Mensch Lab/JQuest B’Yachad

We are here to educate our children not just to know things, but to become someones.  We are in the business of crafting souls; of building character; of creating mensches (people of integrity).  And rather than passing knowledge to our students, we co-create and jointly explore with them.  After all, the menschim we are creating are them…and they must learn to author their stories and their menschlikheit (menschiness).  We are guides.  As co-explorers, our classrooms become not lecture halls, but labs.

As such, our school has a “nickname”: The Mensch Lab.  Honoring both the menschlikheit of our original namesakes (Rabbi Harold B. and Elise Waintrup) and the character of our students, the Mensch Lab is the place where we grow our Jewish future in the souls of young Jews.  We are also part of the innovative inter-congregational educational initiative JQuest B’Yachad, which is built around informal Jewish educational practice and “quests” or projects in which student teams uncover meaning, answers and solutions for themselves.  In 2020-2021, these quests will proceed primarily on Tuesday afternoons for the participating grades.

The theme for our year of the Mensch Lab/JQuest B’Yachad is, “#HereTodayHereTomorrow.”[1]  Each month our school will focus on a Jewish value that, cultivated, helps our students to become the best they can and to be responsible for one another.

We aim to teach our students with very few hours per week.  Within these short hours we plant seeds of Jewish inquisitiveness, character and exploration that will last them through their vibrantly Jewish lives.

[1] Special thanks to our students, Mia Paul and Carly Dancer, who designed this year’s logo above and to Sydnie Zucker who came up with our year’s hashtag.

Learn more about our Mensch Lab by grade!

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