The Lakewood Vaad (Council) is a voluntary organization of leaders and businessmen, who represent a large amount of the Orthodox Jewish community in Lakewood, New Jersey in public policy issues. Lakewood has a large Orthodox Jewish population and is home to the largest Talmudic Academy in the United States, Beth Medrash Govoha. The community maintains a large and unified voting block. The Vaad endorses candidates for office, and communicates the needs of the community to elected officials. It may also occasionally be involved in specific inter-community affairs. The Vaad claims that it is instrumental in the unity and voting power of the community, and maintains a level of influence within Lakewood politics, commensurate with the number or residents it represents. Some of Lakewood's residents maintain opposing opinions to those of the Vaad.