This past week I've found myself travelling from Florida to Montreal-Toronto-Losangeles-New Jersey. Everywhere I went I found wonderful Modern Orthodox communities, struggling to sustain themselves ideologically and institutionally. Warmed by the dedication of the people I met, I became further convinced that our community absolutely must redefine its priorities. It is time to do a number of things and let the chips fall where they may.
1) We have to stop chewing ideology and recast the curricula of our schools to reflect our ideals. We need to include spirituality and thinking into the schools (especially the high schools).
2) We have to reach deeper into our pockets and cultivate educators and rabbis to teach a torah curriculum that matches our values. We have to validate Hinnukh/Rabbonus as careers and pay their salaries as to what they're worth to us. What kind of message do we send when we chintz on educators and pay fortunes to other professionals. God doesn't do miracles for those who don't try.
3) We need to take a long look at ourselves and say: Torah UMadda includes Baba Qamma, not just sophisticated conversation about the implications of Peter Berger's writings for religion. It is Torah that carries Madda, not vice versa.
4) There is an enormous Orthodox and Traditional population that is thirsty for non-Haredi Orthodoxy. I meet them literally everywhere I travel. We are duty-bound to meet their needs. We will have a serious price to pay and serious answers to the Divine Tribunal if we do not.