Archive by Author

Coming of Age

Coming of age is not easy, even for the most socially well-adjusted teen.

Compounding the difficulties, there are profound differences in the ways that girls and boys are judged by their peers and measured by teachers and coaches. Narrow visions of gender continue to dominate advertising, film, television, video games, and the other media aimed at teens.

These narrow definitions of gender can ultimately restrict the self-image and horizons set by teen girls and boys for themselves.

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Pediatrician Describes Leading Shevet

Bruce Reidenberg, MD. Pediatrician, New York State Developmental Disabilities Service Organization. Member, Board of Trustees, Community Synagogue of Rye.

How did you end up leading a group for teen boys at your synagogue?

I got involved with the educational activities at our synagogue when my daughters (now in high school and college) were growing up. Rosh Hodesh: It’s a Girl Thing! was a great success in Rye and our leadership sensed that we were losing the guys. After bar mitzvah many of them just disappeared. I had a conversation with our education director about being involved with a monthly program for our teen boys and I co-taught with one of our teachers and our Cantor.

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A Conversation with Alisa Robbins Doctoroff

“I feel that Judaism holds tremendous value for people. It is a very rich, rewarding, stimulating, interesting, and spiritually-engaging source for me.  My goal is to try to find ways to open up Jewish life for others so that they can find its wisdom.  I’m involved with organizations that are trying to make Judaism live, and to uncover its relevance, meaning, and beauty.”

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A Conversation with Sally Gottesman

Sally Gottesman is the Founding Chair of Moving Traditions. As founder and President of the eleemosynary group, she is an independent consultant to non-profit organizations based in New York City. Gottesman serves on the boards of American Jewish World Service, Bikkurim, and American Friends of Yedid.

Moving Traditions spoke with Gottesman about the importance of gender in Judaism, changes she’d like to see in Jewish life, and her commitment to Judaism.

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Insights on Gender and Teens

Do Parents Influence Teen Behavior?

The conventional wisdom around teens is that as they distance themselves from parents, their peers become their primary influence. But a closer look at research on teens provides a different perspective on the importance of the parent-teen relationship. Here are a few highlights that Moving Traditions staff have culled:

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Moving Forward

By Sonia Isard, Lilith Magazine, Fall 2011

In a world where one in five teens has reported abusing prescription medications, where physical aggression occurs in one third of teen dating relationships, and 81% of 10 year old girls are afraid of being fat, it’s clear that teen girls are dealing with a ton of challenges every day. Jewish girls now have some guidance for developing into Jewish women.

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Program Evaluation

Moving Traditions contracted in 2007 with independent evaluator, Dr. Mirele Goldsmith, to assess the impact of Rosh Hodesh: It’s a Girl Thing! on a sample of teen girls (397 girls) who were ongoing participants in the program. We have repeated the study annually with the same survey instrument, tracking girls from 6th to 12th grades. We have found that:

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