The fulfillment to be had in teaching Jewish children is ultimately the job’s best reward. But unresolved challenges often frustrate an educator’s best efforts.
That’s why seventy Chabad-Lubavitch educators, serving Jewish students in day schools and yeshivas across the country and abroad, attended an intensive two-day conference this week. A project of the Lubavitch Chinuch Office, it was an excellent opportunity to examine some very important issues educators grapple with—“issues,” says Rabbi Chaim Dovid Kagan, director of Bais Chaya Mushka High School in Detroit, who attended the conference, “in many areas of our educational objectives that need fixing.”
Held at the Robert Treat Hotel in Newark, NJ Aug. 5-6. the conference was themed: “Our Responsibility: To Reach All Our Children.”
The presenters, all professionals in their respective fields with years of experience, discussed some of the most pressing concerns educators face today. Through workshops, lectures and seminars, presenters sought to explore classroom management strategies, effective ways to reach troubled teens, and ultimately, ensuring every child a place within the Jewish schools system.
Rabbi Yehuda Krinsky, chairman of Merkos L’Inyonei Chinuch which sponsors the Chinuch Office, addressed the conference, underscoring this theme. “Merkos–the educational arm of the Lubavitch movement,” said Rabbi Krinsky, “has always maintained that every educational institution under its aegis recognize its responsibility to every Jewish child.” Though other schools may pick and choose, he reminded principals and school administrators that Chabad must be responsive to the spiritual nurture and development of every Jewish child. “We cannot allow a single Jewish child to fall between the cracks.”
Rabbi Mendel Moscowitz, a teacher at Cheder Lubavitch in Chicago, appreciated the workshop on teaching Chumash and Dikduk, presented by Rabbi Hillel Mandel, principal of Yeshiva Ketana in Manhattan. “Along with the inspiration, I am coming away with very practical solutions to issues I face every day in my classroom,” he said.
Rabbi Nochem Kaplan, director of the Chinuch Office and coordinator of the conference, notes with satisfaction that “people went home with many ideas to consider. I think that every participant gained tremendously in terms of concrete ideas for improvement in their work as well as a broader insight into their unique role as educators,” he says.
A parallel conference for women in education was held last month (see archives 7/12/02).