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In The News

Moving Traditions in the news.

Ascending

By Rabbi Tamara Cohen
March 18, 2022, eJewish Philanthropy

The Torah portion for this week, Tzav, begins its list of the rules of various sacrifices with one called an “olah” – translated by Everett Fox as “the offering up” sacrifice. Olah is a feminine verbal noun and is identical to the Hebrew word describing a woman who goes up, or ascends. If we take the word out of its sacrificial context, we can recognize the word “olah” as one that is also used to refer to a woman coming up to the Torah for an aliyah. Indeed, the celebration of 100 years of bat mitzvah this Shabbat — which Moving Traditions is co-sponsoring with many other organizations and which is being spearheaded by the Jewish Women’s Archive and The Society for Advancement of Judaism — is called Rise Up.

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Kol Koleinu: An inclusive space for teen feminists to learn, connect, and grow

By Stacy Bernstein, NFTY Midwest Area Manager

Five years ago, Moving Traditions and the Union for Reform Judaism (URJ) partnered to create Kol Koleinu – A Teen Feminist Fellowship. Over the years, the program has grown – continually providing teens a space to learn and make change around social justice issues they see and experience in their everyday life.

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‘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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Moving Traditions, Jewish teen dialogue organization, taps Shuli Karkowsky as CEO

By Ben Sales
January 21, 2022

Moving Traditions, which guides Jewish teens through questions surrounding adolescence, gender and discrimination, has hired Shuli Karkowsky as its new CEO, eJewishPhilanthropy has learned.

Karkowsky is departing Hazon, the Jewish sustainability and environmental group, where she has served as executive vice president since 2019. Her move comes as Hazon merges with Pearlstone, a Jewish environmental retreat center near Baltimore. She will succeed Deborah Meyer, who is stepping down 16 years after founding Moving Traditions. Karkowsky will take over on Feb. 7.

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Normalizing Jewish Family Education for Preteens & Teens: A Call to Action

By Adina Kay-Gross, Sight Line
October 18, 2021

Jewish families need support, now more than ever. The preteen years are stressful—for parents and kids alike—under the best of circumstances. But add to the mix a global pandemic, isolation, new peer pressures related to technology and social media, confusion and uncertainty about sexuality and gender identity, and it becomes abundantly clear that the community must respond to the needs of Jewish families and kids, and time is of the essence.

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Through Kol Koleinu, Teens Find a Feminist Voice

By Kara Baskin, JewishBoston
October 15, 2021

Feminist voices need to be heard. Through Moving Traditions, the Kol Koleinu Feminist Teen Fellowship enables just that. During the yearlong fellowship, teens of any gender tackle an issue related to sexism that affects them or the people they care about—from menstruation to feminist literature to women in politics and LGBTQ issues—and work to educate their peers, the Jewish community and the larger world during monthly meetings and retreats.

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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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