Principals from Chabad schools all over America joined for a meeting during the Kinus Hamechanchim to share experiences, learn from others, and discuss current issues facing schools worldwide.
Chabad principals from all over America joined together at the Kinus HaMechanchim. The sessions were divided by type of schools, from chadarim to day schools, and were led by experienced principals.
Rabbi Yitzchok Newman, the venerable dean of the Hebrew Academy of Huntington Beach, CA, has been at his post for many decades and is still effectively creative as the day he started. Rabbi Boruch Kaplan is the dynamic principal of the Western Connecticut Hebrew Academy, and Rabbi Yehoshua Lustig is the principal of the upper division at Oholei Torah.
Chabad schools run the entire educational gamut- from chadorim who don’t have Limudei chol, to Hebrew day schools. The schools are each of a different character and the principalship is as varied as the schools they lead. The commonalities are obvious, yet the differences of these schools shape their leadership and the need to interface with school leaders from similar institutions is acutely felt.
The Kinus HaMechanchim presented the opportunity for principals from mosdos with similar objectives to talk shop. Rabbi Lustig led a large group of principals of chadorim. Rabbi Kaplan led a smaller group of day school principal,s and Rabbi Newman led of group of CEOs, who are heads of schools.
The issues raised went to the core of what the mosdos are about and the discussions were lively and dynamic. Rabbi Newman made a PowerPoint presentation about things like budgets, fundraising and teachers’ salary scales. The day schools discussed enrolment policies and coordinating curricula, and the chadorim discussed curricula and classroom management issues. They all talked about the recruitment and training of teachers, as well as the retention of seasoned faculty members.
The atmosphere at the 22nd Kinus HaMechanchim was of course the catalyst for the discussions and Rabbi Nochem Kaplan, director of the Merkos Chinuch Office, said at the conclusion of the meetings:
“It’s too soon to herald the creation of a new Igud of Menahalim, but all the participants agreed to meet a number of times during the course of the year to follow up with a broad plan of cooperative activities”.