Archive by Author

‘Judith Kaplan wasn’t ancient history’

By LARRY YUDELSON, The Jewish Standard
March 9, 2022

Moving Traditions, an organization focusing on Jewish teens, is incorporating the Instagram account and the bat mitzvah centennial into its B-Mitzvah program, which is designed to help sixth and seventh graders navigate the bar and bat mitzvah experience. Rabbi Daniel Brenner of Montclair, the organization’s vice president of education, explained the educational challenge: “How do you get sixth graders who may or may not have any sense of the history of this ritual to connect to this hundredth anniversary?”

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Moving Traditions Welcomes New CEO

By Jarrad Saffren, Jewish Exponent

She’s never been a CEO before. She’s taking over for the woman who built the nonprofit organization, Moving Traditions, from nothing. And the task before her, from the board of directors, is no less than to expand the organization to communities all over North America. But Shuli Karkowsky says she is ready.

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Moving Traditions at TBE

Special to the Washtenaw Jewish News, March 2022

Throughout this school year, Temple Beth Emeth has expanded how they prepare their families for the Bar and Bat Mitzvah journey, or, as Moving Traditions calls it, the “B-Mitzvah” journey. Moving Traditions is a Jewish educational organization seeking to transform Jewish teen education and engagement. From their website, www.movingtraditions.org, “Moving Traditions connects the issues preteens and teens care about most — such as body image, social and academic pressure, friendship, romance, and sexuality — to enduring Jewish values, fosters positive peer-to-peer relationships through our trained educators and mentors, and inspires participants to develop an ongoing connection to Jewish community. By promoting a more inclusive and expansive view of gender for Jewish girls, boys, and transgender and nonbinary teens, we create a more vibrant, engaging Judaism that helps all teens to flourish.”

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‘They mitzvahs’ are the gender-neutral trend sweeping the Jewish community

By Doree Lewak, New York Post
February 4, 2022

But others in the Jewish community said they liked the “Sex and the City” sanctioned term. “[‘They mitzvah’] is clever,” said Rabbi Tamara R. Cohen, VP, Chief of Program Strategy for Moving Traditions, a Jewish organization that emphasizes inclusiveness for young people. “I think it really does validate the experience of young people today. The truth is, people are experimenting with different names. We call it a b-mitzvah right now … It’s a way of using a non-gendered term.”

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Meyer-Gottesman Kol Koleinu Case for Support

Gender has always been critical to Jewish text and spiritual practice, and in contemporary culture, preconceptions about its expression have enormous power to shape who we are and can become. By building a Jewish organization that focused on gender and identity, Deborah and Sally knew they had the right avenue for our moment to engage Jewish teens by connecting the issues teens care about most to enduring Jewish values.

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We can — and we should — support Jewish preteens and parents now

By Deborah Meyer, eJewishPhilanthropy
October 13, 2021

Just as the Jewish community has invested time and energy into family education for preschoolers, now is the time to do the same for families of preteens. Our collective challenge and opportunity—as outlined in Moving Traditions’ newly released white paper, Family Education @ B-Mitzvah—is to offer Jewish experiences that support sixth and seventh grade preteens and their parents in confirming their values, communicating with clarity and empathy and navigating our changing world.

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Local teen chosen for national feminist fellowship

By JUSTIN VELLUCCI, Pittsburgh Jewish Chronicle
September 14, 2021

A Squirrel Hill teen has become the first Pittsburgher to take part in Kol Koleinu, a national feminist fellowship.

Orelle Magnani, a senior at Taylor Allderdice High School, was named one of the 2021-2022 Kol Koleinu Teen Fellows.

Now in its fourth year, the Kol Koleinu fellowship is an initiative of the nonprofit Moving Traditions and is supported by the Reform movement’s youth program, NFTY, and the Conservative movement’s United Synagogue Youth. The fellowship allows 56 Jewish teens to explore and deepen their knowledge of feminism, channel their voices to share their beliefs and use skills to create tangible change in their communities.

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