On this page:
- B–Mitzvah Program: An Effective Model of Family Education
- Teen Groups: Helping Jewish Teens Grow
- Kulam: A New All Gender Pilot for Teens
- Partnering with You
- Informational Webinar
- B–Mitzvah Webinar
- Partnership Application
Today, Jewish youth are emerging from the pandemic with greater awareness of the need for racial and gender justice—on top of the ever-present challenges of being a preteen or teens. 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–Mitzvah Program: An Effective Model of Family Education
Our B–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–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
Kulam: A New All Gender Pilot for Teens from Moving Traditions
Our new Kulam pilot equips Jewish teens of all genders to engage in dynamic and authentic conversations in order to think reflectively, act courageously, and develop healthy, honest relationships. This curriculum, currently being piloted as a complimentary offering to our other teen programs, encourages Jewish teens to ask big questions about where, why and how they belong while exploring issues of identity, equity, and justice.
Kulam, meaning “Everyone,” is a series of approximately 1-hour, experiential, curricular sessions designed for Jewish educators to use in a regular Hebrew High setting. Each hour features dialogue prompts, games, Jewish texts, and other activities that focus on a specific area of social-emotional learning that resonates with teens and helps them learn to relate to and communicate with one another. Click here to request a sample session.
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, Director of Strategic Implementation and Rabbi Daniel Brenner, Chief of Education
View a recording of one of our interactive informational webinars for educators and clergy where participants experienced our curriculum firsthand and learned about our whole approach.View
With Rabbi Daniel Brenner, Chief of Education and Pamela Barkley, Director of Strategic Implementation
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 educators as well as a series that is specifically geared towards the needs of 6th and 7th graders.
View a recording of one of our webinars:Register
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.