Becoming a Mentsh
by William Berkson (published by The Jewish Institute for Youth and Family)
This four-video workshop curriculum is focused on the Jewish value of being a mentsh--a Yiddish word that means a person is kind, responsible and has dignity. The curriculum kit includes a detailed teacher guide and student workbook for each of the four segments. Each of the four video segments is between 30 and 50 minutes. It is meant for parents and teens to do together. In the workshops, participants:
·Learn to identify current philosophies in American culture
·Learn traditional Jewish values that relate to parent-teen relations, love and marriage, and career
·Learn new concepts to apply traditional values to issues in modern life
·Learn "how-to skills" for applying timeless Jewish values to modern life
The curriculum is divided into four segments: What is a Mentsh? (The impact of ethical behavior on relationships and self esteem, for 7th grade and older); Shalom Bayit (Explores how a mentsh resolves conflict in parent-child teen relationships, for grade 8th and above); Passionate Decisions (Explores how the sexes can relate in an ethical manner, for grade 9th and above.); Making Peace with Your Future (Discovering how a mentsh pursues career, identity, and the struggle for success in a competitive society, for grade 10th and above).
Why does FASTEN recommend this resource?
This curriculum is distinct in its Reform Jewish focus. Although it could be adapted for any faith tradition, it is particularly helpful for the Reform Jewish parent, teen or teacher. It is comprehensive, covering the main areas of struggle for teens--sexuality, parent-teen relations, and questions of career and identity. It is also unique in its focus on helping teens to become a person of character, a leader who is a mentsh. This video curriculum will not only help Jewish teens become a mentsh, it will also help them understand more fully their Jewish heritage.