Shocking Study of Modern Orthodox OTD Rate

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    ☕ DaasYochid ☕


    What are you doing about it?


    As a Modern Orthodox rabbi, wouldn’t Rabbi Pruzansky have a pretty good sense of how many young adults his from community go OTD, even without firm data? (Although honestly, from an outsider’s perspective 50% seems to me to be a gross exaggeration).


    Sushee No one is saying that problems should not be addressed. We are attacking what is basically a fictional study being used by people here to impugn a large segment of Yiddishkeit.

    In addition some of us believe that actions are louder than negative criticism spouted in post 99 on some blog.


    I don’t understand the nitpicking. Rabbi Pruzansky says the study shows 50% MO OTD. Even if he is off a bit, we know we are dealing with a substantial percentage.

    Instead of whining, let’s do something to change the dynamics. Rabbi Pruzansky identified quite a number of issues in the community.

    on the ball

    I’ve been thinking a lot about all this and, not sure if you’ll agree with me but this is my conclusion. I think it’s probably important to differentiate between:

    1) Modern Orthodoxy as a Hashkafa; and

    2) Behavioural trends within the MO community.

    Let’s take No.1) As a Hashkafa, MO differs as far as I can tell only regards to 3 points:

    a) The Mitzva of Yishuv Eretz Yisrael (perhaps more relevant to Mizrachi)

    b)The concept of Daas Torah

    c)The value of learning Torah vs. Secular study for its own sake.

    I don’t believe any of these issues create in and of themselves issues of apikorsus ch’v although the last two possibly can lead in that direction if taken to the extreme.

    Let’s have a look at 2) – Behavioural trends. Well this is just a matter of fact. Within both the MO community and the Charedi community you have attitudes ranging from respect and self-sacrifice for the Halacha to a don’t care attitude. Now it’s a question of percentages – in which community is there a larger percentage of families that genuinely care for the Halacha and Torah values and not just for show. I’ll leave this question open because I don’t know the answer.


    MorahRach -“Is it Halacha to say that modern orthodoxy is apikorsus?”

    I don’t think so; and that’s why I was one of the first to challenge this post.


    MediumThink, it’s not that I disagree with your comment, but please, a little respect!! This is the YW CR, not, as you so insolently refer to it “some blog”!


    If anyone wonders why we are stuck in Galus, just read through this thread…

    We as Jews are our own worst enemy and sadly probably deserve what we have gotten since the beginning of time…


    I know Rabbi Pruzansky’ community pretty well and what happens there is totally at odds with what he said. A simple challenge: where is that study? where are those numbers? can you back up what you are saying? i don’t believe him.


    Im still basking in the warmth of the hundreds of inspirational profiles I read daily of Modern Orthodox singles, very much turning to the right religiously, and wondering if they were hand-delivered to me alone.

    Am I on my own planet?


    rabbiofberlin: If Rabbi Pruzansky said the MO OTD rate is 50%, even if he is off, he is not going to be far off. So it isn’t 50%; is it 45%? 40%? 35%? Even if it is less, it is still a substantial percentage. He is not way off base. He is a Rov in one of the largest MO communities.

    ☕ DaasYochid ☕

    I know Rabbi Pruzansky’ community pretty well and what happens there is totally at odds with what he said.

    I don’t have any first hand knowledge, but as I posted earlier, I’m also skeptical.

    Why would he fabricate a statistic which only demeans his own community? Strange.

    Kosher Ham


    Can anyone point me to the “unpublished” study? Paul Shaviv, the head of Ramaz School in NY is quoted as:

    That being said, why is there all these comments without fact-checking first?

    This topic of discussion has led to comments on YWN with unbridled sinas chinam against the MO. The moderators need to do a better job of not posting those comments with vile sinas chinam. Is there any wonder why there’s no Bais HaMikdosh after nearly 2000 years? Sinas chinam is worse than the 3 major avairos one must die for rather than commit, if forced.

    Please, people, show some “V’ohavta l’rei’acha kamocha”.

    I would advise the moderators to remove the comments that espouse sinas chinam. I hope the moderators don’t condone those comments.



