The Five Years of Rosh Hodesh

Rosh Hodesh groups are meant to help bridge the rocky waters of adolescence and to last many years. We offer five Sourcebooks for Leaders, each with ten monthly meeting plans:

The Lev Year (first year) of Rosh Hodesh is devoted to nurturing individual identity, as girls begin the journey to discover friendships, self-worth, positive thinking and heritage.

  • Girls come together as a group, examining the past that unites them, exploring ways to grow closer and finding their own inner beauty.
  • They reflect on the value of being a Jewish female as they learn about the intrinsic importance of Jewish ritual.
  • They take a significant first step to realizing “self”—through self-appreciation and self-reflection—while opening their hearts to the group, community and themselves.
  • Focus on Jewish values—derech eretzteshuvahlashon hara—that help each girl
    • search the heart to act with consideration and respect
    • become a better person
    • avoid gossip and speak with integrity

In the Ruach Year (second year), girls are encouraged to develop their unique spirit, as they experience lessons about kindness, forgiveness, friendship, sharing and standing up for themselves.

  • Girls continue to learn about themselves—they broaden their imaginations, analyze conflict, handle stress and become better communicators.
  • A stronger connection to soul and spirit develops, as both friendships and spirituality deepen.
  • Girls internalize and share, examine their history and prepare for the future through a soulful lens.
  • Focus on Jewish values—gemilut hasadimtzedakahshalom bayitmidot—that help each girl
    • engage in acts of loving kindness
    • give generously and justly
    • get along with family
    • forge character

The leadership stage begins in the Kol Year (third year). Girls use their voices for positive change, while also learning to set goals, garner self-esteem—and truly be heard.

  • They begin to process things for themselves—from issues of social justice to lessons of remarkable Jewish heroines.
  • They learn how to be true to themselves—expressing their inner voice with strength, conviction and courage.
  • Healthy relationships and personal expression are highlighted.
  • Focus on Jewish values—tikun olamkavanotmitzvot—that help each girl
    • learn that one person really can improve the world
    • connect to her inner voice with purpose, intent and conviction
    • embrace her responsibility to perform good deeds

The Bena Year (fourth year) is devoted to leadership through fostering knowledge, mastering group dynamics, taking responsibility and gaining deeper insight.

  • Strong emphasis on exploring personal and communal needs, assessing risks, managing conflict and asking for help.
  • Girls positively cultivate self-awareness and self-image and become more effective team members.
  • Communication is key throughout the year. Even the group leader begins to communicate her knowledge differently, explaining why she said or did something as a meeting unfolds.
  • Focus on Jewish values—havurahkehillahheshbon nefesh—that help each girl
    • connect with the group
    • feel part of a greater community
    • reflect inwardly and share her enlightenment

In the Koach Year (fifth year), girls prepare to lead their own groups, plan and execute an important final project and conduct critical self-assessments. They have gelled as a group but have also learned invaluable lessons about themselves as remarkable, empowered individuals.

  • Activities center on making positive life choices, exploring issues of intimacy and understanding boundaries.
  • Ultimately, girls who complete Rosh Hodesh are ready to influence change, to share their passion and to put their values into action.
  • They are now leaders who have identified their personal strengths and want to continue on the same path—helping others, keeping themselves healthy and taking on the world
  • Focus on Jewish values—tzedekmanhigutemet—that help each girl
    • stand up for social justice
    • act as a strong, genuine Jewish leader
    • find and express her personal truth
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