Mensch Bench

Olivia, a third-grader at Pardes Jewish Day School, came up with the idea of having a Mensch Bench for fellow students who might be feeling a little lonely during recess. 

Olivia Feldman, a third-grader at Pardes Jewish Day School, sometimes felt a little lonely during recess and realized that other classmates might feel that way, too, so she decided to do something about it.

She had heard a story about a “buddy bench,” a designated seating area where students feeling lonely or upset can seek camaraderie, and decided that Pardes should have a Mensch Bench.

Feldman shared her idea with Jill Kessler, Pardes head of school, who supported the plan. Feldman’s family purchased a Mensch Bench for Pardes students and her class helped decorate it with thumbprint pictures, under the guidance of the school’s art teacher, Orit Feinberg.

On March 15, after a morning tefillah (prayer) session, Feldman announced to the school’s lower school students that the Mensch Bench is now in the school’s playground area, for anybody to use.

According to a spring 2016 article on tolerance.org, a project of the Southern Poverty Law Center, at least 1,000 elementary schools on six continents have installed Buddy Benches on their playgrounds.

– Leisah Woldoff

(0) comments

Welcome to the discussion.

Keep it Clean. Please avoid obscene, vulgar, lewd, racist or sexually-oriented language.
PLEASE TURN OFF YOUR CAPS LOCK.
Don't Threaten. Threats of harming another person will not be tolerated.
Be Truthful. Don't knowingly lie about anyone or anything.
Be Nice. No racism, sexism or any sort of -ism that is degrading to another person.
Be Proactive. Use the 'Report' link on each comment to let us know of abusive posts.
Share with Us. We'd love to hear eyewitness accounts, the history behind an article.