Hundreds of principals and staff members from talmudei Torah and yeshivas gathered this week for a three-day chinuch conference, with both closed-door sessions and open sessions, as determined by the rabbonim on the steering committee, based on directives from gedolei Yisroel shlita.
In his opening address, Rav Gavriel Kosover, principal of Talmud Torah Derech Tvunoh in Jerusalem, said the principals and educators on hand at the conference represent tens of thousands of students.
Tehillim were then recited for the success of the conference, led by HaRav Tzvi Odesser, rosh yeshiva of Yeshivas Ateres HaTorah.
During the conference a personal note from Maran HaRav Yosef Sholom Eliashiv shlita, addressing the Fourth Chinuch Conference, was read aloud by Jerusalem Deputy Mayor Rabbi Yitzchok Pindrus, who serves as the city's chareidi education commissioner.
"I extend my greetings to those gathered at the conference," wrote HaRav Eliashiv, "to formulate strategies and to consider ways to improve and strengthen the education of yaldei Yisroel toward Torah and yiras Shomayim and midos tovos based on our age- old Jewish tradition." The note concludes with Maran's blessings for the success of the conference and blessings for those who attended it.
In advance of the conference, a delegation of rabbonim spoke with HaRav Eliashiv, who offered guidance, and his remarks were then presented at the conference. "In order for students to be able to confront the tests of our licentious generation, educators must place an emphasis on ahavas Torah, careful adherence to halacha, fear of judgment and emunas chachomim," he told the delegation. "Educators should strive to boost the student's ambition, so that they aspire to sit in the beis Hashem throughout their lifetime."
Maran also shared advice on how to handle large classes and how to focus attention on each student, even if the students are at various levels of achievement. "The educator should see every child as an only child of HaKodosh Boruch Hu, and when the child is viewed from this perspective, [educators and parents] merit success and siyata deShmaya in raising him."
HaRav Eliashiv also said when educators gather together to hammer out contemporary chinuch issues, they "sanctify the Name of Heaven and increase the legions of Torah."