By Janice Arnold

Few compliments resonate more with Jewish parents than hearing that others view their child as a mensch.

At Hebrew Academy’s elementary school the development of good character is viewed as a goal to be achieved as much as academic excellence.

Led by school counsellor Jillian Rudnitsky and rabbi-educator Rabbi Eddie Shostak, the “Be a Mensch” project encourages children to recognize admirable traits in their peers and take pride in their own strengths and virtues through the awarding of special cards that are sported as badges of honour.

“The energy shift that is felt when someone acknowledges a positive value in someone else is incredible and it helps strengthen relationships,” said Rudnitsky.

Be a Mensch focuses on nine qualities: bravery, curiosity, compassion, teamwork, perseverance, creativity, humour, gratitude and being pleasant. Each is printed on a card with an accompanying definition.

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