By COLlive reporter
Two and a half years ago, a group of young Menahelim gathered in Los Angeles with a unique goal: investing in the next generation of leadership talent for Chabad day schools around the world.
The Menahalei Moisdos Chabad training program was designed by the Menachem Education Foundation (MEF) to develop the future of Chabad Chinuch by starting at the very top.
The program, which was developed in collaboration with veteran Mechanech Rabbi Yitzchok Wolf of Chicago, brought together eighteen young Heads of School from across North America, and even as far away as South Africa.
It provided them with customized trainings, school visits, meetings with expert lay leaders, resources and support, and workshops that focused on best practices for those who will lead the way for the Chabad educational community.
“For years, MEF has worked with teachers in the classroom along with long-standing Menahelim of our Chabad Moisdos,” explains Rabbi Zalman Shneur, Executive Director of MEF. “Here we were trying to do something a little different – we were focusing on building the capacity and securing the talent to fill some of the most important roles in Chabad Chinuch: the heads of our day schools.”
For over two years, the cohort gathered 5 times in person, with countless communication online in between, and on 19-20 Tammuz, the group gathered for one last summit at the Jewish Discovery Center in Clark Summit, Pennsylvania to conclude their training.
The immersive retreat took place in the recently built all-inclusive luxury resort under the auspices of Chabad Shluchim Rabbi Benny and Mrs. Rapaport. The tranquil and scenic retreat was the perfect locale to reflect on lessons learned and allowed the Menahelim to connect with their colleagues.
On the first day, participants were joined by some of their school’s board members and lay leaders as they explored the structural challenges that some institutions are facing in the current financial climate. The leaders met with Rabbi Aaron Kotler, CEO of Beth Medrash Govoha (BMG) of Lakewood in New Jersey, on upping the efficacy of their institutions.
The session was followed by a spirited dinner and interactive discussion on how to make Chinuch the number one priority in our communities led by Rabbi Duby Rabinowitz of the Rohr Jewish Learning Institute (JLI).
On the second day of the summit, the guest speaker was Mr. Paul Silberberg, a long-time entrepreneur, author, teacher and philanthropist who has raised hundreds of millions of dollars for Jewish causes.
The expert was introduced by the Shliach Rabbi Menachem Schmidt of Philadelphia. Mr. Silberberg led a brainstorming session on the business-oriented side of the Mechanchim’s mission and advised the leaders on fundraising and time management.
Throughout the event, guests enjoyed five-star gourmet meals from in-house catering, comfortable on-site accommodations and hospitality at the Jewish Discovery Center, beautiful scenic views, and even a swimming pool for recreation.