The Future of Modern Orthodoxy
roles, conversion standards, interaith dialogue, biblical criticism, andacceptance o homosexuals.n the frst ew months o 2010 alone, the Modern Orthodox community witnessed several rounds o recriminations. First, itwas a new rabbinic organization established, in part, to promotedecentralized conversion standards. hen it was a public orum onhomosexuality in the Orthodox community. And the third controversy centered on the decision by two rabbis to bestow the title o
, aeminized version o “rabbi,” on a woman previously ordained with thetitle o
. n recent months, some o the same battle-lines havebeen redrawn on the Statement o Principles advocating a welcomingposture toward homosexual Jews and on the suggestion to change theliturgy o the morning blessings (rom
she-lo asa’ni ishah
).Each o these episodes sparked public pronouncementsollowed by denouncements that generated name-calling and morerhetoric:
(desecration o God’s name). Conservative.Fundamentalist.
aredi. eyond the pale. O the reservation.Signifcant sociological shits within the American Jewishcommunity have contributed to the current climate o hyperbolicdebate. On one end o the spectrum, the gul that existed betweencertain segments o the
aredi world and some elements o the ModernOrthodox world has narrowed due to changes in both communities.
More Orthodox Jews than ever subscribe to many central tenets o Modern Orthodoxy, even i they may not sel-identiy as such. oday,nearly all Orthodox Jews identiy with, and care about, the well-beingo srael (or, in their parlance,
) and its citizens. Likewise,Orthodox Jewish girls across the spectrum are better educated andencouraged to pursue various careers. Moreover, the utilitarian wortho a college education and, even more signifcantly, the value o criticalthinking have made inroads in the
aredi world in America.
At thesame time, the continued inuence o the gap year(s) in srael andother, related phenomena have created a more submissive and
aredi-like mentality among some young people who grew up in ModernOrthodox homes and schools.