Some 150 women educators serving in the Chabad-Lubavitch network of schools across the country participated in an intensive, two-day educators conference, organized by the Chinuch Office, under the auspices of Merkos L’Inyonei Chinuch, the educational arm of the Lubavitch movement.
The Conference, which took place at the Robert Treat Hotel in Newark, New Jersey, on July 8-10, engaged professionals in various fields of education and administration who presented sessions, seminars and workshops along three parallel tracks: pre-school, elementary and high school.
Participants came away with a range of ideas to implement in their respective educational settings. Mrs. Esther Tauby, education coordinator at Beth Tikvah Congregation’s preschool and Hebrew School in Richmond, British Columbia, was particularly impressed with the workshop on classroom management. Delivered by Dr. Nechie King, professor at Towson University in Maryland, Mrs. Tauby says that the workshop “provided me with some very practical ideas on efficient classroom management, ideas that I’m looking forward to applying in my own work.”
Dr. David Pelcovitz, a professor at NYU School of Medicine who has dealt with many children orphaned by the events of September 11, presented a session on dealing with children suffering from trauma and depression, and one on managing disruptive children in the classroom. Dr. Pelcovitz introduced some of the newest innovations in technology to aid children with special needs.
Addressing the participants, Rabbi Yehuda Krinsky, chairman of Merkos L’Inyonei Chinuch, noted that in corresponding with Torah educators, the Rebbe, of righteous memory, always referred to their vocation as “sacred and divine.” Rabbi Krinsky further noted that “if there is any one word in the Lubavitch lexicon that encapsulates the life of a Chasid and his/her obligation, it is the word ‘chinuch’.” This, said Rabbi Krinsky, was ultimately what the Rebbe expected of every Chasid: “to act as a mechanech, an educator, of oneself and of others, to always make consistent progress in terms of their Jewish, spiritual growth.”
Participants were very appreciative of the workshop run by Mrs. Sara Rosenfeld, teacher at Beth Rivkah Ladies’ College in Melbourne Australia, in which she provided teachers with a thorough, sequential curriculum for teaching Chasidut from pre-school through high schools. This is a challenge unique to educators at Chabad schools, who strive to implement Chasidic concepts and a Chasidic sensibility even in early preschool age classes.
“This is only the beginning,” says Rabbi Nochem Kaplan, executive director of the Chinuch Office. “As the Rebbe always emphasized, it is the application of these important lessons that counts most, and we hope teachers will apply all that they have gained here to further the success of Jewish students across the globe.”””