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.
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2019 – 2020 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.

  • One Sunday morning per month 10:00am – 12:00pm (pre-k cohort with parents).

Bonim K – 2nd graders:

  • Tuesdays from 4 – 6 pm (drop-off program) 
  • Wednesdays from 4 – 6 pm (drop-off program) 

Yotzrim 3rd – 5th graders:

  • Tuesdays from 4 – 6 pm (drop-off program) 
  • Wednesdays from 4 – 6 pm (drop-off program)

6th – 8th graders:
Learn about big ideas and ask your big questions about Judaism. We’ll explore social justice, the meaning behind prayers, dive into Jewish texts, and more! 

  • Wednesdays from 4 – 6 pm
  • In the Spring of 6th grade, kids and grown-ups will meet 6 Sundays to explore the rituals around B Mitzvah.
  • In the Fall of 7th grade, Mensch Academy kids and grown-ups will meet for another 6 Sundays to explore social justice and Mitzvah projects.

We also have 4 parent nights throughout the year when parents join their children at Mensch sessions. Parents will have the opportunity to cultivate their own Jewish ideas with other parents, and to learn from and with their children.

Tuition and Fees

Grade Tuition Family Level Buildership*
Pre-K Family Cohort $550 $1800
K – 2nd $1250 $1800
3rd – 5th $1250 $1800
6th – 7th $1800 $1800

*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!

On Tuesdays and Wednesdays, Mensch Academy takes place from 4 – 6 pm. 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 2019-20, Mensch Academy will meet from September 10 through May 27 (excluding Jewish and national holidays and school vacations).

Mishpachton will meet the following dates:
September 15
October 13
November 17
December 15
January 12
February 9
March 8
April 5
May 17

The NEW Mensch Spaces
Same building at 4001 N. Ravenswood, but some Mensches will meet in an upstairs office space rental.

Our goal is to create a warm and welcoming environment for classes. Rugs and bean bags give kids a place to relax and get comfortable while our communal tables allow for productive group discussions. The colorful walls are covered with kids’ faces, artwork, Hebrew, and other Jewish themes.

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