Hundreds of Chabad Educators Gather for Kinus Conference

Hundreds of Chabad educators gathered this week for the 22nd annual Kinus HaMechanchim, which offered an atmosphere of warm collegiality and presents opportunities for mechanchim to talk chinuch without end. 

Rabbi Yosef Wolf, has attended Kinusei Mechanchim for many years and  was effusive in his praise of this year’s Kinus, “I think it was the best yet, he said. A member of the vaad, he knows how much thought and effort it takes to create a program that is informative and uplifting at yet the result really impressed him. “The atmosphere, the comradery, the outstanding presentations and divrei chizuk are not matched anywhere else. In addition, the high quality of the venue and catering, it made for a fantastic Kinus” 

The Kinus HaMechanchim sponsored by the Merkos Chinuch Office headed by Rabbi Nochem Kaplan creates an atmosphere of warm collegiality and presents opportunities for mechanchim to talk chinuch without end.  The quality of the presentations is one of the hallmarks of the Kinus.  

One of the objectives of this year’s kinus was to show appreciation for the holy work mechanchim do. It would be no exaggeration to say that the future of Chabad-Lubavitch is the hands of the three hundred or so, melamdim who are education our children. It is also no exaggeration to say that the mechanchim who presently teach in our mosdos are collectively more professional, better prepared, at least as dedicated as those who proceeded and they deserve to be held in the highest esteem. Interestingly, Alan Shulman (of the Main Event) who catered the kinus was effusive is his praise of the kinus participants when he came to shul the next morning. He exclaimed that he had yet to me such a refined group and any event.

Rabbi Dovid Dubov addressed the mechanchim on the subject of inculcation “Ahavas Torah”. His thunderous address was full of encouragement and fresh ideas that held his listeners spellbound. Rabbi Mendel Schapiro, the eminent mashpia of the Yeshiva Ohr Elchonon in Los Angeles likened the mechanchim to Hatzalah “You are the hatzalah of our communities, you are giving life to tens of thousands, preventatively”. Rabbi Schapiro sat with many mechanchim at a farbrengen late into the night. 

A theme that was stressed at the kinus was “communication”, with the objective of improving all forms of communication, mechanchim to talmid and parents, within institutions. Dr. Akiva Pearlman, Rabbi Yuhoshua Lustig and (Doctoral candidate) Shulim Goldring made a series of presentations of the theme. 

For the first time Rabbi Nochem Kaplan shared a plethora of instructions from the Rebbe and his right hand Rabbi CMI Hodokov. He quoted a note he received from the Rebbe regarding educational conferences: 

“In general, my view (of such gatherings) is known. It is based upon the adage of our sages that the ultimate outcome (of the educational process) is its practical application. 

One should teach students (in such a manner) that the (importance) of performing mitzvos becomes engrained within them, especially (doing) good deeds. Included in this is (inculcating the importance of) diligent study of Torah”

It is for that reason that the Kinus HaMechanchim program is practical in nature and seeks to address real concerns and make a real difference in classrooms across the country and beyond.

An oft overlooked skills-set that is essential to helping many children who learn differently is that of executive functioning. Improving a melamed’s approach to this issue can have tremendous benefits for them. Rabbi (and doctoral candidate) Dovid Dinerman presented on the issue to much acclaim and David Lieblich following his father’s footsteps presented on financial concerns of mechanchim. 

“I really gained a tremendous amount from all the sessions, and of course from the dibuk chaveirim and the uplifting atmosphere” said Rabbi Zalman Hendel, of Montreal. 

At his year’s kinus a new series of round table meeting were held. Metting of the principals of chadorim, meeting of day school principals and a novel idea of bringing together the CEO’s heads of school where the “buck stops”. Without too much fanfare at this stage, it is expected that these meeting will continue throughout the year. Rabbi Yitzchok Newman, spearheaded is spearheading this effort.

For the second year now a special segment of the kinus is dedicated to presentation “By Mechanchim For Mechanchim” a series of “best practice” presentation by a number of outstanding melamdim organized by Rabbi Yoel Vogel and Rabbi Avrohom Sherr, of the Lubavitcher Yeshiva on Crown Street, and Ocean Parkway chaired these sessions. Presentations were made by: Rabbi Avrohom Shtrocks, Rabbi Chanaya Hoffinger, Rabbi Shneur Munitz, Rabb Akiva Steinmetz, Rabbi Levi Lapinsky, Rabbi Shmuel Wagner, Rabbi Yisroel Matusov, and Rabbi Yoel Vogel. 

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