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Jewish Groups Take On Masculinity, Consent Education

Once a week, Isaac Santelli makes his way to a public school on Chicago’s South Side, where he volunteers teaching high school students about some of the most freighted words imaginable for young people today: sexuality, consent and communication.

“If kids can sense that you are uncomfortable talking about this, they’re already uncomfortable,” said Santelli, a junior at the University of Chicago. Luckily for his students, conversations about gender and consent are natural for Santelli, thanks to a program called Shevet that he participated in as a teenager.

As the #MeToo movement has encouraged women from across the country to come forward with stories of sexual harassment and assault, Jewish organizations are trying to help men and boys have conversations about these sensitive topics with a grounding in Jewish sources.

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Getting ready for summer

By Joanne Palmer, Jewish Standard, March 22, 2018

The Foundation is investing in what it calls the Shmira Initiative; so far, it’s spent $100,000 on the program. The goal is to “change camp culture on all levels, implementing a shift in staff programming, training, policy and enforcement around issues of gender, sex and power.”

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Preteens, Teens Question Gender Roles in Groups

By Selah Maya Zighelboim, Jewish Exponent, December 20, 2017

The groups provide a space for teens to talk and ask questions about identity and gender — all within a Jewish context. Much of the curriculum, for example, covers heroines from the Torah. The purpose of the organization is to adapt and “move” the tradition to make it more meaningful for the students.

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