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Last week, another 28 mechanchim joined the ranks of graduates of Igud Hamelamdim‘s annual teacher training course.

Rabbi Avrohom Bluming, director of the organization, opened the ceremony and conveyed the importance of being completely given over to teaching. “The Rebbe was once asked if chinuch is shlichus,” he said. “And he responded – ‘Shlichus is not necessarily travelling to Australia. If you involve yourself in chinuch with devotion – it is certainly shlichus.'”

The graduates were addressed by veteran principal Rabbi Hershel Lustig, who praised them for acquiring their qualifications. “You must constantly invest in chinuch,” he advised, “and forever be learning.” As the Midrash says that although Moshe looked for seven characteristics when choosing judges, the key qualification was “אנשי חיל” – “courageous men,” who aren’t afraid of the challenges.

Sydney shliach and chinuch expert Rabbi Michoel Gourarie, who instructed this year’s course together with Rabbi Mechel Rottenberg, shared a letter someone wrote to the Rebbe in which he complained that he had toiled in teaching and was weak as a result. The Rebbe replied that while it is true that chinuch takes great effort, it does not truly weaken a person, since Torah, mitzvos and chinuch only add strength. Rabbi Gourarie also emphasized that the Torah principles learned at the course will always stay relevant and will not expire.

Course graduate Rabbi Mendel Schtroks spoke on behalf of his fellow participants. Rabbi Schtroks, a fourth-grade teacher in Oholei Torah, had taken Igud Hamelamdim’s course with Rabbi Rottenberg several years ago, yet he came back this year to hear Rabbi Gourarie. “I have gained immensely from Rabbi Gourarie’s insight into what ‘chassidishe chinuch’ means. It’s not a fluffy concept, but a concrete study.”

He then thanked Rabbi Bluming for everything he does on behalf of his fellow Lubavitcher teachers. “Whenever we receive updates from Igud Hamelamdim we are excited, since we know that someone is thinking of how to help us.”

All trainees then stepped up to receive certificates signed by Rabbis Bluming, Gourarie and Rottenberg.

Course graduates are Rabbis: Sholom Ber Bakshi, Yisroel Noach Blank, Yaakov Carlebach, Yoel Eidelman, Tzemach Gelman, Edan Hanoukah, Menachem Heber, Yitzchok Klein, Nosson Kuperman, Chaim Shmuel Ladaev, Menachem Oster, Shneur Zalman Phillips, Daniel Rakowitz, Zalman Rebitzky, Shimon Rozenberg, Shmuel Schtroks, Avremel Schtroks, Mendel Schtroks, Shloima Schvei, Aron Shain, Yoisef Shaingarten, Yisroel Dovid Shmueli, Meir Spiro, Mendy Tzfasman, Moshe Tzfasman, Nissi Villmovsky, Menachem Vogel, Avi Weinstien.

We wish them much success in their continued avodas hakodesh!


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