There are five groups in community affairs in America. In approximate order of their influence, they are:
1) Those most learned in Torah, such as the the heads of the Yeshiva Gedolahs and the Poskim
2) The Principals and Rebbeim of our Torah Institutions
3) The Communal Rabbis of our Shuls
4) The Active Community members who contribute their time and financial resource
5) The Majority of People who live in the communities.
Due to the phenomenal growth of Torah learning in America, the first two groups cited above have had growing influence in our communities. This is good and appropriate, but a side effect is that group 3), Communal Rabbis, have had a decreasing community wide influence. Another reason for the decreasing Rabbinic influence is the lack of a Rabbinic Organization which includes Rabbis from the right wing of our community.
The Rabbis are the ones who the people talk to, and they are most aware of the needs of the community. They are the ones who have worked with their members year after year and have formed the tight bonds. They are on the front lines, with their ears to the street, and the entire community would benefit greatly from a stronger Rabbinic influence.
I’m just an active community member, with a small voice, but I think we need to create a Rabbinic organization, or other vehicle, where the Rabbis can share and discuss the issues our communities face. Sharing communal issues and discussing possible solutions would greatly benefit the vast majority, who need more advice and guidance on the increasingly complex world we live in.
Mechanchim have Torah UMesorah and RAVSAK. Kiruv professionals have AJOP. Lay leaders have the OU and Agudah Conventions. Let’s give our Rabbis a vehicle where they can collaborate. We’ll all benefit greatly.