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Families of Forsyth: the Mentz family
Mentz family
Levi and Chaish Mentz with their children, left to right, Binyomin, Sholom and Chana.

This week, we met the Mentz family. Levi Mentz is the rabbi at Congregation Beth Israel, and his wife, Chaish, is the director of JUDA. Together, they run Chabad of Forsyth, the first Jewish organization to ever come to Forsyth County. While they have only lived in the county for a year and a half, the couple quickly figured out how to spend time with those who matter most — each other.

About this series

  • Families of Forsyth is a twice-monthly series that tells the story, in their own words, of a different family each time, showing us the uniqueness and diversity of our neighbors who live in Forsyth County. Words may be edited for length. Presented by Hopewell Roofing & Restoration, which has been putting roofs over families’ heads, so many of which keep choosing Forsyth County, for nearly a decade.

Levi Mentz: “I actually was called by a mutual friend who said there’s a great girl, a Southern girl, she’s born and raised in Georgia, would you like to meet her? At that time, I was living in New York, and I said yes, I got on a plane, flew out here, and I met my wife on Sunday, and the rest is history. And today, thank God, we have three children — two boys and a girl. Actually, this Friday is our fifth anniversary.

I’m not from the South, and the warmth that’s here that we feel is amazing. People here value family, community, they value their schools. It’s an amazing thing, like people are into their schools. Like, I never saw that before. You go to your local Kroger and they’re actually selling high school football shirts. Like, what? Growing up in LA, you were only buying an NFL team.

We moved here when it was April, so the weather, it gets pretty nice. It was wild because I would come home from work and my wife would come home from work, and every single day we just went out on our porch and we were renting a house that was sitting on almost an acre of land, and it was just trees and greenery. For me, growing up in LA, the only thing that grows there is cement and concrete, and to come here and to see all of this nature, and, like, I wasn’t on vacation. This was my life.

Our five o’clock hour every day is holy. My wife and I, we don’t schedule appointments, we don’t have meetings, we don’t teach or anything. It’s family time. And we have dinner all together. And every Sunday afternoon, from 12 until 6 is family time. We do everything from going on the Greenway to going to the lake to anything. And then, or course, because we’re a Jewish family, we have Sabbath every week, so from sunset on Friday to Saturday, it’s all family.”
Levi and Chaish Mentz