    I already pointed out that quote from HM

    People will go on saying whatever they want because it conforms to a preconceived notion or an existing bias.

    It wouldn’t suprise me in the least to hear this “study” cited in some drashos this Shabbous

    Borough Park Mensch

    The People I am talking about do not live in Borough Park, they live in more outlining areas. There are plenty of Young Israels that are Yeshivish. If you go for example to the Young Israel of Far Rockaway, its more or less Yeshivish (not 100%, but pretty close)

    Posted by zahavasdad

    You essentially said all Young Israels. I take it you’re still not apologizing for the “rechilus” on my shul.

    By the way, maybe you can post a travel diary of the cross country tour you took of Young Israel shuls to give you the first hand knowledge on which you base your lashon hara. I’m especially interested in the Young Israel of Phoenix How was the outdoor shiur next to the chiminea?


    Crisis and Kosher Ham,

    Quoting HM as proof of something? What have you been smoking?

    As far as you talikng about others “perconceived biases” don’t you think that might be a case of the pot calling the kettle black?

    Would you care to look at your last five comments? Or does your “money and yichus” exempt you? Feh to you.



    I would hope you would hear it in some drashos, it would mean the Rabbonim in your community feel that it is something that needs addressing. This is a major crisis.


    Harry Moraless is about as real as Kosher Ham. He makes things up all the time. And when he is caught red handed it switches to “well even if not exactly true, it could have been”. That you are quoting as proof of anything speaks very little about you.



    I accept your tochach and retract my offending statement that referred, chalila, to the YWN CR as some blog.


    Everyone wants to be a victim. No one ever wants to be the aggressor. Thus, no one sees any post that they in essence agree with as being hateful. But there are posts, from both sides, that come across as incredibly hate-filled.


    SAM2: I am taliking about exactly what Modern Orthodox Jews are:People that know what the right things to do are, the proper ways to serve Hashem, yet they still choose to live a more Modern lifestyle but still keeping the misvot that they feel important and won’t conflict with their Modern way of living….People that know how to properly serve Hashem yet choose to serve Hashem w/o the proper care and dedication that they know as correct, bc it’s not modern way of living… Hashem should have mercy on them and put it in there minds to do and live by what they know in their hearts is correct.



    Kosher Ham and I were quoting a guest post writen by Paul Shaviv who is the head of RAMAZ.

    Read it again, Paul spoke to Rabbi Pruzansky regarding some of the data and methods used in the study and Rabbi Pruzansky admitted that he was relying on an oral report.

    Whatever issues you have with HM are not relevant here as this was a guest post by a third party.

    I’m sure that wherever these “numbers” are somewhat applicable it will be addressed, my comment however was more about how this might creep into a drasha as a “look how much better we are then them” type message.

    But feel free to dismiss me for my uber sarcastic comments and my insightful barbs and splashes of reality.


    MSS: this topic is really too hot for me to tackle but I still feel the need to add my two cents. It’s nice to hear about the sincere singles and couples you are dealing with — however in all fairness is it not likely that those abandoning yiddishkeit aren’t sending you their shidduch profiles?

    Also, all of us should remember that a Yid can not remain stagnant, we either grow spiritually or fall. If someone is holding on to only a few mitzvos to start with, when he (or she) falls it is only these few precious mitzvos that are “available” to be dropped.

    At the other end of the spectrum are the sincere MOs a few posters mentioned whose idealism allows them to take great strides. They have a good, knowledgeable starting point with lots of room for growth, which in turn spurs them further. Counter that with “frum” ffbs which when they become lax in their observance [most] drop minor stuff first, and either continue to drop or hopefully mature spiritually and pick themselves up without major harm having been done. OTHD too many are disillusioned and don’t have the drive to grow as their yiddishkeit was handed to them on a silver platter. (the yiddish monthly ma’alos had a good article on this last point a few months ago.)

    Those that do strive for more hopefully won’t be ridiculed here and elsewhere as being fanatic — tolerance should go both ways.

    Last point, I don’t recall who mentioned it but it’s not exactly true that “especially chasidic” disown their OTD kids.


