On this page:
- B’nai Mitzvah Program: An Effective Model of Family Education
- Teen Groups: Helping Jewish Teens Grow
- Partnering with You
- Informational Webinar
- B’nai Mitzvah Clergy Webinar
- Partnership Application
Today, the challenges for youth are greater than ever. With social distancing and the continuing long-term threat of coronavirus, and concerns about racial and gender justice—on top of the ever-present challenges of being a preteen or teen—Jewish youth need our help now more than ever. Together, with our partners across North America, Moving Traditions is helping more Jewish preteens and teens grow into adulthood with confidence, compassion, and a lifelong commitment to Jewish community.
- Our programs connect Jewish wisdom to social-emotional learning and contemporary understandings of gender and identity to help Jewish youth figure out who they are, develop a moral compass, and relate to others with compassion and respect.
- We research issues and create resources imbued with our unique approach to help preteens, teens and their parents explore and make meaning of the issues they care about most.
- We train clergy, Jewish educators, and other adult mentors to facilitate open and honest conversations and transformative Jewish experiences.
Since the start of the pandemic in North America, we have helped our partners respond to COVID-19, creating new responsive curricula and providing the technical support to move programs online. Our programs have a flexible framework so that sessions can be delivered online or in person, as needed.
The Moving Traditions B’nai Mitzvah Program: An Effective Model of Family Education
Our B’nai Mitzvah program enables clergy and Jewish educators to help families navigate this life stage by addressing the joys and challenges of becoming and parenting a teen.
- Sessions frame the b’nai mitzvah experience as the process of “becoming a teen”
- Family engagement sessions foster dialogue between parents and pre-teens
- The social-emotional need of 6th and 7th graders are addressed
It was nice to be reminded that other families share the same conflicts, and to learn some concrete solutions that are rooted in Jewish tradition. The family session was a good opportunity to start having meaningful conversations with my child.
The Moving Traditions Teen Groups: Helping Jewish Teens Grow
Our Teen Groups—Rosh Hodesh for girls, Shevet for boys, and Tzelem for trans and nonbinary teens—use Jewish teachings and a gender lens to help teens explore the issues they care about most such as body image, social and academic pressure, and friendship, romance, and sexuality.
Our group is really supportive of each other, and it’s a place where I can be myself and learn to be a better person. It is a fun place to chill with my Jewish friends while learning about being a male teen in today’s world.
These groups bring together thousands of 8th-12th graders each year through monthly meetings with a trained adult group leader to learn how to apply socio-emotional learning and Jewish wisdom to deal with the joys and challenges of adolescence. In our most recent evaluation:
- 85% report that their Moving Traditions group helped them connect to other Jewish teens and to the Jewish community
- 81% learned skills to help tackle challenges/problems when things get hard or stressful
- 80% reported becoming more self-confident
- 79% got to know themselves better
Partnering with You
Moving Traditions works with our partners to train their educators and facilitators to bring our programming to their communities. Partners access our curricular materials through an online portal, which are regularly updated based on feedback from those using the materials in the field. Throughout each program year, we distribute new material to address current events and issues as they arise. We often offer advanced trainings, generally online, for our partners. In the past, topics have included Healthy Sexuality, Best Teen Recruiting Strategies, and more. For more information about becoming a partner, please contact Sarah Fox. If you are ready to fill out our partnership application, please see the form below.
Introduction to Moving Traditions – An Informational Webinar
With Pamela Barkley, Vice President of Program, and Rabbi Daniel Brenner, Vice President of Education
Join us for one of our interactive webinars for educators and clergy where you can experience our curriculum firsthand and learn about our whole approach:
- Monday, March 22, 1:00 p.m.-2:00 p.m. EST / 10:00 a.m.-11:00 a.m. PST
- Tuesday, April 20, 1:00 p.m.-2:00 p.m. EST / 10:00 a.m.-11:00 a.m. PST
B’nai Mitzvah Clergy Webinar
With Rabbi Daniel Brenner, Vice President of Education and Pamela Barkley, Vice President of Program
Combining social-emotional learning models, positive youth development theory, and a musar-based approach to Jewish character development, Moving Traditions program offers a series of family education events that can be led by clergy and a series that is specifically geared towards the needs of 6th and 7th graders. The series can be offered online or in-person, and has a new session on mitzvah projects that focuses on the differences between tzedakah, chesed, and tzedek.
There are three session options:
- Thursday, March 18, 1:00 p.m.-2:00 p.m. EST / 10:00 a.m.-11:00 a.m. PST
- Wednesday, April 14, 1:00 p.m.-2:00 p.m. EST / 10:00 a.m.-11:00 a.m. PST
- Monday, May 24, 1:00 p.m.-2:00 p.m. EST / 10:00 a.m.-11:00 a.m. PST
Are you ready to become a partner? We look forward to working with you to bring our programs to the youth of your community. The application below will take you about 10 minutes to complete.