IMRA interviewed Gail Hyman, Vice President of Marketing and Public Affairs at the UJC – United Jewish Communities – the major fundraising organization in the American Jewish Community.

IMRA: I understand that there is an investigation underway of the source of the leak within the UJC (United Jewish Communities)to the press of the UJC’s plans to present an award to Arafat. You can take the story from here since the last time I followed this story the UJC was still denying that it planned to give Arafat an award:

Hyman: On October 25 Steven Solender, President and CEO of the UJC, issued a statement. Basically what happened was that there was some decision done at the mid level of the organization and there were some inappropriate unauthorized steps taken to begin to present the award to Chairman Arafat and once it became known to the top leadership and management at UJC that action was halted and it was never formally approved by the right people.

So that’s what happened. It wasn’t that it was leaked in a sense. It was more that people rushed to leak it.

IMRA: It came to the attention of the people who stopped it after it became knowledge in the community or did they find out about it through internal channels?

Hyman: They became aware of it as an issue through the media-press interest. In other words it got out to the press even before it got to top management here.

IMRA: So in terms of timing is it conceivable that Arafat would have received the award even before top management learned about it?

Hyman: I guess it is conceivable.

IMRA: Well in terms of the schedule it was reported by the press only days before the award was slated for presentation. Top management would have, perhaps, been unhappy about it after the fact, but it would have already happened.

Hyman: I guess anything is conceivable. I wouldn’t want to speculate.

IMRA: Let’s move on to the other piece of news – that a detective agency has been hired to detect the leak.

Hyman: A detective agency has been hired, for minimal money, to understand how our operations here could allow for such poor management and poor control and to insure that proprietary information not ever intended to be part of the public record could be made available to the media in advance of its approval internally. The investigation is funded from a special fund – not contributor’s dollars.

IMRA: So the issue is not how it happened that the UJC was about to present an award to Arafat without the top management knowing about it but rather how the story was leaked to the press.

Hyman: I didn’t say that. The investigation is limited in scope. It is to insure that only accurate and complete information is disseminated to our constituents.

Dr. Aaron Lerner,
Director IMRA (Independent Media Review & Analysis)
P.O.BOX 982 Kfar Sava
Tel: (+972-9) 760-4719
Fax: (+972-9) 741-1645