Hundreds of principals and educators engaged in the holy task of teaching yaldei Yisroel gathered for the third annual Chinuch Conference, which was backed by Maran HaRav Eliashiv shlita and attended by the Rosh Yeshiva HaRav Aharon Leib Shteinman and the Admor of Tzanz.
The Chinuch Conference began Tuesday afternoon with an opening session in which a letter of support from HaRav Eliashiv was read aloud and speeches were delivered by HaRav Shteinman and the Tzanzer Rebbe. Later HaRav Michel Yehuda Lefkowitz and HaRav Gershon Edelstein also addressed the audience.
The event opened with Tehillim, recited verse by verse, led by HaRav Tzvi Odesser, rosh yeshiva of Yeshivas Ateres HaTorah.
HaRav Edelstein said, "In earlier generations they could educate based on yir'oh but today we must educate based on ahavoh. That is the only way to influence talmidim." He said that we must always give talmidim the sweetness and pleasantness of Torah.
One of the topics dealt with in several forums was the problematic nature of modern communications media, including the so-called chareidi weeklies and so-called chareidi Internet sites. These media try to use a person's natural curiosity for news for their own profit. They choose their goals and content according to their expected popularity and interest in the reading public. There are many subjects that would not be allowed into a publication supervised by gedolei Yisroel but that make it into those for-profit publications without any problem. We also find that they try to drum up advertising money from businesses whose wares are rightfully alien to the chareidi community, and tell them that they can penetrate a new market through advertising in their pages. This is all because their main motive is to earn as much money as they can. Newspapers run by gedolei Yisroel, while they also seek to earn a profit, have other ulterior motives that are more important to them than profit.
The speakers were introduced by HaRav Yehuda Leib Auerbach, one of the heads of Merkaz Hachinuch and Binas Halev. He also spoke himself, saying the conference was a valuable opportunity to join forces — "oz nidberu yirei Hashem ish el rei'eihu." He expanded on the theme, saying when he received the blessing of HaRav Eliashiv in advance of the conference, Maran said, "Every educator is an expert in a certain field and time should be set aside for them to teach one another."
HaRav Auerbach said that on the second day of the conference a special session would be held where all of the principals and educators would have an opportunity to help their colleagues in various areas of chinuch.