Author: Rabbi Mordechai I. Hodakov
Compiled by: Rabbi Chaim M. Dayan & Rabbi Eli Friedman
Translator: Yosef Cohen
"The Torah views one who teaches...the child of his fellow man as if
he had begotten him." This tenet seems to be behind every word of
this brilliant treatise. The teacher must be responsible for every
aspect of the well-being and education of his charges and parents must
support the authority of teachers.
Rabbi Hodakov was chairman of the Lubavitcher Rebbe`s secretariat and
served as chief executive of three major institutions including the Central
Organization for Jewish Education. It was in the last area that he
built his reputation and acquired the practical experience that informs
this systematically arranged work. His vision of education was permeated
with joy, ahavat yisroel, and the wisdom gained from personal contact with
the sixth and seventh Lubavitcher Rebbes under whom he served.
Isaac Hodakov was a teacher and pedagogue of such outstanding skill that,
as a very young man he was appointed Minister of Education in Latvia. Soon
afterward he was called upon by the sixth Lubavitcher Rebbe to apply his
talents to building religious and educational institutions in America.
Known as a nuts and bolts man, and a visionary, he formulated his paradigm
of Jewish education in the field. His ideas are "classroom-tested" and
his presentation is so clear that both parents and teachers can benefit
from his techniqiues and approaches to educating the young. In concise,
readable style he deals with the esthetics and upkeep of the school, such
issues as punctuality and the efficient use of time, and provides guidlines
for relating to, and meeting the needs of each individual student. The
Educator`s Handbook is a valued and enduring legacy in the field of
educational theory and practice.
Rabbi Chaim Mordechai Issac Hodakov
was born in 1902, in Benshenkavitch, Russia. At the tender age of 18 he
was put in charge of a new Jewish elementary school in Riga, Latvia. He
insisted on high religious standards and he was equally zealous about all
other aspects of education. The school blossomed, even attracting children
from more assimilated backgrounds. In 1934, Rabbi Hodakov was appointed
to the Latvian Ministry of Education as supervisor of all Jewish schools
and he applied the same measures to the entire system. He also extended
his influence to Jewish children in secular schools by instituting after
school religious training and summer camps. In 1940, the previous Lubavitcher
Rebbe called upon Rabbi Hodakov to accompany him to the United States.
When Rabbi Menachem M.Schneerson succeeded his father-in-law as Rebbe,
Rabbi Hodakov became his "chief-of-staff". For the next 43 years, until
his passing in 1993, he was the personal confidant of the Rebbe and he
directed the major Lubavitcher organizations as they transformed the Jewish
landscape in the United States and around the globe.