Archive by Author

Turning Jewish Boys Into Mensches

By Marjorie Ingall, Tablet, February 1, 2019

The news abounds with stories of young white men behaving abominably. Privileged private-school boys taunting a Native American activist, donning blackfaceAthletes repeatedly accused of sexual assault, without long-term consequences. Mothers fiercely defending college-age sons who’ve been suspended or expelled from college for sexual misbehavior. Men exploding in social media fury at a razor commercial (a razor commercial!) for its vile offense of depicting men standing up to bullying, stepping in to stop sexual harassment, and rejecting the notion that “boys will be boys.”

Young Jewish men aren’t exempt from such toxicity. I will never forget my teenage daughter telling me about boys in her progressive Jewish summer camp chanting “fag, fag, fag” to torment another boy. Or about the boy at camp who, when challenged about his belief that women didn’t become CEOs because they weren’t as smart as men, told a girl, “Just kill yourself.” (And no one—no tween or teen camper, no teen or 20-something counselor—did anything to help.) All too often, we hear of situations in which boys who aren’t bullies fail to be upstanders, the term now used to differentiate passive bystanders and active helpers.

So, in a climate of pussy-grabbing and fury, how do we raise Jewish boys who’ll grow into good guys? How do we encourage them to challenge poisonous old-school ideas of masculinity?

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party hearty

Episode 5 – Party Hearty

In this episode, host Sara Ivry explores the pressures on parents and pre-teens to navigate the celebrations that take place after the services and the speeches. You’ll hear from party planners and DJs and a handful of insightful pre-teens who are seeking alternatives to the typical celebration. 

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Annual Report 2018 – 2019

Jewish Teens and #metoo Safety, Respect & Consent Responding to #metoo and its backlash, Moving Traditions is leading a cultural shift to break patterns and ensure the next generation does not repeat the devas- tating abuses. We’re ….

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Episode 4 – A Moment of Blessing

Episode 4 – A Moment of Blessing

In this episode, host Sara Ivry examines the spiritual side of the b’nai mitzvah process. Listen in as Sara explores both the moments of blessing that occur in the ceremony and around it – and the unexpected ways that pre-teens are experiencing holiness in the rite of passage.

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Thinking Differently About B’nai Mitzvah

By Rabbi Daniel Brenner, eJewishPhilanthropy, October 30, 2018

In the wake of #metoo, many families are questioning the practice of hiring young women to fawn over thirteen-year-old boys, but Vegas-style b’nai mitzvah celebrations continue to grab the headlines and to give pre-teens grandiose ideas about the party. Meanwhile, a quiet revolution is taking place in how today’s families are approaching the rite of passage of b’nai mitzvah. Two years ago, I sat with podcast producer Michele Siegel (SlateThe New York Times, and WNYC) and podcast host Sara Ivry (Vox Tablet) discussing the idea of exploring the contemporary b’nai mitzvah experience, untangling the complexities of gender, culture, class, and Jewish identity as they present themselves in family celebrations across the United States, and exploring the rite of passage as a contemporary threshold where a child doesn’t become an adult, but a teen.

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A Jewish group builds community for transgender and nonbinary teens

By Josefin Dolsten, JTA, October 22, 2018

When Rabbi Tamara Cohen started working four years ago as the chief of innovation at Moving Traditions, she was seeking ways to cater to transgender youths. The organization had been running discussion groups for Jewish girls since 2002 and boys since 2010. It launched the Tzelem group for transgender teens last year as an alternative to the Rosh Hodesh girls group and Shevet boys group.

Tzelem, meaning “image” in Hebrew, refers to the biblical notion that all humans are created in the image of God.

Like Moving Traditions’ other groups, Tzelem offers discussions that allows to articulate their deepest concerns in a safe and Jewish setting.

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