Toward Tradition

Since founding Toward Tradition, Rabbi Daniel Lapin has gone on to become one of the Religious Right's favorite Rabbis for his efforts to broker an alliance between Jews and evangelical Christians over social issues. Lapin ran into a stumbling block over his connections to lobbyist Jack Abramoff.

Toward Tradition
PO Box 58
Mercer Island, WA 98040
Website: www.towardtradition.org

President: Rabbi Daniel Lapin
Chairman: Samuel H. Silver
Founded: 1991
Board of Directors: Jim Aitkins, Dr. Brian Beckman, Ray Dally, Stanley Ellberger, Peter Huizenga, Cary H. Humphries, Lewis J. Kaufman, Michael Medved, Dr. Maria Ohm, Carl Pearlston, Jim Polack, Dr. Ed Pritzker, Dr. Martin Rabin, Dr. Daniel Schneeweiss, Abe Shamash, Carrie Simms, Leo Strauss, Kenneth VonKohorn, Don Wallis, Fred Weiss
Membership: Range of membership levels from $18 to $1000
Finances: $561,427 (2003)
Publications: America's Real War, Buried Treasure, and Thou Shall Prosper, all by Rabbi Daniel Lapin, radio and television show
Affiliate Groups: Cascadia Business Institute

Read the latest news on Toward Tradition on the group's Right Wing Watch index page

Purpose

Toward Tradition aims to promote "traditional values" within the context of Jewish and Judeo-Christian teachings. Some of these issues include faith-based principles of government, a strong military, a moral public culture, and free markets.

Activities

  • Toward Tradition television show addresses issues involving "Faith, Family, Friends, and Fortune" with solutions from the Bible. Lapin lectures at synagogues across the country to present his ideas. He also has a weekly radio show. There are four segments of the organization. The Macabee Project aimed toward "combating anti-Jewish/anti-Christian bigotry; defending Christians unjustly accused of anti-Semitism." The Biblical Blueprint Institute has a goal of "sharing ancient Jewish wisdom with all Americans through Rabbi Daniel Lapin's Torah teaching." The American Alliance of Jews and Christians is a "partnering of Jews and Christians to strengthen America and our allies." The Ethical Capitalism Project focuses on "restoring American respect for the dignity and morality of business."
  • Lapin is a frequent speaker at Religious Right events and conferences including the Christian Coalition's Road to Victory Conference, Massachusetts Family Institute, Mayday for Marriage rallies in Seattle, WA and Washington DC, the Judeo-Christian Alliance (CA) and the Family Research Council's Pastor Briefing.
  • Following the terrorist attack of September 11, Toward Tradition ran an ad in the November 13, 2001 edition of the New York Times calling for an "Urgent Alliance" of American Jews and Christians based on the observation that "a religious America is a safe America." The press release describing the ad said they hoped it would "spark renewed commitment to the goal of saving America by reviving the place of religion in public life."

About Rabbi Daniel Lapin

Rabbi Daniel Lapin immigrated to the United States from South Africa in 1973. He founded the Pacific Jewish Center, a well-known Orthodox synagogue in Venice, California, along with conservative film critic Michael Medved. He and his family relocated to Washington State in 1991 to develop Toward Tradition. Lapin has taught at the Christian Coalition, U.S. Army, Harvard Law School, and the Family Research Council. He serves on the board of the Jewish Policy Center in Washington, DC, and was appointed by President Bush to the Commission for the Preservation of America's Heritage Abroad on October 24, 2001.

Former Staff/Board Members

Rabbi Lapin has close ties to lobbyist Jack Abramoff who served on Toward Tradition's Board of Governors. Lapin introduced Abramoff to Rep. Tom DeLay (R-Texas). The connection between Abramoff and DeLay has been the subject of investigations by the Senate, the House, the Justice Department, and a federal grand jury.

Abramoff has admitted that he funneled money through Toward Tradition in an effort to influence aides of Rep. Tom DeLay. Lapin says neither he nor his board knew the money was part of a scheme to influence Congress.

Funding

Toward Tradition has received money from right-wing foundations including the Lynde and Harry Bradley Foundation, the Scaife Family Foundation, and the Roe Foundation.

History

  • Rabbi Daniel Lapin along with film critic and conservative author Michael Medved and lobbyist Jack Abramoff [source] founded Towards Tradition in 1991 in Washington State, where he also began his weekly radio talk show.
  • In October of 1994, Toward Tradition, along with the Jewish Policy Center and the Claremont Institute sponsored a conference titled, Toward a New Alliance; American Jews and Political Conservatism. Featured panelists included Grover Norquist (Americans for Tax Reform) Ralph Reed (Christian Coalition) William Kristol (editor of the Weekly Standard) and David Horowitz (Center for the Study of Popular Culture), among others. Some 300 attendees strongly endorsed a right-wing social agenda and announced a call for a new alliance with the Religious Right. [Human Events, 10/28/94]

Quotes

"We have a tough choice, I will concede. We can continue on with our secular society entirely stripped of faith or move toward a benign society that has returned to its Christian faith… We can only thrive under the conditions of law and order and we are here to affirm that our allies in returning America to these conditions are [Christian conservatives]."
– Rabbi Daniel Lapin, quoted in Human Events, October 28, 1994

Updated: September 2006

Filed Under

Organizations:

Toward Tradition