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June 25, 2016 / 19 Sivan, 5776

Posts Tagged ‘leadership’

The Importance Of Strong Management In Day Schools

Thursday, November 1st, 2012

One of the hottest topics across all spectrums in the Jewish community is the financial sustainability of Jewish day school education in America. Schools have invested a lot of time and resources to train their professionals in the art of fundraising, developing donor relationships, and launching effective capital campaigns. And there has been a concerted effort among Jewish educational organizations to establish programs to assist day schools in improving their governance and developmental practices.

In early 2011, the AVI CHAI Foundation, along with local foundations and federations in various Jewish communities, provided support to Yeshiva University’s Institute for University-School Partnership (YUSP) to launch a broad-based program to improve growth and performance. The goal of the program was to collect data from a pool of approximately 35 schools and then use that data as a comparative benchmarking tool to identify opportunities for revenue enhancements and expense reductions at a minimum of 10 percent of their respective budgets. Collectively these schools have a budget of $225 million, so a 10 percent improvement translates to $22.5 million.

In addition, Torah Umesorah is scheduled to begin a training program to educate yeshiva day school executives in effective leadership and management skills, including an emphasis on board development and fundraising.

And the Partnership for Excellence in Jewish Education (PEJE) recently announced the launch of MATCH, for the fourth time since 2004. This program, which went into effect on August 1, is designed to strengthen Jewish day schools by broadening the community of donors. To accomplish this, the program provides first-time donors the opportunity to leverage a donation of $10,000 or more at a matching rate of 50 cents to the dollar, up to $50,000.

These approaches are highly innovative and have the potential to be successful and helpful to many schools. However, programs that focus on fundraising and development can only be effective if there are no cracks in the school’s administrative foundation. A ship can only set sail once there are no leaks in its hull; otherwise it will not get very far.

I know of a school that found itself in dispute with local storekeepers for thousands of dollars in merchandise. There was general confusion concerning what was purchased and what was owed. As is the case with many schools, principals and teachers would purchase goods on credit, often forgetting to submit the bill to the finance office. At other times, the stores would mail the invoice to the finance office, which was unaware a purchase had been made. The invoices would not be paid right away so the store would then fax in the invoice. Over time, no one knew what was ordered, what was actually received, or what was paid. Sometimes the same invoice would be paid twice, even three times.

All this could have been avoided had some simple and easy internal controls been in place. Ultimately, that is exactly what the school did. First, it authorized one person to do all the purchasing of goods and services for the school and put a strict ban on all staff from making any purchases on credit. A letter was then sent to local stores informing them of this new policy. Storeowners were warned that if they accepted a purchase on credit from anyone other than the school’s authorized purchaser, they would be sent a tax receipt for the “donation.” Faxes would no longer be accepted either. Payments would only be made from the original invoice.

A requisition form was also introduced for all purchases of goods and services. Approval from the executive director was required before any purchase was made. When goods arrived at the school, they were counted and matched to both the invoice and the approved purchase requisition form. The school’s administrators were surprised to see how many times the quantity of items stated on the invoice was greater than what was actually received. A lot of money was saved by catching these errors. Even the shopkeepers were happy when they started getting paid on time.

To be clear, there are a great number of schools that do operate at a very high level of competency. Their administrations take seriously their fiduciary duty to parents and donors to operate their schools in the most professional and financially efficient manner. They have their finance offices humming along like well-oiled machines and their lay leadership is to be commended. For these schools, the YUSP benchmarking and strategic planning program, as well as other pioneering programs, would not only work but could ensure their viability and sustainability for decades to come.

Jake Goldstein

Which Fatah Won the Palestinian Local Elections?

Monday, October 29th, 2012

Fatah leaders were quick to declare victory in the October 20 local elections in the West Bank [Judea and Samaria -Ed.]. But the results of the vote for 93 municipal and village councils show that the vote was anything but a victory.

True, in some cities and villages, Fatah did win a majority of seats.

But this is not the same Fatah that Palestinian Authority leader Mahmoud Abbas and the old guard leadership of the faction had backed.

Boycotted by Hamas, this was an election where Abbas’s veteran Fatah leadership mainly competed with Fatah candidates who decided to run on an independent ticket.

In the end, the Fatah “rebels” scored major victories in important cities, such as Jenin, Nablus and Ramallah, as well as many villages.

Abbas and the veteran Fatah leadership tried up to the last minute to dissuade the disgruntled members of his faction from running as independents, but to no avail.

The Fatah Central Committee, a body dominated by Abbas loyalists, later decided to expel all the Fatah candidates who insisted on running in the election separately.

