Toward Tradition

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Toward Tradition is a politically conservative non-profit organization founded by Rabbi Daniel Lapin based in Mercer Island, Washington, United States. The organization's activities, as described in its IRS statement, are to "educate the public through conventions, seminars, public speaking, and class studies on Judeo-Christian values." These values are detailed on the Toward Tradition web site as: "faith-based American principles of constitutional and limited government; the rule of law; representative democracy; free markets; a strong military; and, a moral public culture."[1]


Annual funding is provided by the Carthage and the Scaife Family Foundations. For several years Rabbi Lapin was on the payroll of the convicted criminal fraudster Jack Abramoff for lobbying duties.[2]

Controversy concerning Jack Abramoff[edit]

Toward Tradition came to public attention in 2005 when it was drawn into the Abramoff-Reed Indian Gambling Scandal because of information that surfaced during US Senate hearings into Abramoff's dealings. According to Lapin, Jack Abramoff was a director for Toward Tradition from the early 1990s until 2004, and served a few terms as Chairman of the Board. In January 2006, Toward Tradition posted a statement of facts regarding the Jack Abramoff matter.[3] Towards Tradition gave Abramoff a set of awards after Abramoff requested fake awards from Lapin so that he could use them to get into the Cosmos Club.[4] Towards Tradition and its affiliates maintain that Lapin only gave the awards to Abramoff as a joke.[4]

The Abramoff investigation shows some of the details. On September 15, 2000, Abramoff emailed Rabbi Lapin that as part of his joining the exclusive Cosmos Club in Washington, D.C., the "Problem for me is that most prospective members have received awards and I have received none." "I was wondering if you thought it possible that I could put that I have received an award from Toward Tradition with a sufficiently academic title, perhaps something like Scholar of Talmudic studies?" Abramoff asked. It would "be even better if it were possible that I received these in years past, if you know what I mean." Rabbi Lapin answered, "Let's organize your many prestigious awards so they're ready to 'hang on the wall'" [5]


  1. ^ "". 
  2. ^ Blumenthal, Max (2009). Republican Gomorrah: Inside the Movement that Shattered the Party. Nation Books. ISBN 978-1-56858-398-3. 
  3. ^ "". 
  4. ^ a b David Postman (October 12, 2006). "Senate Abramoff report names Mercer Island group". Seattle Times Blog (Seattle Times). Retrieved 2007-11-26. 
  5. ^ Curtius, Mary. "A Lobbyist's E-Mail Train of Billing, Status, Charity." The Los Angeles Times. June 25, 2005

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