Mentsh.com is a project of The Jewish Institute for Youth and Family, a non-profit 501(c)(3) foundation. Dr. William Berkson is Executive Director, and administrator of Mentsh.com. He did his PhD in History and Philosophy of Science at London University, under Sir Karl Popper. In the '90s, he went into Jewish education, becoming a religious school principal, and writing the commentary Pirke Avot: Timeless Wisdom for Modern Life, published by the Jewish Publication Society. It is one source used in the 'Living and Learning' sections of Mentsh.com.
A mentsh (מענטש, Yiddish) is a person who is steadfastly kind and responsible, who knows the right thing to do and does it. Most of us would love to be admired as a mentsh, but we also want to succeed in work, love, and family. Mentsh.com is about achieving both. It offers you the opportunity to learn and to teach, to live and to discuss, profound guidelines for living. Each week we will discuss a set of guidelines on a topic concerning how to life a good life. The guidelines are from two sources.
The first source is the wisdom of the Jewish Sages, as reflected in the classic anthology Pirke Avot, “Chapters of the Fathers”—the most read Jewish book outside the Bible. It contains values and guidelines for living that can help you develop and sustain cooperative relationships at work or school, sacred relationships with the ones you love.
The second source is modern psychology. Modern life is intensely competitive, requiring us to achieve and negotiate our own places in love and work. To meet these new demands, the insights and skills of modern psychology can help us, building on the wisdom of the Sages.
Combining the best insights of the Jewish Sages and modern psychology gives us our best chance to build and sustain a fulfilling life in today’s world. On Mentsh.com we engage with past and modern wisdom, both Jewish and scientific, and learn from it and from one another.