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About JIYF
The Becoming a Mentsh workshops--the lead project of the Jewish Institute for Youth and Family--are a series of four teen-parent workshops which teach teens and parents to creatively apply Jewish ethical values to today’s problems and decisions.

Personal moral behavior is at the heart of Judaism, but it has not been at the heart of the religious school curriculum. The goal of these workshops is to begin restoring personal ethics to the curriculum, and help youth and families to put Jewish values into practice.

The Workshops
What is a Mentsh?
The Jewish ideal of ethical behavior, and its impact on the self and others. Focus on the B’nai Mitzvah year (grade 7).
Shalom Bayit
Parent-Teen Responsibilities, Communication and Problem-solving (grade 8).
Passionate Decisions
Sex and Self Control, Love and Marriage (grade 9).
Making Peace with Your Future
Career, Identity & Fulfillment (grade 10).

On each topic, participants:
  • Identify conflicting values in American society and media;
  • Study traditional texts on Jewish values;
  • Learn to creatively apply Jewish values to the contemporary life issues;
  • Learn skills and get practice in applying the values to real life problems and decisions.
  • Use lively experiential learning activities so that participants both enjoy themselves and see how the values apply specifically to their own lives.

Comments from Participants
One of the most innovative and best programs for Jewish teens to come along in many years.
—Rabbi Warren Stone on Making Peace with the Future.
Hey, I liked this! I did not want to come! I’m glad I came!
—Teen on Shalom Bayit
The most valuable part of the workshop was talking openly to my mom.
—Teen on Shalom Bayit
Superb ...not only facilitated communication with our teen but also provided a format for making future decisions. What a pleasure it was to watch [my daughter].
—Parent on Making Peace with Your Future


For more information on these exciting programs click here [PDF file]. And you can order the curriculum kit to lead workshops with this form. For more information contact us.

Read the recent article on Jewish Parenting [PDF file], which appeared in Reform Judaism magazine, and describes some of the ideas used in the Shalom Bayit workshop.