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, and curiosity through text-based Jewish learning, and students are empowered to ask big questions. Our low student to teacher to ratio and trained staff supports students developing their own Jewish identity. 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. 

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

Registration for 2022-2023 school year is now full!

Learn more about Mensch Academy’s philosophy and vision through this episode on Contact Chai, Mishkan’s signature podcast!


Preschool Family Cohort (3 – 4 year olds):
Adults will have the opportunity to learn alongside their children, and also get to cultivate their own Jewish ideas with other parents.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

6th – 7th graders:
This class is designed to support students as they transition into Jewish adulthood. Through study of weekly prayer service and torah stories, students build community and confidence as they take the next step in their Jewish lives. 

  • Tuesdays from 4 – 6 pm

Mensch Academy’s school year is made up of 5 Learning Themes. In each Learning Theme students explore closely-translated primary source Jewish texts and build out their own Jewish ideas and interpretations. Caregivers, parents, and the wider Mishkan Chicago community are invited to our Showcases where students have the opportunity to share with us what they’ve learned. 


Grade Standard Cost of Tuition Actual Cost to educate Family Level Buildership*
Pre-K Family Cohort $700 $1,215 $1920
K – 1st $1450 $3,000 $1920
2nd-3rd $1450 $2,000 $1920
4th – 5th $1450 $2,000 $1920
6th – 7th $1250 $2,500 $1920


Sliding Scale Tuition

We understand that the full price of Mensch Academy tuition may be a barrier for some, and we want to make it possible for families to select the tuition that works for their budgets in a way that prioritizes dignity and access. This year, we are proud to offer sliding scale tuition to all Mensch Academy families. For more information on sliding scale tuition, please check out our Frequently Asked Questions.

Grade Standard Cost 25% off Standard Cost 50% off Standard Cost Actual Cost
Pre-K Family Cohort $700 $525 $350 $1,215
K – 1st $1250 $937.5 $625 $3,000
2nd – 3rd $1450 $1087.5 $725 $2,000
4th – 5th $1450 $1087.5 $725 $2,000
6th – 7th $1600 $1200 $800 $2,500

*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.

Cancellation and Refund Policy

We understand that things come up and plans change. If you need to cancel your child’s enrollment in Mensch Academy, please let us know ASAP.
If you need to cancel in the first 6 weeks of the academic year, we are able to offer a prorated refund. For cancellations after the first 6 weeks of the academic year, we will do our best to fill the space with our waitlist. If we are not able to fill the spot, we ask that your family consider donating your remaining tuition. This helps us to ensure we can continue to run the high quality program with the staff that we contracted based on initial enrollment numbers.Please be in touch with the Director of Mensch Academy, Aviva Stein, or Mishkan Chicago’s Executive Director, Rachel Cort, with any questions.

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

Mensch Academy’s school calendar aligns with Jewish holidays, federal holidays, and Chicago Public Schools. 

For the 2022-2023 school year, Mensch Academy will begin on September 12, 2022 and run through the end of May. A detailed calendar will be shared with all enrolled families in August 2022. For questions regarding our calendar, please contact Mensch Academy Director Aviva Stein at [email protected] 

Mishpachton dates are as follows:

  • September 18th, 2022
  • October 23rd, 2022
  • November 13th, 2022
  • December 11th, 2022
  • January 15th, 2023
  • February 26th, 2023
  • March 26th, 2023
  • April 23rd, 2023
  • May 21st, 2023

For the 2022 – 23 school year, we will offer in-person classes at our Ravenswood office space.

Our primary objectives remain:

  • Prioritize the health, safety and well-being of all members of our community
  • Provide Mensch Academy kids with a nurturing and celebratory Jewish learning experience that upholds our authenticity and the core principles that shape Mensch Academy
  • Create a safe and consistent space for Mensch Academy students to be brave, curious, and relational during uncertain times

In order to keep our community health and safe:

  • Classes will be limited to 12 students
  • Teachers and students will mask in accordance with latest CDC guidelines
  • All community members must be vaccinated in order to enroll in Mensch Academy (exception for students under 5 as of 6/2022) 
  • We will regularly share and update our Covid policy with the community

Imagine your family @ Mensch Academy.

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

Mensch Parent

What makes Mensch Academy different?

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