Chabad Mechanchim gathered at Cheder Menachem in Los Angeles, CA, for comprehensive training on MEF’s all-new curriculum “Project TOMiM,”, as part of their “Heart of Chinuch” social-emotional learning program.
There are so many programs and curriculums available for educators, but many find it difficult to take the ideas in the textbook and apply them in the classroom every day.
The Menachem Education Foundation (MEF) isn’t only an organization devoted to creating top-notch curricula for Chabad schools, to provide a successful Chinuch to Chabad students, but they ensure that the educators using it receive the training to utilize it effectively as well.
On Sunday and Monday, 29 Teves – 1 Shvat / Jan 22-23, 15 Chabad Mechanchim gathered at Cheder Menachem in Los Angeles, CA, for comprehensive training on MEF’s all-new curriculum “Project TOMiM,”, as part of their “Heart of Chinuch” social-emotional learning program.
Attendees included teachers and principals from the 5 schools piloting the program in its second year. Designed by Mrs. Henny Bartfield, M.S. Ed, in collaboration with the Menachem Education Foundation, the curriculum, rooted in Torah and Chassidus with research-based tools and best practices, is intended to give elementary school students the tools to develop healthy social-emotional attitudes and behaviors. The dynamic lesson plans include activities, multimedia and manipulatives, as well as teacher support and a community of practice. The goal is to raise a generation of students who have a healthier sense of self and a social-emotional skill set, and who are empowered to make positive choices both in and out of the classroom.
“Teaching teachers to be mindful of their emotions is a vital first step in enabling teachers to care for their students’ well-being,” shared Rabbi Mendel Meyers, fifth grade teacher at Cheder Menachem, Los Angeles, CA, who is currently piloting the program in his classroom.
A successful training for female educators implementing the curriculum took place in July 2022, and this two-day training for Mechanchim also included presentations and workshops to give a deeper view into social-emotional learning. Opening remarks by Rabbi Mendy Greenbaum, Dean of Bais Chaya Mushka and Cheder Chabad of LA who addressed the Mechanchim on the big question of “Why Social-Emotional Learning,” and Rabbi Zalman Shneur, Founder and Executive Director of the Menachem Education Foundation, gave a clear and comprehensive overview of the Project TOMiM curriculum.
After these foundational workshops, Rabbi Zellig Silber, acclaimed Teacher Trainer, and Chinuch Consultant for the Menachem Education Foundation, addressed attendees on “Connecting to Our Students,” where he explained how to tune into students’ emotional needs to open their minds to learn.
In the evening, the Mechanchim gathered for a gourmet dinner at the home of Dovid and Sarah Morris, and farbrenged with Rabbi Eli Friedman, Shliach to Calabasas, CA, on the beauty of our Chinuch system and the need for thinking about the long term impact of Chabad Chinuch
Monday’s program included a full day presentation by Rabbi Zalman Raskin, Teacher Trainer and Curriculum Collaborator for the “Heart of Chinuch,” and veteran educator at the Yeshivah Schools of Pittsburgh. He gave Mechanchim an overview of the brain, which is necessary for helping students develop their social-emotional skill set. He also spoke on “Values and Setting Boundaries,” upon which a healthy classroom environment depends.
“The MEF social-emotional learning training is an absolute necessity for every teacher and parent. Chinuch begins with understanding the hearts and minds of our students and children. This training provided us with those tools, enabling us to make that possible,” shared Rabbi Mendel Baitelman, Teacher at Cheder Menachem, Los Angeles, CA.
With food catered from Fish Grill and other gourmet food establishments in Los Angeles, the Mechanchim not only gained a tremendous amount of training, but enjoyed being treated as well.
The Menachem Education foundation thanks Cheder Menachem of Los Angeles for hosting the training, and Mrs. Rochie Stillman for arranging the logistics of the program, which will impact hundreds of Chabad students across the United States.