTW, are you or are you not with the JCRC? I looked on their website and you're still listed as their Deputy Director. So what were you whining about, anyway? You kept your job, you're still up there with the big boys and the key to the executive bathroom. Or did you expect to fill Nancy's big shoes? Well, apparently the 'mainstream' you're so fond of thought otherwise.

    Since you wrote "I'd love suggestions and any good advice you have" -- here is one:

    Try to avoid making puffy self-righteous (and self-serving) statements in public fora (such as this one) -- they don't reflect well on your image, Alan. Who knows, they may even hurt your stellar career, for the Lord Almighty works in mysterious ways ...

    Be well and take care of yourself,
    Seva in Jerusalem


About Me

Brookline, MA, United States
Thought provoking discussion or musings of a kid from the other side of the tracks...