We are writing to express our great disappointment in the new allocations system that will be utilized by the Jewish Federation of Greater Hartford (“Hartford Federation Introduces New Allocations Process,” April 8, 2011). It appears that allocation decisions will be made on the basis of various vague conceptualizations of Jewish values. The categories are so broad that they could justify almost anything. We are disturbed that one of the three top priorities includes outreach to interfaith families and to residents outside the local area. How did these get to be top spending priorities in Federation’s tight budget? We are bewildered by the inclusion of funding for synagogues, which wisely have never been supported by Federation. Most of all, we are extremely troubled that support for Jewish education is not explicitly included as one of the top priority areas for funding. It has been shown that day schools, in particular, are the greatest single source of Jewish continuity and of Jewish leadership. We fear that the Federation’s misguided priorities are likely to hasten the downward trend of Jewish identification, affiliation, and commitment.
Renana and Ron Kadden