Moving Traditions is currently conducting research for, developing, and pilot testing a new program for bar and bat mitzvah students and their families. The curriculum—designed by rabbis, social workers, and psychologists—is being piloted in partnership with educators, cantors and rabbis in select Jewish institutions in Chicago and Los Angeles.
The new program utilizes the Positive Youth Development (PYD) approach to adolescent character development, and is specifically geared to the developmental needs of 6th and 7th graders. The curriculum follows Moving Traditions’ educational model including interactive group play, debates on popular culture, study of accessible Jewish texts, critical thinking about gender codes, and reflections on personal ethical decisions.
The topics are varied, and will include: becoming a teen, navigating friendships (inclusion and exclusion), self-expression (dress codes and social norms for b’nai mitzvah ceremonies and parties, etc.), parent-child expectations, and guest-host relations.
Moving Traditions will be evaluating the program and expanding the pilot in 2017.