mensch • men(t)SH/

Noun: 1. a person of integrity and honor. 2. The kind of person you want your kid to be.

Mensch Academy is inspired, down-to-earth Judaism for kids and families. At Mensch Academy, kids build character, confidence, curiosity and a sense of who they are as Jews in the world by engaging in serious Jewish learning, joyous prayer and Hebrew exploration through games and individualized opportunities. Respecting each person’s mind and spirit, Mensch Academy is a space where kids feel loved enough and safe enough to take risks and experiment with Jewish tradition, making it their own and becoming the best versions of themselves. Our professional facilitators and low student to teacher ratio help meet the needs of each student.

Mensch Academy is a Jewish educational program for ages 3 – 13.

2020 – 2021 Program Details

Families who come out of Mensch Academy know that they are the newest and most important link in the chain of Jewish people and tradition, owning their identity, modeling what it means to be a mensch, and creating an empowered, educated, inspired Jewish future. Read more about our vision and core guiding values.


Preschool Family Cohort (3-4 year olds):
Parents will have the opportunity to learn alongside their children, and also get to cultivate their own Jewish ideas with other parents. This is a drop-off program, with children and parents participating in parallel sessions.

  • One Sunday morning per month 10:00 am – noon (pre-k cohort with parents).

K – 1st Grade:
This drop-off program meets weekly on three different days. Parents can choose from one session for the year.

  • Mondays from 4:30 – 6:15 pm
  • Tuesdays from 4 – 6 pm
  • Wednesdays from 4 – 6 pm

2nd – 3rd Grade:
This drop-off program meets weekly on three different days. Parents can choose from one session for the year.

  • Mondays from 4:30 – 6:15 pm
  • Tuesdays from 4 – 6 pm
  • Wednesdays from 4 – 6 pm

4th – 5th Grade:
This drop-off program meets weekly on three different days. Parents can choose from one session for the year.

  • Mondays from 4:30 – 6:15 pm
  • Tuesdays from 4 – 6 pm
  • Wednesdays from 4 – 6 pm
  • Additional 20 minute/week virtual Hebrew learning in groups of two.

6th – 7th graders:
We’ll explore social justice, the meaning behind prayers, dive into Jewish texts, and more! Students will focus on Hebrew learning and developing their own interpretations of Torah.

  • Wednesdays from 4 – 6 pm
  • Additionally, kids and their grown-ups will meet as a cohort on six Sundays in the Spring of 6th grade, and six Sundays in the Fall of 7th grade to take a deep dive into Jewish prayers (Spring) and social justice (Fall). The cohort centers around the BMitzvah experience for the whole family – building community with other families along the way.

Parents are invited to attend four Family Showcases on Sundays when kids share their learning with their families.

Tuition and Fees

Grade Tuition   Family Level Buildership*
Pre-K Family Cohort $600   $1920
K – 3rd $1400   $1920
4th – 5th $1500   $1920
6th – 7th $1800   $1920

*Family Buildership is a requirement to attend Mensch Academy however first year families can sign up at any level of Buildership. If you’re not a Builder, learn more here and sign up.

If cost is a barrier to you, please Rachel Cort to discuss tuition assistance.

Have general questions? Check out our FAQ’s or contact us!

A sample day looks something like this:

4:00 – 4:30: Children are greeted by Mensch Staff, and answer an Opening Question. They have a snack and work on individualized Hebrew experiences.

4:30 – 5:00: Opening Circle (Ma’agal P’ticha). We gather as a community (kehilah) to welcome each other, and sing and pray together.

5:00 – 5:45: Project work around our Jewish theme. This includes exploring Jewish ideas through text study, music, art and dialogue. Mensch kids develop big questions and ideas that they express through designing and creating projects.

5:45 – 6:00: Closing Circle (Ma’agal Siyum). We gather to celebrate our day and sing together.

6:00: Bye! See you next time! (l’hitraot).

In 2020-21, Mensch Academy will meet from September 8 through the end of May (excluding Jewish and national holidays and school vacations).

Mishpachton will meet the following dates:

      • Sep. 13
      • Oct. 18
      • Nov 15
      • Dec. 13th
      • Jan 24
      • Feb 21
      • March 21
      • April 11
      • May 9th

At Mensch Academy we build community no matter where we need to be – at home or in our space.

If we are able to meet in person, we will learn in classrooms at our office location – 4001 N. Ravenswood. In the event that we are not able to meet in person, we will hold our classes virtually. In the spring of 2020, we hosted virtual 1:1 meetings with kids, virtual sessions, and some virtual informal gatherings.


How to Register

  1. If you have attended a previous Mishkan program, follow this link to set your password. If you are new to a Mishkan program, you’ll need to register for an account.
  2. Click the gray boxes to update your information:
    • “My Profile” to “view and edit” your contact information. Be sure to click the “Lifecycles” tab to enter your birthdate.
    • “My Family” to add any of your immediate family members and make sure that their information is correct.
  3. Now you are ready to register for Mensch! Log-in to our school enrollment system and follow the instructions for registering your child(ren).

Imagine your family @ Mensch Academy.

What makes Mensch Academy different?

The Mensch Academy approach is a positive, intellectual, individualized approach that makes Jewish study so accessible to my kid.

Mensch Parent

Thank you to the vision and generosity of the Jack and Goldie Wolfe Miller Fund, a fund of the Jack Miller Family Foundation, and The Crown Family, who have helped make this program possible.

My daughters actually come home and talk about what they learned, ask questions, ask us our opinions, and our experience there has opened the opportunity to have conversations I know we would not otherwise have had. 

Mensch Parent