Moving Traditions emboldens teens by fostering self-discovery, challenging sexism, and inspiring a commitment to Jewish life and learning.
Rosh Hodesh (Sisterhood), Shevet (Brotherhood), and Tzelem are small groups for teens led by adult mentors trained by Moving Traditions that foster friendship, community, self-confidence, and strong Jewish identities. Find your own Jewish community in a safe, relaxed space filled with activities, discussion, exploration, and fun. Our research-based and field-tested curriculum applies Jewish wisdom and values to teens in the issues they care about most. Topics include communication, relationships, consent and healthy sexuality, social media, physical and mental health, pressure, stress and anxiety, and positive body image.
Find out about the Teen Bundle today for a discount on all teen programs! For more information, email Laura Schultze.
Rosh Hodesh is an experiential education program currently touching the lives of 3,500 girls across North America. The program uses Jewish teachings and practices — in a five-year cycle of curricular materials — to give girls a place to feel safe, articulate their deepest concerns, consider the impact of gender on their daily lives, have fun, and be ‘real’ with their peers. Moving Traditions partners with synagogues, schools, and JCCs to operate the program. Adult group leaders facilitate Rosh Hodesh groups, which meet monthly for girls of one grade — for girls between the ages of 13-18. Through discussion, arts & crafts, creative ritual, games, and drama, the girls and their leaders draw on Jewish values and a gender lens to explore the issues the girls care about most, such as body image, friendship, relationships, family, competition, and stress.
Moving Tradition’s program for teen boys, Shevet, grew out of three years of research. Seeing that boys were disconnecting from Jewish life after bar mitzvah, at a time when the guidance, friendship, and sense of purpose that Judaism could provide were most needed, we set out to re-imagine the transition from being a boy to being a young man. Teen boys who participate in Shevet groups tell us that they enjoy spending time in a “guy space,” where they can explore what masculinity and being Jewish means to them. The boys report that the experience offers them a more “honest,” “relevant,” and “cool” way to participate in the Jewish community. The adult mentors who Moving Traditions has trained as group leaders tell us that in Shevet the guys “decompress” from their stressful lives and that they balance clowning and horseplay with deep discussions of what Judaism has to say about the ethical challenges of their every day lives.
Moving Traditions’ commitment to serving transgender, gender nonconforming, and LGBTQ+ Jewish youth is rooted in our core values, our mission, and our theory of change. We work with transgender, nonbinary, gender fluid, or gender questioning Jewish youth to create safe spaces for teens of all genders and sexualities to talk about the issues in their lives as teens. Tzelem enables teens to develop a strong self-concept and the social emotional skills to navigate through life, recognize and resist sexism personally and in their communities, and experience Judaism and Jewish community as personally relevant and meaningful. We also recognize transgender oppression is related to—but not synonymous with—sexism and therefore address that as well in Tzelem. Each month the Tzelem groups focus on topics such as healthy relationships, stress, belonging and identity; sessions also include opportunities to meet other teens and Jewish trans adult mentors, and to discuss issues around transition and gender expression. The teens explore the issues through games, art, discussion, and by drawing on Jewish teachings.