You asked—and we heard you! Many Moving Traditions partners have asked us for language about Moving Traditions programming that they can send to the families in their communities as they recruit participants for their programs.
Below, please find language you can use for the parents and teens in your community. There are three versions of each, so that you have maximum flexibility. Some suggested uses:
- Short-form: Use this version for social media posts, blurbs in your bulletin, and other applications where your audience’s attention span might be shortest.
- Medium-form: Use this version in your e-newsletter or for individual outreach.
- Long-form: Use this if you have a website where you’ll be hosting program information, or as a follow up if parents or teens ask for more information.
We are also including, at the bottom of this page, some proof points that will help you “make the case” for Moving Traditions programming—statistics and quotes that show just how great Rosh Hodesh, Shevet and Tzelem are.
Please use or modify these materials in whatever way would be most helpful to you!
Language for Teens
Adolescence is a time of joys and challenges, especially today. Moving Traditions’ programs were created with this in mind, and teens like you say that they love this unique Jewish teen experience. In [insert Rosh Hodesh, Shevet and/or Tzelem], monthly groups for [insert girls, boys, and/or LGBTQ+ and nonbinary teens] led by a trained adult mentor, to talk openly about the issues that matter most to you—friends, school, sex, and stress—all while having a good time and making great friends.
Talk to your parents about joining a monthly group at [insert institution’s name] and tell them to check out [institution’s web page] to learn more.
Adolescence is a time of joys and challenges, especially today. Sometimes there are things you’re asking yourself, and stuff that you want to figure out. You might want advice, but don’t want your friends to judge or laugh at you, or an adult to lecture you.
Moving Traditions’ [Insert Rosh Hodesh, Shevet and/or Tzelem], monthly groups for [insert girls, boys, and/or LGBTQ+ and nonbinary teens] gives Jewish youth a unique opportunity to talk openly about the issues that matter most to you—like relationships, school, sex, and stress—in safe spaces with other teens, with an adult you can trust.
Together with a trained mentor, it’s where Jewish teens can share a common experience—where you can freely speak your mind, listen to different perspectives, and ask big questions—all while having a good time, and making good friends.
Talk to your parents about joining a monthly group at [insert institution’s name] and tell them to visit [institution’s web page] to learn more.
Language for Parents
Adolescence is a time of joys and challenges, especially today. Fortunately, [OUR SYNAGOGUE/ORGANIZATION] is supporting our teens through Moving Traditions groups—helping teens deal with stress and building their resilience—both online and in person, depending on the state of the pandemic.
Rosh Hodesh for girls, Shevet for boys, and Tzelem for LGBTQ+ and nonbinary teens are groups of 7-10 teens and a trained adult mentor, who guide teens to explore who they are, drawing on social emotional learning, an understanding of teen culture, and Jewish wisdom and values.
Find out how your teen can join a [OUR SYNAGOGUE/ORGANIZATION] group that’s right for them by contacting [name/contact].
As today’s youth face the many joys and challenges of adolescence, they are also confronted by so many concurrent issues – rising antisemitism, political polarization, reproductive justice, climate change, renewed academic and social pressures as the pandemic recedes, and more.
According to a survey of American teens aged 13-19 conducted during the pandemic:
- 30% of teens said they are “more often feeling unhappy or depressed.”
- 29% said they “did not feel connected at all to school adults, to classmates or to their school community.”
Fortunately, there is a great deal of research showing that [Insert Rosh Hodesh, Shevet and/or Tzelem] —the teen groups we run in partnership with the national organization Moving Traditions—supports teens’ wellbeing by helping them deal with stress and build their resilience.
The key is to forge community—online and/or in person depending on current social distancing guidelines—to connect our teens to the reality of their experiences, to supportive peers, to our shared Jewish values, and to our trusted adult mentors, in addition to their loving families.
That is just what we do in [name of synagogue/organization]’s [Insert Rosh Hodesh, Shevet and/or Tzelem] groups—which are made up of 7-10 teens and a trained adult mentor, who guide teens to explore who they are, drawing on social emotional learning, an understanding of teen culture, and Jewish wisdom and values.
Even in the best of times, teens need guidance from trusted adults, in addition to their parents, as they explore their own identity and connection to Jewish community.
Find out how your teen can join a group that’s right for them by contacting [insert name/contact].
- 87% reported that they made some really good friends in their group.
- 86% reported that they learned skills to help tackle challenges/problems when things get hard or stressful.
- 84% reported that they became more aware of gender stereotypes and inequality in society.
Rosh Hodesh Participant Testimonials
- “I really enjoy meeting with my Rosh Hodesh group. It is really meaningful to have a group of Jewish girls that I connect with where I can have serious, important conversations but also joke around and be myself.”
- “My Rosh Hodesh group is such an amazing group of people, including my advisor. It is truly a safe place where I can be myself, express my opinions safely and without judgment, and bond with other girls my age (and my mentor).”
- “It is the highlight of my week when we have Rosh Hodesh zoom meetings. We always check in with each other, and I have found that I am not alone with what I’m going through in this time.”
Shevet Participant Testimonials
- “Shevet is a great community where I can openly share my opinions and emotions as well as hang out just for fun.”
- “It is nice to have these Shevet meetings online and check in on how everyone is doing.”
- “Shevet is more than just a group of my friends, it’s a group of people that I trust and can open up with.”
- “Shevet is something special. We have no idea what they do and that is what is so unique and why the boys love (loved) it. They form a special bond with the other boys and the Jewish educators. Both of our boys never want to miss it!”
Tzelem Participant Testimonials
- “I felt like I was part of a community that fully accepted me.”
- “The people were really nice and just queer groups in general are just a nice break from the constraints of our modern society.”
- “It gave me a safe space, and I learned a lot.”
- “The program is wonderful, and it is group leaders like Phil who help our teens move so gracefully from middle schoolers to high school while staying connected to their religion and culture and becoming more thoughtful and introspective guys. Thank you!”
- “Our teen’s leader has been supportive and caring during this time, and it has been nice that the girls still connect through zoom” – Parent of Rosh Hodesh participant
- “I was pleasantly surprised by how much she enjoyed this – she is often shy but really found that she was happy to engage in these conversations.”
- “Rosh Hodesh is something that my daughter looks forward to every month. She has bonded with the girls in this group and think it is a great outlet and opportunity for her to discuss relatable and relevant topics in their lives with one another.”
Group Leader/Supervisor Testimonials
- “The connections that form in these groups are amazing and so sacred. Each year brings in new challenges but once the group starts it is such a wonderful process.” – Rosh Hodesh Group Leader, Boston
- “Being a Shevet leader has completely transformed my role as a Jewish youth professional and educator. From looking at the importance of gender-based programming and spaces to considering the tremendous impact that values-based programming has on communal development – not only have I benefited as a person and professional, but so too have the programs which I oversee.” – Shevet Group Leader, Boston
- “We have taken our Rosh Hodesh and Shevet groups online, and the families and teens are really thankful. In fact, out 10th grade boys group has requested to meet twice a month while we are all at home, and we have agreed and it is set up.” Synagogue Supervisor, New York