By Anash.org writer
When Igud Hamelamdim set out to expand its Crown Heights based support network to include female educators, they asked one question: “What can we do to help you in your mission as a machaneches?”
The answers they received offered tremendous insight into the gaps that needed to be filled, and how they could help fill them. And that’s how its newest branch, Igud Hamechanchos, was born.
The organization, established in the middle of last school year, seeks to support our teachers who devote themselves to the chinuch of our children and bring the Rebbe’s hora’os and hashkafa back into focus.
With so many challenges both in and out of the classroom, for a teacher to keep focused on their goal and to remain inspired by the magnitude of their holy work requires great effort. Igud Hamechanchos seeks to make that task easier for teachers by providing them with practical tools and regular inspiration.
As their pilot project, Igud Hamechanchos set up “Appreciation Centers,” providing drinks and refreshments in the teachers’ room of the schools they partnered with. The packages are labeled with messages of admiration for all that teachers do on a daily basis.
Besides feeling appreciated, mechanchos have said that these messages strengthen them by reminding them why they chose this path. The centers draw the staff together, with educators of different ages and levels of experience gathering to share support and guidance.
A major display of appreciation took place before Pesach, when each teacher received a gift card for her to buy something special for Yom Tov – for herself.
In addition to expressing appreciation through material gifts, Igud Hamechanchos seeks to provide spiritual support for teachers on a regular basis.
Every morning, an inspirational message taken from a sicha or letter of the Rebbe on chinuch is sent out to close to 100 teachers around the world, who are subscribed via email or text.
The Igud Daily is just five lines long. Often an entire sicha with a powerful chinuch message is condensed into a short message that takes just a minute to read before heading out to work. Teachers have relayed that these messages give them the extra push to get through the school day with purpose and with a smile.
Seeking to do more, the organization held its first event in early Shevat. Teachers from Crown Heights girls’ schools gathered to learn the Rebbe’s words on chinuch and to network. At the event, a newsletter for female teachers titled “Hamechaneches” was distributed containing enlightening messages, interviews, and letters from mechanchos.
At a year-end appreciation event, teachers heard from Mrs. Chani Charitonov, a respected Crown Heights machaneches, and they each walked out with a teachers’ handbag, designed to be both functional and stylish.
Over the summer, Igud Hamechanchos has been busy planning for the new year; it will be the first full school year for the fledgling organization. Currently, Igud Hamechanchos is working with the limudei kodesh teachers of Bais Rivka, Bnos Menachem and Bais Chaya Mushka elementary schools. They aim to expand to include all teachers from preschool to high school.
Partner with this incredible organization by emailing info@IgudHamechanchos.org