Letter to Jennifer Huppert of the JCCV regarding failed leadership

Originally posted April 23 on Facebook -

Dear Jennifer Huppert (President of the Jewish Community Council of Victoria),

Last night, I attended the Gen17 public forum and heard you speak on the panel. Two major things struck me:
1) You hold ordinary members of the community you are supposed to represent in quite some contempt.

2) You are completely uninterested in dialogue, constructive criticism, or doing absolutely anything that might in any way arrest the precipitous decline of the JCCV's relevance to Jewish life in this state.

Last night, at the panel, you screamed at an audience member for daring to ask why you were so adamant in your refusal to countenance strategic planning for our community.

That was as unacceptable as it was unbecoming.

You shouted that you are a 'volunteer', implying that that exempts you from doing the hard work of reforming what every sane person acknowledges is a dying institution - one that is a roof body for a number of other dying institutions, as well as a few that are doing OK.

You were equally dismissive of the *many* calls for generational change.

You seem to labour under the misapprehension that having a handful of 'young' folks on your board absolves you of responsibility for heading a peak body that is deeply, dangerously unrepresentative.

No, Jennifer: having a few apparatchiks whose outlook and manner are exact facsimiles of the current ageing leadership is most certainly *NOT* generational change.

Jennifer, you talked in circles last night: you said, there is no money for strategic planning and there is no way to get money for strategic planning because... um... there is no strategic planning to get the money.

You spoke at length about the very many things the JCCV cannot and will not do - about the many services your organisation has no intention of providing despite there being an obvious and urgent need for these services.

You seem quite content to keep a (dying) JCCV as little more than a means of rubbing shoulders with politicians and other powerful people.
This is not 'service' - at best, it is 'self service'.

And it's just not good enough.

But even basic representation - the one job you claim the JCCV is doing - is failing.

Your disastrous decision to co-host Daniel Pipes and destroy years of friendship building with the Muslim community, defies comprehension.

Finally, Jennifer, last night it really seemed you had no desire to do the job you were 'elected' to do (admittedly by a very limited cohort).

Of course, it's a thankless role. Of course you are a 'volunteer' - but no one is forcing you to be President.

If genuine responsiveness to community concerns and generational change are so beyond you, you need to do the right thing by yourself and by the community: step down immediately.

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