Surrounded by fellow educators during a meal in the dining room for an impromptu discussion, Rabbi Avrohom M. Segal, an educational consultant who came from Israel to present lectures and workshops at the Kinus HaMechanchim, expressed his delighted surprise at the level of the discourse.
“This is a very serious educational conference, not just a Chinuch social event,” he said. His keynote session addressed the issue of meaningful communication, of major overreaching educational concern among educators in schools worldwide.
From as far away as Australia, from South America, and the UK, mechanchim converged on the Crown Plaza Hotel in Danbury CT to attend the Kinus.
Veteran dean of Oholei Torah, Rabbi Hershel Lustig, said it was the best Chinuch conference he attended and Rabbi Hersh Dubrowski, a younger mechanech from Tampa, FL exclaimed that he is so full of ideas, he expects his next year of teaching to be “outstanding.”
Meir Eichler, Chairman of the board of the Merkos Chinuch Office remarked that when he arrived there was no one in the lobby; as 150 participants were attending three concurrent sessions.
The issue of dealing in a forthright manner with adolescents about “Inyonei Kedusha” was discussed by the Rosh Yeshiva of the Yeshiva Gedolah of Miami, Rabbi Yehuda Leib Schapiro, and Dr. Isaac Schechter, a frum clinical psychologist from Monsey.
A panel of yeshiva principals, members of the Chinuch Office commission which has analyzed the issue, discussed the preliminary findings and the urgency to create a comprehensive plan to give young people the spiritual tools to cope with the challenges they face.
The Kinus featured workshops dealing with curriculum, classroom management and school administration. Rabbi Moshe Rodman, principal of Desert Torah Academy, in Las Vegas, NV was distraught when the thought he had lost his copious notes. “My whole next year is tied to those notes,” he said.
In his closing remarks during the final lunch, Rabbi Nochem Kaplan thanked the Kinus committee, and especially his son Rabbi Boruch Kaplan, from Wallingford, CT, who was the Kinus’ administrator, businessman Yossi Popack, who came specially to address the Kinus during dinner on Sunday night, and Rabbi Menachem Kirschenbaum, member of the Vaad Hakinus.
Photos: Itzik Roytman