18 Sivan 5779 , 21/06/2019

Young Rabbis’ Forum in Warsaw

20/08/2017 28 Av 5777

Brand names, maintaining a connection with those who were recently introduced to Yiddishkeit, working with people, crisis situations and controversy, a winning marketing strategy, and much other practical advice. All these were themes of the conference, which received rave reviews.
Young Rabbis’ Forum in Warsaw The RCE sponsored a Young Rabbis’ Forum, which took place 23 through 25 Tammuz, for three days of enrichment. The venue for the forum was the Chabad House in Warsaw, which is run by Rabbi Shalom Ber Stembler. Rabbis from all over Europe participated in the conference.
Rabbi Aryeh Goldberg, the RCE’s deputy director, gave opening remarks at the conference and welcomed the Rabbanim, thanking them for having arrived from all over the continent, and expressing his hope that the participants would benefit greatly from the wide range of lectures delivered by professionals who had been invited to address the Rabbanim.
The host of the conference, Warsaw’s Chabad shaliach, Rabbi Shalom Ber Stembler, spoke of his excitement at hosting the Forum, as he is counted among the RCE’s young rabbis. He described briefly all his hard work, especially in light of the unique challenges of living in Warsaw.
The first of the professional lectures was given by Eitan Dobkin, an advertising, marketing and public relations expert. His topic was, “Everyone Represents a Brand – What About Me?” He detailed the importance of touting the unique brand of any business, and of a Chabad House in particular.
Rabbi Moshe Starik, shaliach in Vienna and director of the BAYIT organization, spoke on the topic of “Strengthening the Connection Among Those Who Are Involved,” for the goal of enlisting community members’ help for the community Rav in his work.
Eran Stern, who is a social worker, a behavioral therapist and a parenting counselor, managed to make the topic of his lecture one of the most broadly discussed subjects of the conference. His lecture dealt with understanding and working with people’s needs as a basis for community services, whether they be rabbinical issues, marital and family harmony, parenting, or educational issues. He spoke at length, offering abundant information on a number of topics, leaving his listeners thirsting for more. For a long time after he finished speaking, the participants encircled him and bombarded him with questions.
Harav Zev Kaplan was the first speaker on the second day of the conference. He is an educational director, and he presented the “Chavrusa” program, explaining the great benefits the students and community rabbis can gain from it. His words sparked much interest, and many asked for more details.
How does one manage situations of crisis, conflict and controversy while serving the community, performing rabbinical duties, and dealing with family, parental and educational guidance? This was the subject of Eran Stern’s lecture on the second day. As in his previous talk, his words sparked much interest and feedback, and the participants were anxious to hear more details.
The lecture that followed, given by Eitan Dobkin, was titled “Presentation of a Winning Marketing Process.” Following the lectures, the participants continued discussing it all through lunch, and they tried to apply it to situations that come up in a life of shlichus.
The European rabbis’ concerns regarding the chinuch of their own children were expressed by Harav Zev Kaplan, who spoke on how to inspire a child through home learning activities that stimulate and satisfy. A number of Rabbanim took advantage of the break that followed his lecture for some one-on-one discussions on chinuch.
Conflict management in a variety of social, personal and professional situations was Eran Stern’s topic, and it was the topic of discussion as the rabbis rode the bus out into nature, where they had their dinner.
On the last day of the conference, the professionals in attendance offered a wide variety of practical tips. Etan Dobkin explained a number of tools for successful marketing, while Rabbi Zev Kaplan offered the ABCs of methodology, special techniques for high-quality home-schooling in reading, Torah, Mishnah and Gemara. All this roused enthusiastic discussion among the participants.
Eran Stern delivered a lecture titled A Look Behind the Curtains at the Process of Change, in which he presented practical solutions for problem situations. The final lecture, delivered by Rabbi Zev Kaplan, was titled How to Transform an Hour of Learning into an Hour of Growth, and he continued with a series of one-on-one conversations with the participants.
A few days after the conference, the RCE directors received a stash of thank-you letters from the participants, attesting to what a smashing success it had been. One letter, whose writer asked that it be forwarded to Eran Stern, read, “Yesterday afternoon I met with a seventy-year-old man who decided to begin practicing Judaism. And just now I met with a mother of two girls, who apparently is Jewish, who seeks a path to become closer to Judaism. In both meetings, I felt that they had the same dilemma that I discussed [at the conference], between the “safe,” familiar path and the desire for change. I definitely employed the tools I received from you, and I was strongly aware of how much you have given me. I want to thank you once again for this.
“Although during the lecture my colleagues and I might have given the impression that we were focusing on the many other important subjects that were being covered, we did listen and, more importantly, we (at least I, personally) internalized your lessons. I gained immensely.”
Another well-known rabbi wrote a letter to the RCE’s staff, also requesting that it be forwarded to Eran Stern: “I wish to thank you from the depths of my heart for your very unique and enriching lectures. Although I had studied these topics a number of times before, it was a pleasure to hear about them again and to learn even more. In particular, I was happy to observe the methods you used to convey the material, and your intimate understanding of the challenges we face on a community and a social level, and in our contacts with everyone from our closest family members to the most distant strangers.
“I feel at I must mention that I am filled with admiration and deep love for you and for the fact that you have the status of an “outstanding soldier of the IDF.” The Rebbe taught us that he could not tolerate the term “handicapped soldiers of the IDF.” Meeting you has helped me internalize this lesson even more. I often teach in my own lectures about our obligation to thank Hashem for whatever we have and to praise Him for all the good that we experience on a daily basis. Seeing someone like you, who possesses such a special soul, such joy and vigor in life, who smiles, appreciates and delights in life, despite everything – how could we possibly complain about anything?
“We should learn even more from you – all that you have to teach! I have already used you as an example. Just last night, in my class for married couples, I spoke about you while teaching how important it is to maintain the proper perspective in life.”
Another rabbi wrote: “I wish to thank you for all that you invest in the Centre’s activities and conferences, and especially for your choice of lecturers. Everything was exceptional, fascinating, and vital for our shlichus work.”
Yet aother rabbi wrote: “I want to thank you; I must admit that it was not an easy decision for me to attend, but I am very happy that I did. The lecturers were wonderful, their topics were interesting and relevant, and they displayed deep understanding and gave us direction, which will certainly come to practical use in our work.
“Moreover, the conference gave us the opportunity to meet other shlichim whom we had not known previously. Now, each of us can help one another, and our mutual goals and challenges are sure to be enhanced by our new connections.”
The rabbi of a prominent community wrote, “I left [the conference] armed with brilliant, practical programs. Through the exacting methods that we learned from Rabbi Zev Kaplan, we gained tools to upgrade our Mishnah lessons from the level of a ball game to that of a chess game.
“Every husband, every father, and especially every teacher must become aware of Eran Stern’s clear definitions. It is important for each of us to define his own personality relative to that of others. The main thing is to learn to implement changes in one’s life.
“I had expected that Eitan Dobkin would teach us the fundamentals of business, but we walked away from his lecture with wonderful, simple tools to set priorities for ourselves and for those around us.
“You sent me home far more experienced than I was when I arrived at the conference!
“I must convey my sincere thanks to the open-hearted shaliach (no doubt it came with no small sacrifice on his part), Rabbi Shalom Ber Stembler. He is a true shaliach who is dedicated to the welfare of the community in general and provides technical assistance for individuals as well. He runs an active Chabad House, and his Torah library is magnificent. The facilities are clean, and the meals were both tasty and abundant.
“In one simple word – Thanks.”
To view the lecturers’ slide presentations, click on this link:
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