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In The News

Moving Traditions in the news.

Moving Traditions Founder and CEO to Step Down Next Year

By Andy Gotlieb, Jewish Exponent
May 20, 2021

Moving Traditions co-founder and CEO Deborah Meyer announced that she is stepping down at the end of March 2022.

“Together, for more than two decades, and during the challenging last 14 months, we have nurtured the wellbeing, resilience and compassion of more than 28,000 Jewish youth, within Jewish community,” Meyer wrote. “We have trained and coached more than 2,200 adults to mentor youth.”

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Zoom-mitzvahs moving the bar on tradition – comment

By Howard Blas, Jerusalem Post
One year ago, no one had ever heard of a Zoom bar or bat mitzvah. They now rival Zoom weddings, baby namings, brisses, funerals and shivas as the most popular online Jewish rituals to attend during a pandemic. Zoom bnai mitvahs may be the only ritual with research and best practices, thanks to Moving Traditions and their Zoom-Mitzvah 101: A Moving Traditions Guide to Thinking Creatively About Pandemic B’nai Mitzvahs guide.

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Fund for the Future continues to fuel innovation

Better serving day school students with learning differences.

Connecting Judaism to LGBTQ+ teens’ process of self-discovery.

Helping Jewish and interfaith new parents build community and engage in Jewish life.

These are among the innovative initiatives supported by the most recent round of distributions from the Jewish Federation’s Fund for the Future, which is devoted to accelerating the community’s investment in Next Generation Jewish engagement.

The $550,000 in distributions, made in November 2020, bring total Fund for the Future disbursals to nearly $5 million to date.

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Novel ideas to celebrate bar/bat mitzvahs during continued COVID restrictions

 As the coronavirus pandemic continues to keep Jewish services and life-cycle events smaller in size, many Jewish families are grappling with letting go of long-held expectations about the bar or bat mitzvah celebration they imagined for their child.

To that end, Moving Traditions has published a new guide to facilitate the transition.

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Learning from Grantee-Partners: A Series on Insights from Leaders in the Field

By Jim Joseph Foundation
December 10th, 2020

While the field of Jewish education and engagement today sees building mental health as essential, Moving Traditions has been pioneering this approach for 16 years. Two key learnings that deeply inform its work today are the ideas that:

  • Resilience is at the heart, where social justice and wellness intersect. When teens work for change, they reduce their stress and build resilience, while also building communities and a society that is stronger and more just. “What’s good for individuals is good for society and the wider world,” adds Deborah.
  • Building “members” of society is necessary and important work. In addition to leadership development, Moving Traditions strives to develop engaged citizens, active “members” of their community. Skills needed to be an active member, such as empathy, communication, and navigating differences are taught in its teen groups, Rosh Hodesh, Shevet, and Tzelem.
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A New Pedagogy for Parents and Children in Bar/Bat/Benai/B’ Mitzvah Education The Lookstein Center

By Daniel Brenner, Jewish Educational Leadership Journal
November 2, 2020

With an understanding that there have been both seen and unseen generational shifts in parent-teen relationships, five years ago my colleagues and I at Moving Traditions began piloting a new model of interactive family education for 6th and 7th graders in Jewish schools and synagogues that imagined the benai mitzvah as not about “becoming an adult” or “becoming a man” or “becoming a woman” but about “becoming a teen.”

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Kol Koleinu Fellowship Develops Change-Making Jewish Teen Feminist Activists

By Esther D. Kustanowitz, Jewish Journal
October 12, 2020

Founded by Moving Traditions, Kol Koleinu is open to Jewish high school students nationwide. Fellows learn about gender analysis, feminism and social change, teach their peers and complete feminist activist projects. In previous years, the group met monthly virtually and then in-person a few times a year. This year, all planned gatherings are virtual.

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