From the prevalence of technology and social media in daily life to the difficulties of economic stress and changing social norms, many forces in modern society threaten to tear the traditional family unit apart. For Modern Orthodox families, the pressure can be even more acute, as they attempt to balance their spiritual commitment to a Torah lifestyle with active roles in the wider world.

To help communal leadership guide families through these and other challenges, Yeshiva University’s ChampionsGate Leadership Conference focused on “The Jewish Family: The Foundation and Pride of Our People.” The conference took place in Orlando, Florida, from July 28 to 31 and was organized by the Center for the Jewish Future (CJF) with support from the Mitzner Family and Drs. Mordecai and Monique Katz.

At ChampionsGate, YU faculty and professionals collaborated with lay leaders and others from 31 communities in the United States and five countries around the world to dig into the challenges facing Jewish families and communities today. Rabbi Yaakov Glasser, the David Mitzner Dean of the CJF and one of the conference’s organizers, called it “the cross-pollinating of perspectives.”

In an effort to advance the Championsgate community, members were recently invited to a conference call to further discuss issues that were brought up at the conference. From the conference call, participants were able to hone in on the topic of spirituality as a major concern for their communities and that there was a want and need to discuss this issue further. Thus, the Championsgate task force was created so that community leaders from around the country can meet online to discuss theses challenges regarding spirituality. A survey will soon be sent out throughout North America, so the task force can better understand these challenges to be able to enhance our spirituality, and use the information to focus on this topic at the next conference.


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