CHARACTER DAY
FOR JEWISH ORGS

This page focuses on Jewish organizations specifically doing events around “The Making of a Mensch” film, which looks at the science of character through a Jewish lens (the director of the film happens to be Jewish). We will also be premiering 30,000 Days, which looks at the 3,000 year history of humans talking about living with meaning and purpose from all different religions and cultures — including, of course, Jewish.

Below are some ideas to help create your own Character Day, whether you have 30 minutes, a whole day, or anywhere in between. Keep in mind that while Character Day is one day, the resources are available year-round, and many educators and congregations use Character Day and the film Making of a Mensch as a way to launch year-round character / value / Mussar programming. If you have additional questions please reach out our Director of Partnerships and Engagement, Makenzie Darling at makenzie@letitripple.org.

Suggestions for Character Day:

  • Watch any combination of our four films: The Making of a Mensch, 30,000 Days, The Science of Character, or The Adaptable Mind.
  • Invite a guest lecturer or panel of thought leaders to discuss Mussar or the Jewish approach to ethics
  • Participate in Character Day’s Global Google Hangout.
  • Create a community service project
  • Create a community art project centered on one or more character strengths from the Jewish periodic table.
  • Create time after the film to discuss how your community can function more mindfully and more in line with Jewish ethics.
  • Find resources in the Hub, including articles, lesson plans, books, or films to watch around different character strengths.

PreK-12 Sample One-Hour Event

  • 5 Mins: Introduce Character Day
  • 10 Mins: Watch The Making of a Mensch
  • 20 Mins: Use questions from the discussion kits (appropriate age range).
  • 10 Mins: Discuss one or more of the practices explored in the film (gratitude exercise before bed, etc)
  • 15 Mins: Create a personal Mussar practice: ask students to select one quality from The Making of a Mensch Jewish periodic table that they would like to cultivate and create a personal practice that would help develop that strength. Ask a few willing students to share with the group.

Adult Sample One-Hour Event

  • 10 Mins: Discuss the meaning of the following quote: “At first I tried to change the world and failed. Then I tried to change my city and failed. Then I tried to change my family and failed. Finally I tried to change myself and then I was able to change the world.”–Rabbi Yisrael Salanter, founder of Mussar movement. Why would this be the case? What does this imply about the nature of change?
  • 10 Mins: Watch The Making of a Mensch
  • 15 Mins: Use questions from the discussion kits (appropriate age range).
  • 20 Mins: Watch one of our speakers from our Global Q&A
  • 10 Mins: Create a Mussar practice: ask participants to select one quality from The Making of a Mensch Jewish periodic table that they would like to cultivate and create a personal practice that will help cultivate that strength. Ask a few willing participants to share with the group.

Ways to Market Your Event

  • Use the Character Day Toolkit for social media posts, signs to hang around your community, etc.
  • Share the 1 minute trailer
  • Send an email or a letter to your congregation inviting people to participate
  • Make a short video or do a Facebook Live at your Character Day event! Here is a Best Practices Guide to give you helpful tips. Please send your videos to Makenzie at makenzie@letitripple.org and your event may be featured as part of our Character Day programming!

Jewish Partners for Character Day

We are incredibly grateful to our partners who have helped us grow this experiment of creating a global conversation about the science and ideas around strengthening who we are and who we want to be in the world. See below for a list of our Jewish partners for Character Day.

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Watch the webinar series

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Tues, Sept 6 at 11:30am PST / 2:30pm EST

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.

WATCH HERE