Adolescence can be a difficult stage of life for many families, and even more so now. The opportunity is ripe for a new timeframe and approach to Jewish family education during the preteen years.
Moving Traditions calls on the Jewish community to join us in addressing the often-challenging transition from childhood to the teen years, made more stressful by the pandemic. We are offering Jewish preteen family education at this stage of life. To strengthen Jewish families and Jewish life, family education in the preteen years needs to become as normalized as family education for preschoolers.
For this purpose, Moving Traditions has released Family Education @ B-Mitzvah. The approach suggests that by integrating Jewish wisdom with social-emotional learning, the Jewish community can provide support and a sense of belonging—which are needed more now than ever, as more preteens struggle with mental health and social isolation.
The publication shares key findings from implementing the Moving Traditions B-Mitzvah Family Education Program in partnership with 110 organizational partners, and includes a call to action informed by Moving Traditions’ June 10, 2021 convening of 50 leading scholars, Jewish educators, activists, and funders.
Our findings show that the Moving Traditions approach can have a profound impact on preteens and parents. Evaluation research found that, for families participating in our B-Mitzvah Family Education Program:
1. Jewish wisdom speaks to families in this life stage—especially during the pandemic.
- Preteens and parents find support, relevance, and meaning in experiences integrating Jewish teachings with secular wisdom on social-emotional learning and well-being.
2. Hevruta strengthens connections between parents and children.
- Preteens and parents value the opportunity to be in meaningful dialogue with each other, drawing on Jewish and secular wisdom about issues of concern to them at this new stage of life, as children become teens.
3. Jewish community supports families when it relates to their lives.
- By effectively addressing the joys and challenges of preteens and parents, clergy and Jewish educators demonstrate to families that Jewish community is a place for support and connection.
Family Education @ B-Mitzvah
Read more about Moving Traditions’ proven approach to Jewish preteen family education.
Moving Forward Together
You can help us strengthen Jewish families and Jewish life. Please:
Partner with us. Join Moving Traditions and a growing community of academics, educators, activists, and funders—who together are committed to creating Jewish experiences where preteens and their families will learn, explore, and feel more connected to each other, and to Jewish life. It’s not too late to bring the Moving Traditions B-Mitzvah Family Education program to your synagogue or organization.
Spread the word. Please help us raise awareness about this exciting and proven approach to Jewish preteen family education. Share our white paper with your friends and colleagues, or use our toolkit to share the news with your networks.
Learn more. We invite you to continue your learning with these additional resources and valuable information.
- About the Convening: Our Participants
- On June 10, 2021, Moving Traditions virtually convened 50 leaders with expertise in Jewish education, practice, and community. Together, we considered how the Jewish community—collectively and within our areas of expertise—could best support preteens and their parents at this life stage, while they are open to engaging in Jewish practice. We greatly appreciate the participation and contributions of the participants.
- About the Curriculum: Session Descriptions
- In addition to the window into our curriculum provided in this publication, the Moving Traditions B-Mitzvah Family Education Program offers a variety of session options for preteens and parents, which partners can choose from to best fit their community’s needs. Learn more about the session options and read descriptions of each.
- About the Program: Our Partners
- We are proud to partner with synagogues and Jewish institutions across North America to offer the Moving Traditions B-Mitzvah Family Education Program. View the extensive list of partners that have sent professionals to the Carol Lowenstein B-Mitzvah Training Institute and have engaged their communities in the program.