I know. You fell over. You stopped breathing. You might have rubbed your eyes and reloaded the page. No this is not a joke.

The Federation – in this case the LA Fed – is not where one normally turns to for edgy stuff, let alone nice design. I could post post their usual fare here, but that might provide further ill-will. Rather, the Federation has been listening to marketing guru, Gary Wexler, who recently posted on the JTA Blog Fundermentalist how he got the LA Fed on board with his plans and what they are planning. The article is detailed and a must read:

Can a Mexican poster artist living in East L.A., whose family owns panaderias (Mexican bakeries) and taquito stands, be a great branding artist for the Jewish people?

I’ve staked my professional reputation on it.. . .

This month’s first step of the branding launch was designed with a sensibility that was to be both deeply Jewish and deeply L.A. The new branding tagline “GiveLifeMeaning.org” emerged from extensive conversations within the community, asking people what was their most powerful motivation for involvement and support.

What is even more startling is that they came up with their slogan in consultation with their constituency. This is totally mind-blowing. The Top-Down Fed model is so entrenched, so part of the fabric of dysfunction in American Jewish life, that it has successfully alienated the greater part of the Jewish community. Gary Wexler aims to change that, and in the process help recreate the Federation in a way that both is answerable, in touch with, and serves the interests of the community.

I met with Gary this morning and got a small dose. After he lavished praise on Jewlicious (smile) we discussed the role of outsiders on influencing mainstream institutions. He encouraged Jewlicious to be a continuous platform for discussing what can be done to help fix communal life.

Federations are out of touch, bloated, club-like, dollar driven, and the list goes on. BUT, perhaps Gary and his passion, can help to shake up the Feds, wake them up, before they have run out of donors, and ideas, and usefulness.

The cause the LA Fed have chosen is battling hunger in LA, and we are going to get involved. But can you guys do something about the video on the site? JEWS TALK TOO MUCH! 🙂 It would appear that this part of the campaign did not get the Hollwood treatment yet.

L’Chaim Gary!

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Rabbi Yonah