With day school tuition, the cost of kosher food and paying a premium for housing in walking distance of shul, can a middle class person afford to be an Orthodox Jew these days? This troubling question opened a provocative panel discussion at the Young Israel of Woodmere on motza’ei Shabbat.
The session, attended by more than 300 people, capped off an OU Shabbat in Woodmere that featured several of the OU’s most prominent personalities, including Executive Vice President Rabbi Steven Weil, who spoke on Shabbat at the Young Israel; and Executive Vice President, Emeritus, Rabbi Tzvi Hersh Weinreb, who spoke at Kehillas Aish Kodesh on Shabbat morning.
The other members of the panel were YIW’s Rabbi Hershel Billet and Rabbi Yaakov Bender, Rosh HaYeshiva of Yeshiva Darchei Torah in Far Rockaway. The panelists also offered their views on teaching ethics and morality, and the future role of women in Orthodoxy. The panel was moderated by OU Chairman of the Board Stephen J. Savitsky.
OU Chairman of the Board and Moderator, Stephen J. Savitsky
Rabbi Yaakov Bender, left, and Rabbi Weil
Rabbi Weinreb and Rabbi Billet
From left: OU Senior Director of Institutional Development Paul Glasser, Mr. Savitsky, Rabbi Weil, Rabbi Weinreb, Rabbi Billet, and Rabbi Bender