Note: This information is for communal partners who have already been through the matching process and have been approved to launch the program.
We are thrilled to work in partnership with you and your colleagues as we develop new ways to enrich the lives of parents and pre-teens in the Jewish community during b’nai mitzvah. On our kick-off orientation webinars (if you have not registered yet, please do so!) we will go over every element of the program in detail – but before those take place, here are three critical things that are important to keep in mind:
- Family education is most successful when planned far in advance
If parents know in August when the year’s family education sessions are going to take place, they can plan their vacations and other activities accordingly. Family education programs are most successful when they are delivered as two-hour blocks, on a Sunday, and include either a brunch or dinner. Plan the dates and inform parents now. Then, before school starts remind parents of the dates and give them an overview of the program. We help you do that with a letter (see below) that succinctly describes the program.
- Find Educators who are adept at facilitating informal, social-emotional learning
The program includes both family sessions for parents and their 6th and 7th graders, and sessions for the students alone. To lead the family sessions, we strongly recommend that you involve rabbis or cantors who are responsible for b’nai mitzvah and can relate well to the parents. To lead the sessions focused on 6th and 7th grade students, make sure you select educators who are adept at engaging students in lively and personal discussion and experiential learning. These sessions are focused on students’ real life experiences. Academic faculty may not be comfortable or successful at engaging in this way. If you have experienced Moving Traditions teen group leaders, you will benefit greatly by having them help lead the pre-teen sessions.
- Begin to think about how this program will fit in to your overall educational flow
The B’nai Mitzvah Initiative follows the typical developmental stages and flow of social experiences of 6th and 7th graders. Thinking about the meaning of ‘coming of age’, dealing with anxiety about being the center of attention, planning a party with your parents, going to late night parties for the first time, dealing with inclusion and exclusion, etc. Please review the curriculum overview and the recommended program model (and the options) now and plan a flow that works with your 6th and 7th grade programming. We will go over this in detail during the training! In addition, our Regional Directors will help you consider how best to adapt the program for your community.
The Carol Lowenstein B’nai Mitzvah Training Institute
Moving Traditions encourages you to bring to our in-person training every rabbi, cantor, and educator who will be implementing either the family education or the pre-teen sessions. Lunch will be served and the training cost per institution for the training is $100 no matter how many clergy or educators attend. At the training, we will do a deep dive into the pedagogy that informs this work, into the nuts and bolts of the curriculum, and into best practices for implementation. It will be jam-packed, intellectually-engaging, and fun. All trainings will run from 9 a.m. to 2 p.m. Please set aside the training date (see below for the location closest to you) on your calendar as soon as possible! Registration information for this in-person training will be sent to you after the orientation webinar. Visit our training page for more information.
About Moving Traditions
Moving Traditions’ mission is to embolden teens by fostering self-discovery, challenging sexism, and inspiring a commitment to Jewish life and learning.
Based outside of Philadelphia, Moving Traditions has grown over the past 13 years to become a nationally recognized pioneer in Jewish education. Through work with over 400 partner institutions across North America, Moving Traditions’ educational programs, Rosh Hodesh, Shevet, and Tzelem have trained almost 1,500 educators and impacted the lives of more than 20,000 teens. To learn more, visit www.movingtraditions.org.