The results of the elections show that many of the Fatah candidates who were dismissed scored significant victories. Candidates who were expelled from Fatah defeated those who expelled them: Abbas and old guard Fatah leaders.

Even in places where Abbas’s Fatah candidates won, the vote was on the basis of clan affiliation. Many Palestinians voted for Abbas’s Fatah candidates not because they were satisfied with the old guard leadership of Fatah, but simply because the candidate happened to belong to their clan.

What is perhaps most worrying for Abbas is the fact that a large number of his policemen and security officers voted for the dissident Fatah candidates who ran against the Palestinian Authority’s nominees.

Moreover, low voter turnout in many cities and villages is seen as a sign of indifference on the part of Palestinians in the West Bank. Palestinian analysts are convinced that had Hamas participated in the elections, turnout would have been much higher and the Islamist movement would easily have defeated a divided Fatah.

The low turnout and the success of Fatah rebels in the elections should be seen as a vote of no-confidence in Abbas and the old guard leadership of his ruling faction.

For decades, Abbas and his veteran loyalists in Fatah have blocked the emergence of fresh and younger leaders – something that has seriously affected Fatah’s credibility. Failure to reform Fatah and get rid of corrupt officials has also driven many Palestinians away from Abbas and his loyalists.

Abbas’s term in office expired in January 2009, but this has not stopped him from continuing to cling to power. In wake of the results of the local elections, it has become obvious that Abbas does not have a mandate — even from his Fatah faction — to embark on any significant political move, such as signing a peace treaty with Israel or applying for membership for a Palestinian state in the UN.

Instead of going to New York next month to ask for Palestinian membership, Abbas should stay in Ramallah and work toward reuniting and reforming Fatah before his political rivals drive him and his veteran loyalists out of office.

Originally published by the Gatestone Institute.

Khaled Abu Toameh

Likud-Beiteinu Worrying Left

Sunday, October 28th, 2012

The merger of Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu’s Likud party and the Yisrael Beiteinu party of Foreign Minister Avigdor Liberman on Thursday has left-wing parties scrambling for a solution to the sudden show of solidarity on the part of the pro-nationalist camp.

In an article by Israel HaYom, an anonymous Kadima MK said unity on the left is a big item of discussion now, with emphasis on securing a great leader who will draw votes.

According to the MK, Kadima chairman Shaul Mofaz, Yesh Atid chairman Yair Lapid, and Labor chairwoman Shelly Yachimovich are being called on to unify under the leadership of either former Foreign Minister and failed almost-Prime Minister and Kadima chairwoman Tzipi Livni, or the recently acquitted former Prime Minister Ehud Olmert.

Both are expected to announce whether they will re-enter politics early next week.

Mofaz has said he will relinquish leadership of Kadima if either party needs the position in order to run for prime minister.

The strong Sephardic party, Shas, has expressed its concern over the Likud-Beiteinu merger, saying it could mean the drafting of Hareidi Jews into the army.

Malkah Fleisher

Hundreds of World Jewish Leaders Coming to Israel Next week

Thursday, October 25th, 2012

Hundreds of Jewish leaders are coming to Israel next week from around the world to participate in the Jewish Agency for Israel Board of Governors in Tel Aviv, October 28-30.

The central event is expected to be Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s attending a ceremony at Ben Gurion Airport welcoming the first charter flight of Operation Dove’s Wings, which will the conclude the Ethiopian Aliyah.

The conference will take place under the leadership of Chairman of the Board of Governors, James S. Tisch and Chairman of the Executive, Natan Sharansky. The Board of Governors will be held in Tel Aviv for the first time, at the invitation of Mayor Ron Huldai.

The Board of Governors is comprised of organizations from around the world and meets three times a year, traditionally in Jerusalem, to hold in depth strategic discussions about issues affecting the Jewish world.

Jewish Press News Briefs

Bennet’s Staff: ‘Netanyahu’s People Negotiated the Pact between Orlev and Hershkowitz’

Tuesday, October 23rd, 2012

Over the past four years there has been some bitter infighting between the two Bayit Yehudi party members, Science and Technology Minister Daniel Hershkowitz and MK Zevulun Orlev, IDF Radio reported. Their relationship has been one of contempt and mistrust, to put it gently. Now, suddenly, there’s been a reconciliation at the helm of the National Religious Party. As Orlev put it: “Even though we’ve had our downhill slopes during our past term in office, I have willingly agreed to a joint leadership for the party, and everything will be carried out in unity.”

