Author: Mark (Moishe) Bane


We aspire to be a loyal child, a loyal friend, a loyal Jew.

Don’t Squander The Benefits Of Orthodox Fragmentation

However one feels about Orthodox segmentation, it must be acknowledged as an enduring characteristic of our community. It is thus worthwhile to consider and take advantage of the many opportunities that this diversity generates.

Planning Your Communal Role – Yet Again

I will never know whether my choices were optimal, but I do know that through my journey as a communal activist, I have spent much time with truly extraordinary Jews.

Wealth Disparity Within the Orthodox Middle Class

It may be easier for us to identify our own views regarding economic disparity by considering four representative approaches. Have our religious authorities conveyed which, if any, of these four views reflects Torah values? Is there a uniform view? Is there an alternative view that we should be adopting?

Time to Grow Up

How can we search for God when do not have the time or energy to search for ourselves?

The Anatomy of Unholy Alliances

To what extent can we associate with institutions that seek to advance a form of Judaism that is antagonistic to our central life’s purpose?

An Encounter With One’s Self

The strange and challenging period of Covid-19 sequestering is an unprecedented opportunity to discover aspects of ourselves in ways that are almost never available.

Can We Survive Community Harmony?

We must ask: Does the lack of strife among American Orthodoxy reflect brotherly love and respect or does it signify a sense of alienation and detachment?

The Power and Perils of Orthodox Lite

Multiple approaches to Orthodox life have always existed. Occasionally, however, an approach to observant Judaism, though not ideal, is introduced to ensure the preservation of Torah observance.

On Tolerance and Intolerance

The challenge we confront as individuals, and as a community, is to discern when and how to apply the values of tolerance and intolerance appropriately.

You Need To Choose To Choose

We can embrace making choices, or we can allow our personality, experiences and environment (complemented by a good measure of inertia) to predetermine our choices. Clearly, choosing to choose, and investing the proper thought and energy into the choices we make, is a threshold step to being a Torah Jew.

A Community in Search of a Culture

I fear that if we fail to develop a culture that effectively infuses our youth with a strong Orthodox Jewish identity, our community will eventually dwindle, with some, overwhelmed by the religious challenges, forfeiting their integration into secular society and others simply forfeiting their Orthodoxy.

A Parent’s Job Is Never Done

As our children reach adulthood, many of us tend to abandon our identity as parents altogether. By relinquishing our parental responsibilities, we diminish ourselves and our children.

What If We Actually Had The Chance?

An old rabbinic quip recounts the fellow marooned on a desert island who pledges to God to undertake a life exclusively dedicated to servicing the poor, if only he were to be found. When a ship shortly thereafter passes by and finds him, the fellow looks heavenward and remarks, “Forget it God, it’s taken care […]

Pursuing Spirituality-Measuring Success

How do we know whether or not our relationship with God is advancing? How do we determine whether our efforts to intensify spirituality on a communal level are effective?

The Time is Ripe for a National Conversation

By Mark (Moishe) Bane It is time for American Orthodox leaders to begin a national discussion regarding communal priorities and resource allocation. Our community has evolved from the fledgling start-up of earlier days into a robust, growing and increasingly complex society. Marvin Schick, in his Avi Chai day school surveys, reports that Orthodox day school […]

In Search of Religious Growth

With these, and many other, unavoidable responsibilities and demands, I often wonder how there can possibly be time for one to focus on religious growth. And when making choices for our children, are we preparing them for lifelong spiritual growth—or just casual observance?

The Financial Restructuring of the American Orthodox Community

American Orthodoxy is in a financial crisis. Similar to other communities, in many Orthodox neighborhoods 10 percent or more of primary breadwinners cannot find employment. As a result of the tumbling S&P 500 and interest rates, many are suffering from ever-dwindling savings accounts and pension funds. Moreover, lower incomes, job insecurity and the decrease in […]