Core Guiding Values at the Mensch Academy
These values lie at the center of our work and animate everything we do:
Self-Expression | הִנֵּֽנִי – Hineni – I am here
At Mensch Academy, every community member is met lovingly as their whole selves, and we actively welcome each person’s feelings, stories, experiences, and needs, no matter what they are. We encourage student choice in the direction of their learning, and foster each individual’s self expression by creating an affirming space that supports both adults and kids in asking big questions, and to explore Jewish ideas through diverse modalities that allow them to best express themselves such as through art, writing, music, text study, and movement.
Community | קְהִלָּה – Kehilah
Our philosophy is rooted in mutual accountability and participating in a wider interconnected community. In our classrooms students are not only encouraged to be their whole selves, but also to actively celebrate and support the learners around them. Through a culture of mutuality students recognize themselves as members of an interconnected community and take on the responsibility of caring for themselves, their classmates, their teachers, and their families. We also recognize that we are participating in a meaningful history of Jewish learning and culture, and that by investing in one another’s learning, self-expression, and care, we are continuing our tradition as Jewish people – grappling with big ideas and supporting one another as we question.
Honor & Dignity | כָּבוֹד – Kavod
At Mensch Academy we honor and value students’ ideas, experiences, and questions. We honor student choice through celebrating their questions and ideas, and commit to supporting students in their exploration. As a teaching team we value autonomy and are responsible for the power dynamics in our relationships by intentionally unlearning internalized adultism and recognizing that we are all valuable Jewish thinkers. At Mensch Academy, students will feel loved enough, safe enough and respected enough to take risks, ask questions, challenge responses, and seek different ways to connect Judaism to their sense of self.
Joyful Inspiration | רוּחָנִיּוּת-Ruchaniyut
At Mensch Academy, learning is essentially a joyful experience. While we are doing deeply important work of fostering empowered Jewish identity, we also believe that laughter, playfulness, and pleasure are essential to meaningful learning. We strive to lower the stakes and create classrooms that are celebratory, humorous, and fun as a means to creating a liberatory environment and ensure that teachers and students find joy along the way.
Dear Mishkan Community, We are excited to share some staffing updates in our family programs, reflecting our commitment to expanding the ways we serve our growing population of Mishkanites ages 0-18 years old (and of course their grown-ups, too)! Please join me in...