Orlev and Hershkowitz agreed on Monday night to what they call “a joint leadership based on the Shas party model.” Hershkowitz, who is behind in the polls, announced that he wouldn’t run for chairman of the party or even for a Knesset seat, but would participate in leading and managing the party. This decision will benefit Orlev who is running against Naftali Bennet, a one time member of Netanyahu’s team who has been on bad terms with the premier for the past several years. Sources close to Bennet say that Netanyahu’s supporters negotiated the “peace treaty” between Orlev and Hershkowitz in order to thwart Bennet’s political career.

Heshkowitz denies the charges. “People claim that Natan Eshel was involved in making the deal – I want to make it completely clear that this matter has no connection to the prime minister, neither directly nor indirectly.”

Bennet’s headquarters reacted by saying, “The old political system was completely exposed tonight. The public is looking for leadership, not an employment arrangement for politicians.”

Yori Yanover

First Crisis for Yachimovich: Kibbutzim Threatening to Leave Labor

Monday, October 22nd, 2012

The kibbutz movement is threatening to sever its historical ties with the Labor Party before the upcoming elections. The reason: the recommendation of party Chair Sheli Yachimovich that in the primaries their sector will be unified with the moshavim sector.

The kibbutz and moshav movements have historically marked two distinct philosophies within the labor movement, and nowadays, despite privatization and many other changes both movements have undergone, they still view themselves as historically distinct and as such each deserving its own dedicated representation.

Should the Yacimovich proposal be accepted in a procedural vote at the party conference by the end of the month, it will guarantee both sectors only one Knesset seat, in place of the two seats which traditionally have gone to them. According to the kibbutz movement leadership, such a move may result in their abandoning the party with which they have been strongly identified over the years.

Hanik Marshak, secretary of the kibbutzim sector, was furious at the Yachimovich decision “We oppose such a move,” she told Maariv. “Consolidating seats might hurt the party in terms of its size and representation. The Labor Party should continue its tradition of many years and not change the procedure.”

Marshak also promised that if the issue is not resolved, the kibbutzim will consider the possibility of leaving the party. “We will assemble our sector’s institutions and come to a decision,” she said.

A source inside the Labor party estimated that if it loses the kibbutzim votes, this will mark the first crisis under the leadership of Yachimovich.

Today, according to estimates, the kibbutzim sector within the Labor party holds about 7,000 registered voters. In past years, the same sector boasted as many as 15 thousand voters.

Last election the Labor Party lost its traditional control over the kibbutzim to Kadima. Labor, then still under the leadership of Ehud Barak, received the support of 30.6 percent of the kibbutzim voters, compared with 31.1 percent that went to Tzipi Livni’s party.

An old joke best explains the distinction between a kibbutz and a moshav: if a kibbutznik had enough, he’ll probably move to a moshav (easier communal rules); but if a moshavnik had enough – he sure as heck is not moving to a kibbutz (even more stringent communal rules).

Now it appears the entire kibbutz movement might be moving – but probably not to a moshav…

Yori Yanover

Assad’s Sister Defected

Wednesday, September 19th, 2012

Bushra al-Assad, sister of Syrian President Bashar al-Assad, has fled Syria with her children, an informed source told Al Arabiya English on Tuesday. Her husband, Assef Shawqat, who was the deputy chief of staff of the Syrian military, was assassinated in July.

According to the opposition website All4Syria.info, Bushra left Syria to Dubai. Apparently she fled to the UAE in the past, during a short family quarrel with her brother, Bashar.

The pro-Syrian Lebanese daily Ad-Diyar reported that Bushra, a pharmacist, was on her way to Dubai, but didn’t specify whether it would be her final destination.

According to Al Arabiya, Bushra escaped Syria amid reports of internal strife within the Alawite sect, to which the president and most of the military, intelligence, and government leadership belong.

After the assassination of her husband, Bushra expressed great anxiety about her own and her children’s safety. A recent palace “quasi-coup” within the ranks of the Alawite leadership has driven Bushra to flee Syria.

According to Ad-Diyar, “some Alawite leaders are worried that the whole sect would eventually be implicated by President Assad in crimes against civilians,” and this has turned some of them against him. It appears that a “front of Alawite officers” has been formed to negotiate with the rebels’ Free Syrian Army on overthrowing the president.

Bushra feared becoming a target of those Alawites gone rogue, who were implicated by her husband in killing civilians.

Jewish Press News Briefs

Printed from: http://www.jewishpress.com/news/breaking-news/assads-sister-defected/2012/09/19/

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