    No one has yet offered any coherent explanation as to why Rabbi Pruzansky, a modern orthodox rabbi with much direct experience (and commentary) in what is going on in the modern orthodox world, would publish statistics that would make modern orthodoxy look really bad, if it isn’t rooted in fact.

    My take is that whatever the merits of the precise percentages, the overall point is that the statistics are really really bad. Rabbi Pruzansky may have mentioned the study, but he in fact speaks from first-hand pulpit experience in that community.

    ☕ DaasYochid ☕

    my comment however was more about how this might creep into a drasha as a “look how much better we are then them” type message.

    I guess you’ve don’t frequent chareidi rabbonim’s drashos. Why do you assume that the themes are about putting others down? And isn’t that assumption actually demeaning chareidim, by assuming that it’s most important issue (or at least an important issue) is putting down the MO? This is not at all the case, in my experience (nor the reverse when I’ve heard drashos from MO rabbis).


    dhl: You didn’t say anything meaningful. What does “living a more modern lifestyle” entail? What is involved in that (whatever that means) that makes someone an improper Oved Hashem? You defined “Modern Orthodox” as… “Orthodox but Modern”? I don’t even know how to categorize that. Give a definition that has some actual substance in it please.


    Mr. Crisis,

    I am fully aware you think you were being sharp. However, I think that you are so wrapped in trying to deny that there can very well be a problem that you would rather deflect than deal with an issue of major proportions.

    You are so busy harping that this may be an oral report, I am telling you that an even an alleged oral report is more reliable than anything on HM’s blog, regardless of who purportedly wrote it. HM is a fabricator. Both you and Ham said it was “quoted” on HM’s blog, not that it was written by Shaviv. Make up your mind. I wouldn’t know, I don’t look at his little blog anymore. It apparently is agreed by all that R Pruzansky quoted this study. Do you think R Pruzansky is foolish? Why do you think he mentioned if not because he is concerned and it probably concurs with his observations as well.

    As far as the “look how much better we are then them” it seems that almost every one of your posts tries to do just that.

    Take a step back, and if you are even a tiny bit as smart as you think you might be, you would see that.

    I am not happy with such a report, any such report about any group of yidden disturbs me greatly. I am bothered that there is chilul Shabbos. Talk about “overlooking their own failures” or” a preconceived notion or an existing bias”.

    I wonder why you think you were being so sharp, any one of your “Uber” comments seemed to apply more appropriately to yourself.

    I know where you were trying to go, I guess I was too many steps ahead of you and you mistakenly thought I have no clue. I guess you think you have money and yichus and that makes up for your simple comments.


    Mods: How is ItcheSrulik’s attack on a big mo rav like Rabbi Pruzansky allowed here?

    Kosher Ham


    You wrote in your previous post:

    Both you and Ham said it was “quoted” on HM’s blog, not that it was written by Shaviv. Make up your mind.

    This is a falsehood on your part. I clearly wrote, unambiguously:

    Paul Shaviv, the head of Ramaz School in NY is quoted as:

    You owe me and possibly Crisis an apology after saying we didn’t do something that we did do, indeed. Could I possibly be more clear than I was and you more wrong than you were about your falsehood?

    When I post, I try very hard to keep opinions out of my postings and to stick to facts. I might not succeed each and every time, but I personally feel with an attitude like that, my posting contributes a viewpoint without personal attacks. You might want to give it a try for yourself. It could even improve your middos.

    Try not to be like Curly from the 3 Stooges, who says, “I’m trying to think, but nothing happens!”.


    People are quoting a certain blog about this “study” I wonder how many would read todays entry and comment on it.


    Because it will draw more visitors to this site, which in turn increases ad impressions on this site.


    The Litvishe Kiryas Yoelite, I agree!


    If Rabbi Pruzansky hasnt turned a blind eye to molesters abusers and criminals, like some do, hes already a Tzadik in my eyes!

    Who are the real clowns? Is he judging by the kind of hat they wear?



    Brava (Bravo?)

    Thank you.


    As a concept, MO is, at best, a (mistaken) horaas shaah (from decades ago). (The Zionism part is hopelessly misguided, but that’s not the point here.) That’s as far as the ideology.

