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-mitzvah. During our Moving Traditions Carol Lowenstein B-Mitzvah Training Institutes, 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-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-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 staff will help you consider how best to adapt the program for your community.
The Carol Lowenstein B-Mitzvah Training Institute
The training institute prepares clergy and educators to lead the program and brings them into a network of colleagues who share best practices and support one another. 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 to become a nationally recognized pioneer in Jewish education. Through work with over 500 partner institutions across North America, Moving Traditions’ educational programs have trained almost 2,300 educators and impacted the lives of more than 27,000 preteens and teens. To learn more, visit www.movingtraditions.org.