May 30, 2024
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May 30, 2024
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Linking Northern and Central NJ, Bronx, Manhattan, Westchester and CT

Collaborative Conference to Address Diversity of Educational Challenges Facing Parents

Ask Rabbi Reuven Taragin, and he’ll tell you that the whole process of formal schooling for a Jewish child accounts for two percent of his education. The other “98 percent of a child’s education and their growth in school comes from their parents. The role of the teacher is to help empower parents to teach their children.”

Taragin, for the second consecutive year, will bring the Community Collaborative Conference to Teaneck and to Woodmere.

The programs, which will include speeches from top-notch educators and over 35 collaborating educational organizations, will take place beginning 8 a.m. Sunday, June 28, at Congregation B’nai Yeshurun in Teaneck and at the Young Israel of Woodmere. This year’s New Jersey keynote presenters include Mrs. Shani Taragin and Rabbi Dr. Abraham Twerski.

Collaborating organizations include: B’nei Akiva, Ben Porat Yosef, Beth Aaron, Beth Abraham, Bnai Yeshurun, Bruriah, Frisch, Hakotel, HaRova, Heichal HaTorah, He’Atid, Kaylie, Keter Torah, Mesorah M’ Lindenbaum, Ma’ayanot, MMY, Morasha, Moshava (I.O.), MTA, MTVA, NCSY, Noam, Ohr HaTorah, RCBC, Rinat Yisrael, RYNJ, Sinai, SFW, TABC, Yavneh, Project YES, Yeshiva University, Zichron Mordechai and Ohr Saadya.

Mrs. Taragin will open the conference in Teaneck with her speech entitled “Midrashic Models of Education.” Dr. Twersky will speak prior to Mincha. The title of his presentation is “We Have Torah and Mitzvos: What About Shamayim?

Speakers will be given about 40 minutes to cover their respective material. Some examples of the presentations include Rabbi Meir Goldwicht’s “The Sweet and Easy Way to Successfully Raise Children,” Mrs. Sharon Richter’s “Inspiration Sparks: Gifting Our Children With Gifts of Value,” Mrs. Stacy Katzer’s “Why Is School So Hard? Practical Strategies for Supporting Your Struggling Learner,” Rabbi Taragin’s “How (the Only Way) to Get Children to Identify With Their Parents” and Rabbi Yaakov Horowitz’s “Raising Spiritual and Respectful Children.”

Last year some 600 people attended conferences at B’nai Yeshurun as well as about 600 at the conference held in the Five Towns.

“Every five minutes it seems like you are getting a flyer from each organization within a community, be it a yeshiva or other worthy organization,” said Rabbi Taragin, who is the dean of overseas students at the Yeshivat HaKotel, where he has worked for 19 years. “Why not bring everyone together in a focused way? Why not present under one roof and generate achdus (togetherness)?

“In the end, the challenges are the same for everybody,” added Rabbi Taragin. “But there is power if we get together and hear from a choice of many different speakers. The breadth of the speakers will fit the different interests those who attend have. We have speakers representing different interests such as shul rabbis, elementary school teachers, yeshiva teachers. It’s really a full gambit of peoples.”

The rabbi won’t know how many people are going to attend just yet. He is hoping for an increase in this his second year of offering the conference. At the Woodmere-hosted conference, the audience will also hear from keynote speaker Dr. Twerski as well as Rabbi Paysach Krohn, the noted international maggid.

Rabbi Taragin offers these events with free admission. To register, visit Registration is preferred by the conference organizers; however, it’s not required.

This is ostensibly a forum where speakers engage with the audience on topics of educating children that are really close to home.

“I think the scope of the topics will be broader this year with new types of ideas suggested from parents and educational professionals,” he said. “Ninety percent of the people from last year who attended, gave the conference a number one rating. And I think that’s because our speakers are not just teaching parents but empowering parents to educate their children in a more powerful way. This is a great opportunity for an individual to sharpen one’s parenting skills to a whole other dimension. The educators running the program teach how central the role of education is and how central the parents’ role in education is.”

Below is a list of the talks to be given at Bnai Yeshurun. Speakers such as Dr. David Pelcovitz, a well-respected psychologist, will talk to parents about the impact of the digital age on their children’s development. Rabbi David Katz gets right to the classroom when he will discuss what he refers to as  “Edu-tainment” in the classroom. And perhaps for some the biggest discussion of the school year especially between high school students and parents as covered by Dr. Rivka Schwartz, the sometimes controversial dress code issue.

Presentations will include Rabbi Steven Pruzansky, “Making Midot Permanent”; Rabbi Tanchum Cohen, “Aggada, Questions and Conversation: Tools for Making God a Reality at Home and in the Classroom; Rabbi Daniel Feldman’s “Loshan Hora and Education: Practical and Conceptual Considerations; Rabbi Michael Taubes, “What If My Child Isn’t in the Highest Class?”; Mrs. Rebecca Hirschfeld’s “The Na’aseh v’Nishma Paradigm: Discovery Learning and Fostering a Growth Mindset”; Rabbi Aaron Ross, “Project-Based Learning, Blended Learning and Online Learning: Who Is Actually Teaching Our Children?”; Mrs. Elissa Hochbaum, “Everyone Counts. Even the Uncounted: Bnot Tzelofchad and Daughters in Today’s Modern World”; Rabbi Ezra Weiner’s “Breaking Away the Tefillah Apathy”; Rabbi Zev Goldberg, “Raising Women Leaders: Does The Torah Embrace Glass Ceilings?”; Mrs. Rivka Kahan’s “Metzuveh ve-Oseh: Helping Teenagers Find Inspiration in Commandment”; Dr. Rivka Schwartz, “Everyone’s Favorite Topic Chinuch: Straight Talk About Dress Code”; Rabbi Aryeh Stechler, “Chinuch: We Already Have the Answers! So, Why Aren’t We Using Them?”; Rabbi David Katz, “Functional Illiteracy and `Edu-tainment’ – Balancing Substance and Excitement in Our Classrooms”; Mrs. Shoshana Samuels, “Teaching Toward Healthy Intimacy”; Rabbi Yamin Goldsmith, “What Does Not Happen in the Year in Israel”; Dr. David Pelcovitz, “Understanding How Digital Technology Impacts on Social and Cognitive Development; Implications for Parents and Educators”; Dr. Rona Novick, “21st Century Learning and Jewish Education: A Match Made in Heaven?”; Rabbi Shaul Feldman, “Are We Confusing Our Kids? Challenges and Solutions for Educating Towards Religious Zionism in the Modern World”; Rabbi David Bashevkin, “Buy Low, Sell High: Financial Principles as a Strategy for Inspired Jewish Education” and Rabbi Dr. Jay Goldmintz’s “Helping Our Kids Find Meaning in Tefillah.”

The Steering Committee includes: Mordy Dubin, Dena Felsen, Margot Reinstein, Suzy Schwartz and Ari Wieder.

To receive information or to help sponsor the event contact [email protected]. The event can be followed on Facebook under Teaneck Community Education Program. Also on Twitter, it can be found @Taeducon.

By Phil Jacobs

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