    In practice, however, there are different types of MO.

    There are many frum MO who are talmidei chachamim and yireiei shamayim who do not look down upon or ignore CH”V any mitzvos. Due to their environment, education and/or other reasons, some of their standards may still be somewhat lower than they should be, but their hashkafa of 100% shemiras mitzvos, is nonetheless still intact.

    There are others, however, who “pick and choose”.

    This includes things like men going to broadway shows (they earn the halachic status of rasha, liChol haDeios, unless it’s an all-male show) and (married) women not covering their hair at all, going mixed swimming, et al. Not to mention other hataras issurim. If, one generation later, this group is at 50% (of whom are still either MO or else moved on to traditional orthodox), that’s not exactly shocking, as the above stories from those on campus and in schools indicate. Hashem yishmor.

    Regarding MikeHall, your words are by far the worst I’ve seen on this thread. “We deserve everything we got?” because your holy sensitivities are offended? A place like YWN CR is a good place for people to understand what different ideologies represent, and how that fits in with normative Judaism’s outlook.

    (This thread is definitely NOT why we are in galus. Though, in so many ways, Zionism certainly hasn’t helped and isn’t helping any, if you really are concerned about galus.)


    Englishman posted a comment from Rabbi Pruzansky’s blog that talks about a MO school with MO teachers. There was an article a while ago, either in Jewish Action or YI Viewpoint, that said that there are not enough MO limudei kodesh teachers, so many MO schools hire yeshivish teachers. Obviously, it varies from school to school. In any case, Rabbi Pruzansky’s message was aimed primarily at parents.


    Are there moderators on this thread? How do you allow such slander of rabbis and bloggers?


    There are others, however, who “pick and choose”.

    This includes things like men going to broadway shows (they earn the halachic status of rasha, liChol haDeios, unless it’s an all-male show) and (married) women not covering their hair at all, going mixed swimming, et al. Not to mention other hataras issurim. If, one generation later, this group is at 50% (of whom are still either MO or else moved on to traditional orthodox), that’s not exactly shocking, as the above stories from those on campus and in schools indicate. Hashem yishmor.

    Now MO are Rashim.

    And what do you call people who go to Secular Court to fight over an inheritance.


    This thread nauseates me to the pit of my stomach.

    Please, tell me, those of you who feel the need to analyze the mo community, were you considering joining it?

    Why would you feel the need to analyze it unless you were going to do something about it?

    Furthermore, I ask sincerely, how many of you actually took the suggestions given to strengthen your Yiddishkeit to heart and actually did something about it?

    I did. In numerous ways.

    Frankly, my guess is that pretty much most of you didn’t do anything different than you did last shabbos.

    This thread has done little to help anyone, sadly.

    A website that caters to people who considers themselves oh so frum but can’t elicit improved middos or kiyum shabbos, needs reflection.


    Instead of all the hand-wringing and talk, we need action. We need to start being mekarev, with kiruv outreach efforts, towards our Modern Orthodox brethren at-risk of assimilation R”L. Where are all the kiruv organizations? In addition to reaching out to the Reform, Conservative and secular yidden, they must extend their efforts to MO communities around the country.


    Time for a new graph titled “Will Your Grandchildren Be Shomer Shabbos”?

    🍫Syag Lchochma

    mommamia – if these people were standing in front of you would you give them the time of day? I wouldn’t even feign politeness. Move on for your own sake.


    Mikehall, we, the Jewish people, do not “probably deserve what we have gotten since the beginning of time” as you wrote. We most definitely deserve every punishment and tzara that has ever befallen us. The judgment of H-m is perfect in every way; there is never any question of a person suffering through something they do not deserve.

    What I find extremely offensive is when people like you presume to tell us why we deserve to be in Galus. There have been great Talmidei Chachamim who have pointed out areas of improper behaviour or lax observance that can cause, or already caused, troubles to come upon us. But for the common man (I’m sorry if you find it insulting to be included in this category) the proper approach is to examine our own deeds and see where there is room for personal improvement; not to point fingers and decide that we are privy to understanding the workings of HKB”H, which most of us cannot fathom.



