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 Leadership Briefing 
The Jewish Federations of North America - The Strength of a People. The Power of Community.

Global Planning Table Sees Significant Progress 

JFNA Webinars to Discuss Global Planning Table 
Tuesday, Nov. 27 at 11 a.m. EST
Thursday, Nov. 29 at 11 a.m. EST

Nearly a year after its launch, the Global Planning Table (GPT) has made significant progress in its effort to re-envision the way Jewish Federations identify global Jewish needs, and raise and allocate funds to address them.

Approximately five months ago, the 42-member GPT Committee – which includes representatives from across the Federation community, as well as from our historic partners, The Jewish Agency for Israel and the American Jewish Joint Distribution Committee – established four Working Groups that were asked to conduct initial analyses of global Jewish concerns and approaches in four areas: (1) Strengthening Israel; (2) Developing Leadership and Community; (3) Caring for the Most Vulnerable; and (4) Strengthening Jewish Identity and Peoplehood. 

All four of the Working Groups met several  times over the summer months. The groups:

  • examined the areas of concern relating to their assigned topic areas; 
  • reviewed many of the activities in which Jewish Federations are currently involved through our historic partners and others;
  • developed suggestions regarding potential new areas and methods for dealing with the issues in which Jewish Federations may wish to engage in the future.

All four groups reported their findings and recommendations to the GPT Committee at meetings held in September and October. The recommendations that are emerging reaffirm the importance of Jewish Federations' ongoing work in each of these areas, and present a number of far-reaching and bold new ideas for expanded coverage and activity in each topic area.

The GPT Committee is on schedule to publish a first set of recommendations at the beginning of 2013. We anticipate that these recommendations will include at least one, and possibly two, Signature Initiatives, to be launched as quickly as the proposed programs can be fully vetted and initial funding secured. These Signature Initiatives will be national programs directed to high-priority, high-impact issues, designed to galvanize the interest and excitement of Jewish Federations and their donors, and attract participation from new and expanded funding sources. The Signature Initiatives will run parallel to the ongoing, existing programs in which Jewish Federations are involved, which are currently in place to address global Jewish needs. 

The GPT Committee will also establish several Commissions – whose job will be to perform in-depth analyses and evaluations of Jewish needs within a specific assigned area; to examine existing service delivery in the area; and to recommend how Jewish Federations should approach service and funding for that assigned area on a going-forward basis. These Commissions will be charged with the long-term evaluation and analysis of needs and proposed responses, and will help direct the work of Jewish Federations in the coming years, as we refine and expand the focus and funding of our efforts on behalf of world Jewry.

Several Commissions are anticipated to roll out over the coming two years, one of which will bring Federations together to learn about and engage in the work that individual communities are already involved in, and explore where those efforts might be enhanced through the addition of other funding and coalition partners. 

As the GPT moves toward a first set of action recommendations, it is launching a series of communal conversations, designed to gather input from individuals and communities on the issues being considered. The GPT anticipates that these efforts will develop important guidance for its decision-making process.

In addition to a series of dedicated stand-alone sessions at the upcoming 2012 General Assembly in Baltimore (Sunday, Nov. 11, 2:15 p.m. - 3:15 p.m.; Monday, Nov. 12, 5:15 p.m. - 6:30 p.m.; Tuesday, Nov. 13, 7:45 a.m. – 8:45 a.m.), the GPT will hold discussion webinars on Tuesday, Nov. 27 and Thursday, Nov. 29, both at 11 a.m. EST. The sessions will be open to the public. The GPT is also preparing a toolbox of materials for use in the cultivation of GPT-related discussions by individual Federations throughout the country. 

We invite you to take part in these discussions. We look forward to your assistance in helping the GPT define our collective global mission, enhance our delivery of services to the global Jewish community, identify new funding and service-delivery partners, and help determine how Jewish Federations can have the most positive impact on our Jewish world.

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The Jewish Federations of North America
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