Hundreds of Chabad educators from 42 Chabad schools from across North America, attended the 18th annual Kinus haMechanchim from early Monday to late Tuesday at the Crowne Plaza Hotel in Danbury CT. They came to learn, to share, to be inspired and to plan for the next school year. They heard lectures attended workshops and roundtable discussions, they shared experiences, they schmoozed and farbrenged together and were totally immersed in chinuch. The discussions at meals, in the hallways between sessions or after hours are all serious, meaningful and ultimately productive.
The kinus featured and revered roshei yeshiva and mashpiim and outstanding chinuch professionals who presented a variety of approaches to the challenges of mechanchim.
The Rosh yeshiva of Yeshiva Ohr Elchonon Chabad, Harav Ezrea Shochet keynoted with fiery words regarding the challenge and zechus of those who teach Torah and later led a farbrengen into the wee hours of the night. As he left, he remarked to Rabbi Nochem Kaplan that he came to inspire and leaves inspired. “These yungeleit are the among the finest in Chabad, they are dedicated personal examples of what they want to achieve”.
Rabbi Dr. Hershel Fried presented a multi-part series on the Social-emotional Development of students; how to develop self-confidence and a growth-mindset among students, featuring practical steps every mechanech can and should take in his classroom. Rabbi Dr. Shlomo Schuk spoke about developing sensitivity to the varied challenges our talmidim face and how to help overcome and how to plan to challenge even the most advanced students.
“I gained so much that I am looking forward to putting all I learned to use in my classroom next year” wrote Rabbi Chaim Lipszyc from Brooklyn after the kinus. Rabbi Yossi Hodokov from Coral Springs said “the lectures are great but the sharing with colleagues is invaluable”.
The Kinus featured presentations on classroom management and lesson planning by Rabbi Levi Feldman, a curriculum for teaching Chassidus to adolescents by Rabbi Yosef Y. Denburg from Coral Springs FL. and session which featured “best practices” of mechanchim was very well received.
Rabbi Mendel Greenbaum and Yitzchok Newman, both principals of outstanding Chabad schools in California attracted large crowds at their presentation on the practical challenges of chinuch as did Rabbi Chaim Yitzchok Drizin from Florida in his presentations on the needs of students who present the greatest challenge. There was even a presentation to help mechanchim with their personal finances.
A manager at the hotel commented that while they host many conferences, they don’t see many conferees with the enthusiasm of these rabbis.
The Kinus HaMechanchim is a project of the Merkos Chinuch Office, a division of Merkos L’Inyonei Chinuch, Lubavitch headquarters, directed by Rabbi Nochem Kaplan.
We would like to thank the The Vaad Hakinus chaired by Rabbi Shmuel Turk, ULY at Ocean Parkway, Brooklyn, NY with Rabbi Yehoshua Lustig, Oholei Menachem, Brooklyn, NY as co-chair. Other mechanchim on the Vaad are: Rabbi Yaakov Garfinkel, LEC, Miami Beach, FL, Rabbi Menachem M. Greenbaum, Cheder Chabad, Los Angeles, CA, Rabbi Baruch Kaplan, SCHA, New Haven CT, Rabbi Mendel Klyne, Cheder Chabad, Detroit MI, Rabbi Mendy Levin, Cheder Chabad, Philadelphia, PA, Rabbi Yitzchak Newman, Huntington Beach, CA, Rabbi Moshe Rodman, DTA Las Vegas, NV, Rabbi Yaakov Scheinberger, HACS, Coral Springs, FL, Rabbi Sender Wilschanski, Scottsdale, AZ, Rabbi Yosef Wolf, Oholei Menachem, Brooklyn, NY and Rabbi Avrohom Wolowik, Cheder Chabad, Baltimore, MD. Rabbi Menachem Kirschenbaum, Brooklyn New York.