    How do you know no one improved? It happens to be we did. We took an extra effort in Chinuch matters outlined in sensible OP’s suggestions.

    The world is not totally made out of mean, obnoxious inhabitants.


    Did anything positive come out of this post yet?


    ZahavasDad, when you wrote “Now MO are Rashim”, I presume you meant “rishaim” and that you erroneously based your slander on my post. I certainly did not write the slander you wrote, and my post was quite clear to that effect.

    (Also, two wrongs do not make a right, as you surely learned in Kindergarten, so I don’t understand what the relevance is of certain people’s use of archaos.)

    But on the off-chance you are asking sincerely and since you seemed to have missed my explicit and clear statement of when one would be considered a rasha, I will elaborate.

    One (i.e. a Jewish male, regardless of sect/affiliation) who, given an alternative, intentionally goes to a(n) street/path/area where he knows he will encounter pritzus is called a rasha. Again, this applies to any Jew, MO or otherwise. Ergo, a male who attends a Broadway show, EVEN IF HE IS SURE HE WILL NOT LOOK, is a rasha just for having gone, before he is over any further issurim.

    Since in MO periodicals, it is perfectly normal to read reviews about bars and MO posts in the past here have referenced how some MO go to Broadway shows, that was the relevance of this halacha to this thread. It was, once more, not a reflection on the entire MO population.

    mommamia22, I disagree. As I’ve posted before, and to borrow from the Syms slogan, an educated consumer is our best consumer. To be the best Eved Hashem one can be, one should know the best way to serve Hashem and the pitfalls of other isms and movements like Zionism and MO (among others). The point is not to randomly bash them, CH”V, but to educate us.


    Perhaps some folks took up Rabbi Pruzansky’s wise suggestions to alleviate the problems and hopefully correct the terrible situation.


    I don’t take offense at most of the stuff on this blog regarding MO as I am secure in my beliefs and hashkafa and I am not looking for nor do I need the approbation of posters. At the same time, I do expect no less from the yeshivish/chareidi posters. My opinion’s shouldn’t affect them in the least.

    All I ask is use the same criteria. Would you accept the kashrus of a restaurant based upon a story in which Rabbi Pruznansky said he only had an oral report but didn’t know who gave the hashgacha, where the meat comes from, or if they used a mashgiach. Of course not. But enough people insist on citing the report despite no knowledge of the reports author, criteria , methodology or detail.


    Rabbi Pruzansky’s main point was that MO parents should correct the way they are bringing up their children. He was hardly focused on the precise percentage of OTD MO children. That was a sidepoint when he was pointing out the extent of the crisis and the need to change how their children are brought up. His point was, primarily, the suggestions he offered to correct what is broken.


    hakatan: “Since in MO periodicals, it is perfectly normal to read reviews about bars “

    It’s funny because the yeshivish think it’s a halacha to start their relationship in a bar.

    As for saying things are 100% assur, people far greater than you have said otherwise.



    That’s pure nurishkeit.

    No one here needs to know what is supposedly wrong in the mo perspective unless he/she is planning to join their community (which, I’m guessing not).

    Why do you need to be educated about it if you’re not considering joining it? Have you already learned kol hatorah kula?

    Gedolei hador need to know because they are the leaders who guide people WITH SHAILAHS from all walks of life.

    It’s funny to me that those people who came from a mo background who worked on their Yiddishkeit don’t attribute the same evils to the community and way of life that those who came from a yeshivish background do. And please don’t raise the argument that it came from Rabbi Pruzansky who is from that community.

    Frankly, any column with analysis that does not include hard scientific facts but observation is not worth it’s weight in water and shouldn’t even have been printed, let alone quoted here. That is just irresponsible journalism and creates sinas chinam.

    It’s interesting that only Zeeskite and I posted that we made any changes.

    Who else did??


    This thread reminds me of a story my father told about a visit he made to eretz yisrael.

    My father is a clean shaven man. Once a young chassidishe boy came over to him and said “du bist a yid”?

    My father was furious and outraged that a child could grow up thinking that despite wearing a yarmulke, a man might not even be Jewish without a beard.

    And that, my friends, is closed mindedness at it’s best.

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