Her future students are currently enjoying camp and warm weather, but Miss Esty Newfield is already thinking about the new school year at her 2nd grade class in Bais Rivkah of Crown Heights.
Ms. Newfield was one of the many Chabad teachers and educators who spent the beginning of this week in a marathon of workshops, sessions and roundtable discussions about helping their students.
She and her colleagues heard from a slew expert presenters on Sunday and Monday at the Chabad Chinuch Convention, organized by the Menachem Education Foundation (MEF) to bring together Lubavitcher educators from across the world.
“In addition to all the practical tips that I hope to take with me to the classroom, I feel empowered and uplifted to be a teacher,” Newfield said about the two separate and concurrent programs for both men and women educators.
She said that “throughout the convention, the Rebbe’s words were shared about the tremendous zechus, honor, and privilege it is to teach, and all the brachos that come along with it.”
“As teachers, we work so hard and it’s exhausting,” she admitted. “This event made me feel lucky to be a teacher, just in time to get ready for a new year of teaching.”
A similar sentiment was shared by another local educator. Rabbi Pinny Rapoport, teacher of 5th grade at Oholei Torah boys school in Crown Heights, said he too felt prepared.
“The kinus was a true example of Chassidim getting together to benefit others,” he said. “Through farbrenging together, recommitting ourselves to the shlichus of chinuch, and developing our skills as mechanchim, we are now able to go back to our classrooms with renewed chayus and tools to educate the next generation of Chassidim.”
The two-day event of Chinuch-empowering knowledge, inspiration and networking included Rabbis Yitzchok Wolf, Dovid Hazdan, Yossi Rosenblum, Zelly Silber, Levi Feldman, as well as Mrs. Bronya Shaffer, Chavi Goldberg, Shaindy Shapiro, Nami Friedman, Bracha Landa, Dena Gorkin and Ms. Baylie Vail.
Rabbi Avraham Granat, who teaches grades 4, 7 and 8 at the Hebrew Academy Community School in Margate, Florida, was one of the presenters of the convention which he saw as an opportunity to develop new Chinuch expertise.
“For the first time in a long time, I felt a real sense of community and brotherhood, and the hunger and thirst to be better mechanchim just showed what an amazing group our teachers are,” he commented.
Rabbi Mendy Levin, Principal of Cheder Chabad of Philadelphia, had only warm words for the organizers. “I wanted to say a big Yasher Koach for all the work, energy and effort in putting together such a beautiful kinus. It was evident how much detailed planning went into it as every part was meaningful, filled with learning and enjoyable. I also appreciated the opportunity the Kinus gave to network with other mechanchim.”