Achdus exists on many planes. It is as simple as a group of Jews uniting for Tefilah. It is as complicated as asking why there are so many different variations of Torah observant Jews. I don’t pretend to have any answers but I will pose some observations on how to promote achdus .These comments are meant as my observations on the state of the current Orthodox scene. Others may disagree, but they reflect my observations over a long period of time.
With respect to our not yet observant brothers , sisters , whether they are your parents or contemporaries., the key is to always aim for making a Kiddush HaShem. On the micro level, that means that you should avoid debates, rants and critiquing any of your peers who are not yet frum. It is just a guarantee for alienating them from a way of life that they don’t understand in the first place. I find blogs the best way of discussing these issues among all types of Jews.
Between different groups of frum Jews, I personally like the eclectic approach of borrowing from the best of the Charedi and Modern Orthodox worlds and rejecting their extremes. I find that it generally enriches and enhances my Avodas HaShem.
I think that we all have to realize that the Torah is what you unifies all of Klal Yisrael-as opposed to the organizations that speak in its name. In other words, none of the well-meaning organizations have a monopoly on Torah but certainly we all have been the beneficiaries of their actions and programs.Just for the sake of discussion- The OU’s support of NCSY and Kashrus and the Agudah’s sponsoring of Daf Yomi come to mind. Even if you are active in either the OU or the Agudah, that should not compell you to reject the benefits of either the OU or Agudah completely.
Unfortunately, if you are active in one organization, you will see that Orthodox Jewish life, especially the organizational aspect of it , unfortunately is driven by institutional agendas, urban myths and stereotypes that come perilously close to consituting Sinas Chinam. Too many of the organizations do worry about their respective left and right flanks. I also think that just as the OU would not do itself a service by even thinking about a Siyum HaShas of its own, Agudah could not and should not think that it can develope a teenage kiruv program that serves kids as well as NCSY. Likewise, while I am a YU grad and have enormous hakaras hatov for YU providing me a place to gain familiarity with and learn Torah while in college, and it runs the best Seforim sale in the world, I reject those aspects of YU that IMO and in the view of my Rosh Yeshiva are either misplaced or just a waste of time. Similarly, I believe that no one should put down either Mir, Lakewood or the RIETS Beis Medrashim without spending time in such a venue. You should come away from a visit to any of these Mkomos HaTorah with an enhancement of your Ahavas HaTorah and Ahavas Yisrael.
I think that the key is to recognize their wonderful work without swallowing the stereotypes. I have one friend whose wife belonged to every high school group from Bnos to Bnei Akiva because they all served a wonderful goal. She inherited that midah of achdus from her father. In other words, at least a sense of hakaras hatov could and should cause us to recognize that we should recognize the innate merits of an organization’s programs without requiring us to ask ourselves whether giving to such an organization either compromises our present life or will be perceived as such by our kids as impedding a shidduch! Halevai that more of us had that attitude.