Dr. William Berkson, director of the Jewish Institute for Youth and Family, is currently training Jewish educators and social workers around the country to lead the Becoming a Mentsh series of teen-parent workshops applying Jewish values to modern relationships. Next year, Behrman House will publish his Book of Principles, a new discussion edition of Pirkei Avot.
Most Jewish parents aspire to raise their children to be a mentsh - a kind and responsible person. The two prevalent parenting models in America, however, are too extreme to teach mentshlichkeit. How, then, can we find a more balanced approach to child rearing that reflects contemporary Jewish values?