On Chof Cheshvan, nearly a dozen Crown Heights principals gathered at Darchei Menachem in the spirit of Hakhel to support each other in their roles as educational leaders in the community.
Co-chaired by Rabbi Hershel Lustig of Oholei Torah and Rabbi Yosef Simpson of United Lubavitcher Yeshiva, the event was facilitated by the Menachem Education Foundation in a unique initiative to unite educators and celebrate their vital role in the community.
In his opening remarks, Rabbi Simpson, who facilitated the evening, highlighted the tremendous power and responsibility of menahelim as the “trend-setters” and “temperature-setters” for their own school and for the collective community. He discussed how fitting it was that the gathering of mechanchim took place on the birthday of the Rebbe Rashab, since the Rebbe Rashab was the founder of Tomchei HaTmimim, a revolutionary school system whose legacy reaches Chabad’s largest schools today.
The entire concept of the mitzvah of Hakhel is for Yidden to hear from the Melech and become inspired for the years to come to strengthen their commitment to Torah and mitzvos. The Rebbe encouraged the continuation of this practice, and this year especially has seen many group-specific hakhel gatherings that allow for a focused agenda and “rallying cry.”
This is especially applicable to Mechanchim, who, by nature of their work, are “Melachim” to their students. Needless to say, a focused gathering, specifically dedicated to inspiring and uplifting Mechanchim has immeasurable value.
“Mechanchim take a front and center position in the task of guiding and inspiring the next generation,” said Rabbi Goldstein, a participant at the event. “Certainly, the more inspired and committed a Mechanech is, the more inspired and committed his students will be.”
Throughout the evening the discussion focused on the need to give the proper respect and recognition to those in Chinuch. The Menachem Education Foundation has taken this task to heart and is currently working on new initiatives that will support similar opportunities for teachers and raise community awareness about the importance of Chinuch programs that provide critical resources for teachers and schools, thereby directly impacting students in the classrooms.