Saturday, January 13, 2007

"Sacrifice" is missing/The forward article

President Bush has asked for about 97,000 additional slots for the Army and Marines.The concept is fine,the AMOUNT INADEQUATE.
We are at war-the feelings of 9/11 have dissipated.Yet every day forces are at work overtly and covertly to destroy us and our way of life.
What has been missing,is the lack of leadership by our heads of government to explain to Americans what is at stake.No one asks us for a sense of sacrifice.To the contrary,the war in Iraq is an abstract event that the media turns into a numbers game-how many died on a given day.But our everyday life goes on without missing a beat.
As we circle the globe,we realize from N. Korea,Africa,Pakistan and Afghanistan,the Middle East Europe and Central America we must be prepared for a nuclear and a terrorist war on many fronts.Each potential conflict requires different types of responses.
America today even with the war,spends only 4% of GNP on defense.In the Vietnam era it was 8% and during WWII double that.
Since only 25% of the military are combat soldiers,one should question the numbers requested as to long range adequacy.


I was happy to read that Sen Tim Johnson was moved out of the ICU to a rehab type of unit.He is a fine and gentle person,and a good friend of our community.We wish him continued improvement in his health.


The headlines in the Forward this week( being pushed out) are way out of line.
Rabbi Weinreb was hired for a specific purpose in 2001.To bring a sense of calm and healing to a fractured organization in light of the Lanner scandel was his task.He performed admirably.
Rabbi Weinreb,now (I believe)68,is a pulpit Rabbi and psychologist by profession.Despite no previous administrative or organizational experience was the right man at the right time.His contract was I believe renewed once,and he has 18 months to go to complete his contract and allow time for his successor to learn the ropes under his guidance.
The POST_LANNER era is over.and it is time to concentrate on a vision for the future.
I can write these words,because I have no role in the decisions to retire him or in choosing a successor.One of the sad parts of the Union in recent years has been a total avoidance of a consultative process with former Presidents.I get my news from the Forward like everyone else.
Therefore when people write to that there is a hidden agenda ,or its the left/center vs right etc,they are way off base.
This is leadership planning for the future .They would be derelict if they did not.
One final word.As someone who retired from surgery at an early age,and saw my partners before me do likewise,I have noted that many Rabbis resist coming to the same conclusions .Business, many law firms,industry have retirement ages.Jewish organizations should do likewise.This is especially true,when they are willing to provide positions and financial packages commensurate with a persons skills and experience,and yet at the same time allow fresh leadership to blossom at the helm.
The Union as every org.needs vision and administrative talent as they prepare to meet the challenges of the next decades.