Jerusalem Center for Public Affairs

From Predictability to Chaos?
How Jewish Leaders Reinvented Their National Communal System

(Center for Jewish Community Studies, 2005, 165pp.)

Gerald B. Bubis & Steven Windmueller

The creation of United Jewish Communities (UJC) in 1999 - involving the merger of the Council of Jewish Federations (CJF), United Jewish Appeal (UJA), and United Israel Appeal (UIA) - resulted in the largest consolidation of Jewish communal resources ever undertaken. For this study of the merger, the authors interviewed those most directly involved in the effort regarding their motives and perceptions, and their satisfaction with the outcome to date.

The study reveals a tale of unclear expectations, unshared visions, mixed motivations, and multi-layered power games. But it is also a story about men and women who live the Jewish people, want to serve it, and desire to see it flourish. There are no villains. As the picture unfolds, it demonstrates the difficulties born of grafting differing organizational cultures together while seeking to merge the better or best attributes of each of these separate entities.


The Interviews
Historical Content
Road to Merger
Interview Results by Organizational Affiliation
Incorporating the Diversity of Responses: Professionals and Themes
Perceptions on Process
Examining Cultural and Institutional Disconnects
Creating Classifications
Institutional Loss - The Five Cs
The Perceived Losers
Overview Comments
Jewish Values, Social Trends, and Business Practice
Reflections on Chaos
Closing Words
Appendix I - List of Respondents
Appendix II - National Consultation on the UJC Study
Appendix III - Identifying New Opportunities
Appendix IV - The Literature on Mergers and Collaboration
Appendix V - Introduction to the Ketarim Model
Appendix VI - The Kehilla Model
Appendix VII - History of Schools of Jewish Communal Service
Biography of Authors
References and Bibliography