The Great Shul Unbundling

To paraphrase Wikipedia: Unbundling is used to describe how technology and expectations are affecting older institutions (education, broadcasting, newspapers, games, shopping, etc.) by “breaking up the packages they once offered, providing particular parts of them at a scale and cost unmatchable by the old order. “Unbundling has been called “the great disruptor”.

For Shuls the traditional bundle included:
1) a place to daven
2) a place to learn
3) a place for social activity
4) access to a Rabbi for halachic and life consultation

The rise of the young married, yeshivish and hashkama minyanim highlights how nowadays many people are getting their services ala carte and for free. People can get no frills davening, a Daf Yomi shiur, social time with friends and access to a Rav without incurring the higher dues and additional rules that come with the traditional Shul bundle.

I personally think there’s tremendous value in belonging to a Shul because of the closer relationship with the Rabbi, the chesed and middos development opportunities and the positive spiritual influence of friends. Unfortunately many people are coming to a different conclusion and are pursuing more non-membership options resulting from the great Shul Unbundling.