About The Making of a Mensch

This 10 min film and accompanying discussion kit explore character education through the wonderful ancient Jewish teachings of Mussar. The film and materials explore the ideas and practices through through an engaging and accessible lens, reminding us all how relevant these Jewish tools are to our 21st century lives. The film premiered as part of Character Day 2015 (Sept 18), a global day with films, resources, and conversation about who we are, who we want to be in the world, and how we can get there. The Making of a Mensch is available with subtitles in Arabic, Chinese, English Captions, French, German, Hebrew, Hindi, Russian, Spanish, and Swahili. #MakingMensches

Download the Film

Online Discussion Materials

  • The Periodic Table Of Being a Mensch Poster (Download here).
  • Includes deck of 44 conversation cards, which includes: one instruction card, 24 strength cards, 12 question cards, three quote cards, and discussion guide questions for different ages (download deck).
  • Supplemental Resources: Ages 4-9 | Ages 10-14 | Ages 15-18 | Ages 19-99+
    Translations: Hebrew
  • This discussion kit was made possible by funds granted by The Covenant Foundation, Lippman Kanfer Foundation for Living Torah, the Natan Fund, and others.

Sign up for #CharacterDay2017

On September 13, 2017, join hundreds of thousands of people around the globe for the fourth annual Character Day — a free day and global initiative where school districts, organizations, families, and congregations of all sizes screen films on the science of character development from different perspectives, dive into free printed discussion materials catered to different ages, and join an online global conversation around the importance of developing character strengths (resilience, grit, empathy, courage, kindness)–all rooted in evidence-based research. Character Day is one day. The resources are available year-round. Here’s to #MakingMensches!


Read Press

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New Poster


periodictableofbeingamensch(Download high res of poster here)

Character (Every) Day Resource Hub

Dive deeper here.

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Learn Best Practices

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Learn how our partners made the most of their Jewish Character Day events. 




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The Making of a Mensch: New Character-Based Initiatives in the Jewish Community

Ethics has always been at the heart of Jewish practice. How do communities teach Jewish ethics in the 21st century? Inspired by Character Day’s goal to create conversation about the importance of character development, this webinar features four experts from different sectors of the Jewish community–education, religious and cultural–to discuss new character-based initiatives in the Jewish community today, and larger issues related to teaching Jewish ethics in the 21st century.

April Baskin, Vice President of Audacious Hospitality at the Union for Reform Judaism, discusses the URJ’s new Audacious Hospitality initiative dedicated to welcoming diversity within the Reform community; Dina Mann, Partnership and Outreach Manager for Reboot, discusses the 10Q project, an online project inspired by the traditional ten days of reflection between Rosh Hashanah and Yom Kippur; David Waksberg Executive Director, Jewish Learning Works, discusses their new Embodied Middot Curriculum; and Laura Yares, Director of Educational Research and Innovation at Hillel International, discusses the Jewish Sensibilities Curriculum, a multiple modality curriculum designed to help Hillel professionals incorporate Jewish wisdom into their work with students. Tiffany Shlain, creator of Character Day, Emmy-nominated filmmaker and founder of The Webby Awards, will moderate the panel.