Tuesday, January 18, 2005

Core Values

I am a great believer in "core values" and mission statements for organizations. I think they reduce the essence of the organization down to a few key principles and allow staff to focus on applying those principles in everyday work. There is an excellent book called "Managing by Values" that describes how an organization can use core values to encourage and empower its employees.

You can read about the Core Values of Jews for Jesus at http://www.forjewsforjesus.org/about/core_values.html

The JFJ core values are, in my mind, very revealing, in that they do not include any reference (so far as I can see) to respect for individuals, the dignity of human beings, or the importance of families. Given that these values are left out of the JFJ mission statement, the fact that JFJ has had problems in the past with respecting individuals and honoring families doesn't seem inconsistent with their values. What is a little disturbing is that there apparently has been no change in the core values (which we all know were devised by Moishe Rosen) since the ascension of David Brickner several years ago. I have heard rumors that Brickner would be a "kinder, gentler" version of Rosen, but as long as the core values and mission statement remain the same, why should we expect anything different?


Anonymous said...

The reality is that JFJ's guiding principles (core values) have been greatly influenced by Saul Alinsky's book Rules for Radicals. Alinsky's philosophy, which includes "the ends justify the means" and street guerilla tactics, was (and probably still is) Moishe Rosen's philosophy (and by extension JFJ's philosophy).

There was an article that Rosen wrote in the newsletter a few years ago. Rosen makes a statement that seems to distance himself from Alinsky, which I think is ironic and a bit hypocritical. See http://www.jfjonline.org/pub/newsletters/1996-06/telljews.htm Rosen says:

"In a book titled Rules for Radicals, Saul Alinsky says that in dealing with an opponent, if you can't attack their ethics, disparage their methodology. This is what we expect of antimissionaries because they see us missionary-evangelists as their opponents. However, it is most discouraging when Christians hear and repeat portions of the antimissionary propaganda without checking with their own brothers and sisters in Christ to see if it is true."

I think it is disingenuous for Moishe Rosen to criticize Alinsky in this quote, since Rosen (and Jews for Jesus) have drawn so much of their organizational philosophy from "Rules for Radicals." That Alinsky's "rules" were the driving force behind the early days of J for J is clear from reading William Proctor's book, "Jews for Jesus" (which is now out of print but which is available from some public libraries).

Anonymous said...

It's interesting how Moishe Rosen loved to use warfare terminology, such as broadside, campaign, and sortie. In the book "Jews for Jesus" he talks about his stint in the military. Maybe he was a frustrated soldier. And "chief of station" (which is a basically a branch leader in JFJ) was taken straight from the CIA. So maybe Rosen also aspired to be a spy of some kind?

Saul Alinsky devotes an entire chapter in Rules for Radicals to how in times of war, the ends always justify the means. For both Alinsky and Rosen, all of life is a war, to some degree.

Anonymous said...

Funny Christians believe Jews For Jesus. And don't inquire with ex staff to see if Jews For Jesus uses cultic tactics in regards to treatment of staff workers.

I wonder if Moishe feels that is disingenuous?