On April 23, 2023, TRADITION: A Journal of Orthodox Jewish Thought and the Rabbinical Council of America convened our first TRADITION Today Summit, hosted at Congregation Rinat Yisrael, Teaneck, NJ. The Summit explored “Material Success and Its Challenges.”
In many ways, Orthodox life in the United States has seen increasing material success in recent decades. This has had an impact in a wide range of areas – consumptionary trends, philanthropy, career choice, institutional sustainability (e.g., the tuition crisis), social and communal gaps between haves and have-nots, and more. While many of these topics have been discussed informally, little has been written about them in a systemic and organized fashion. This day-long summit traced the contours of this trend and considered its advantages and challenges in light of Jewish tradition. It brought together sociological and cultural reflections as well as a range of hashkafic and halakhic perspectives, with an eye towards better understanding and managing this underexplored communal matter.
The program gathered 75 communal leaders, rabbis, scholars, educators, and philanthropic and business leaders—bringing together the most senior members of North American Orthodoxy and distinguished younger figures in our community. With the aim of helping to shape a larger communal conversation on these topics, content generated at and by the conference will be made available to the public from within the pages of TRADITION and on our other media platforms. The papers presented included:
TRADITION Today Summit – Organizing Committee: Jeffrey Saks and Shlomo Zuckier, chairs; members: Binyamin Blau, Erica Brown, Avital Chizhik-Goldschmidt, Mark Dratch, Chaim Saiman, Malka Simkovich, Chaim Strauchler, Yaakov Taubes