Teachers are full of praise for an exclusive night Kollel for teachers that opened its doors in Crown Heights. Tens of teachers – veteran educators alongside energetic beginners – gathered on the opening night in the Kolel Menachem building to learn and be inspired.
Behind the revolutionary project stands Igud Hamelamdim, a new organization that assists Lubavitcher teachers.
And their assistance is most welcome.
In honor of Pesach, Igud Hamelamdim provided over 250 rebbis from all Crown Heights schools with a sizable bonus for Pesach expenses in recognition of their hard work.
“Our teachers are talented and dedicated,” says the organization’s director, Rabbi Avrohom Bluming, “and it’s time that we lend a hand to help them succeed. There is plenty of teacher-bashing out there, and we’re here to show support for our melamdim.”
The organization doesn’t only offer material support, but moral and spiritual support as well. In honor of special dates, farbrengens are organized that cater specifically to the teachers, and a comprehensive seven-week course on “Teaching and Classroom Management According to Torah Tradition” was recently debuted in Crown Heights with close to thirty participants.
However, it is this latest initiative that really excited the teachers.
“I know myself. The only way I can stay motivated in my classroom is when I learn myself,” one elementary school teacher explains. “The new Kolel creates a setting where I can get together with fellow teachers and recharge.”
Principals are delighted with the concept and are encouraging their teachers to attend. As one principal put it, “A teacher can know all about teaching, but if he’s not inspired, he won’t be able to inspire his students.”
In a published yechidus, the Rebbe is quoted as saying: “The main job of a Jewish educator is not to convey information, but to instill in his students a fear of Heaven. But to do this, the educator must fear Heaven himself. An educator is like a cistern which is filled with rain water, and he must always be replenishing the water – that is, the fear of Heaven – within himself so he doesn’t run dry.”
This is what Igud Hamelamdim is out to achieve: to replenish our children’s teachers – physically and spiritually – so that they can be their best.
Organizers say that a similar initiative is being planned for women teachers.