From “Mean Girls” to Menschy Teens

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From “Mean Girls” to Menschy Teens

Helping Your Teen Navigate Toxic Friendships

February 21 at 12:00 pm 1:15 pm EST

Mean Girls was a movie, then a Broadway show, and now a new and updated movie. What they all have in common is they are centered on teen relationships and social dynamics – particularly relational aggression. 

As many of our teens experience competitive behavior and bullying in school and online, especially with today’s rising antisemitism, what role do parents have to play in helping their teens navigate toxic friendships? How can we give them the skills to foster healthy relationships and lasting friendships in middle school, high school, and beyond?  

Join Moving Traditions’ Rabbi Daniel Brenner in conversation with Felicia Shechtman, a Tzelem group leader, and Dr. Tracy Evian Waasdorp, a leading developmental psychologist and researcher specializing in relational aggression. As the Director of Research in School-Based Bullying Prevention and Social Emotional Learning in the Center for Violence Prevention at Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia and Assistant Professor of Child and Adolescent Psychiatry at the University of Pennsylvania’s Perelman School of Medicine, Tracy will share expert insights and resources. 

Rabbi Tamara Cohen will also talk about teen relationships and how gender comes into play – asking questions like, why is meanness persistently gendered as female?

In this Raising Up Teens webinar for parents and educators of Jewish teens, you will receive actionable takeaways and resources to help you and the teen in your life. 

Tracy Evian Waasdorp, PhD, M.S.Ed,  is a Senior Research Scientist at the Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia (CHOP) and a fellow of CHOP’s Violence Prevention Initiative. Dr. Waasdorp’s research focuses on school-based bullying prevention and intervention, across all forms (e.g. relational aggression, cyberbullying, and bystander behaviors). She also examines school staff and parent responses to bullying, as well as school climate and connectedness. Based on this work, she collaborates on developing and validating school-based programming that focuses on improving social and emotional skills and reducing bullying and aggression. She is a co-author of Preventing Bullying in Schools: A Social and Emotional Learning Approach to Prevention and Early Intervention

Felicia Shechtman (they/them) is studying environmental science at the University of Maryland and leading a group of teens in a Moving Traditions Tzelem program at Congregation Beth El in Bethesda, Maryland.

Rabbi Tamara Cohen, Chief of Program & Strategy (she, her, hers), guides and supports Moving Traditions’ strategy, program development and partnership work in collaboration with her fabulous colleagues. Tamara, a proud recipient of a 2023 Covenant Award, knows that Jewishly-engaged, intersectional feminists of all genders can and will change the world. She is especially proud to have initiated Tzelem, Kol Koleinu and Kumi. Tamara is the mother of two boys, one in the throes of adolescence.

Rabbi Daniel Brenner serves as the Vice President of Education for Moving Traditions, where he weaves together ancient wisdom, developmental psychology, social pedagogy, embodied practice, and pop culture to help a diverse network of rabbis, educators, and volunteer leaders who mentor teens. He lives with his beloved, Dr. Lisa Brenner, in Montclair, New Jersey and they are the proud parents of three young adults.