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hen the annual confer-
ence of the North
American federation sys-
tem convenes next week
in Philadelphia, delegates will be grap-
pling with two issues preoccupying
much of the organized Jewish commu- Dues Dispute
But some of the thornier issues will be
nity — Israel and Jewish identity.
addressed at meetings of the UJC
The results of data related to Jewish
Board of Trustees and the Delegate
identity from the National Jewish
Population Survey 2001-02 will not be Assembly, which is a larger body repre-
unveiled at the General Assembly of
Slated for discussion at the Nov. 22
the United Jewish Communities, Nov.
meeting of the Delegate Assembly is a
20-22 (related story: page 1.9).
resolution that would oust from the
Still, issues of Jewish identity will be
UJC federations that don't
a theme at the conference.
pay their dues.
The issues, and the under-
The resolution, already
lying focus on funds needed
approved by the board of
to address them, illustrate
trustees, would bar federa-
the tensions inherent in a
tions from voting rights in
system that historically has
UJC matters and bar
been committed to meeting
members of the delinquent
Jewish needs both at home
communities from national
UJC leadership roles, as
Several issues of UJC gov-
well as serving on the
ernance are likely to stir
boards of any national
debate at the GA, including:
agencies funded by the
• UJC's relationship with
Birthright Israel, the free trip
The issue arose after fed-
to Israel for young adults.
erations in Tidewater, Va., and San
UJC will discuss a proposal to pay its
Francisco questioned their payments,
overdue portion to support the pro-
according to sources.
gram and set new guidelines for its
Both Tidewater and San Francisco
federation leaders insist they aim to
• A resolution ousting federations
stay in the UJC system and are cur-
that don't pay their designated dues to
rently discussing the issue with UJC.
the UJC system.
For Tidewater, it's a matter of assess-
This year's GA trumpets the theme:
"Justice, Justice you must pursue" with ing all its expenses under severe budg-
et constraints, according to Daniel
an opening plenary on the "traditional
Lepow, assistant director of the United
Jewish pursuit of justice," featuring
Jewish Federation of Tidewater.
Israeli Supreme Court Justice Dorit
It's a matter of "looking at every
penny," Lepow said, noting that his
Israeli Prime Minister Ariel Sharon,
federation's campaign has been flat this
who was scheduled to app e ar in per-
year and that its dues to UJC are
son, will not be there, according to
UJC officials, but now may be speak-
San Francisco is concerned that its
ing via satellite during a plenary ses-
have been raised more than
sion on Israel.
Some 4,000 people are registered for $250,000, to $1.15 million, said Sam
Salkin, CEO of the Jewish
the conference at the Philadelphia
Community Federation of San
Marriott, and the UJC expects about
Francisco, the Peninsula, Marin and
4,500 ultimately to cram the halls of
the convention site.
If the latter number shows up, the
GA would match its height of the year
before last — its first sellout crowd.
Among the approximately 100 ses-
sions and workshops are agenda items
ranging from fund-raising strategy and
Israel advocacy on campus to running
for public office and the plight of