Moving Traditions

Rating: 4.9 stars   41 reviews

Issues: Religion

Location: 261 Old York Road Suite 734 Jenkintown PA 19046 USA

Mission: Working with Jewish teenagers at the most fragile time of their development is our mission. Moving Traditions’ conviction is that teens long for an alternative set of values to guide them through their lives and that mentors who can access Jewish wisdom, folktale, and ritual can play a significant role in giving them that alternative. Great Jewish education is not about teaching people how to be more Jewish. It is about teaching people how to see the brokenness in our society, to see themselves as agents of change, and to work with others to make for a more just and compassionate world. One profound way that our society is broken is that girls are taught to feel shame about their physical appearance, to conform to the whims of social pecking orders, and to limit their options. Boys are taught that toughness means being emotionally detached, that relationships are not worth the effort, and that they are only men if they are able to erect a fortress of solitude around them. These gender norms are imposed in middle school and the damage that they inflict is evident in the growing number of Jewish teens that self-destruct, self-medicate, or lash out against others.
Results: Our professional development, program certification training, and curricular materials prepare Jewish educators – more than 1,000 to date – to effectively challenge and inspire this generation of teenage girls and boys to find meaning in Jewish life. Rosh Hodesh: It’s a Girl Thing! has already empowered 10,000 Jewish girls to navigate the challenges of becoming a woman in our society, while inspiring them to connect to Jewish community. Girls from 6th-12th grades meet monthly in intimate gatherings operated by over 200 Jewish organizations and led by Moving Traditions-trained facilitators. Shevet Achim: The Brotherhood seeks to stem the exodus of teen boys from Jewish life after bar mitzvah. The program empowers teen boys to navigate competition, aggression, social pressure, and other challenges in their lives – and to explore what it means to be a Jewish man and a mentsch. The growing program is now active in 28 Jewish institutions.
Programs: Rosh Hodesh: It's a Girl Thing! – building the self-esteem, leadership skills, and Jewish identity for thousands of teenage girls of all backgrounds across North America. Shevet Achim: The Brotherhood is a program for teen boys aimed at helping them to navigate the issues of masculinity in their lives and give them Jewish guidance, both spiritual and ethical, regarding what it means to be a mensch. Bat Mitzvah Comes of Age – a traveling exhibit from Moving Traditions and the National Museum of American Jewish History that tells the stories of the women who over the last ninety years turned a radical innovation into a nearly universal tradition.
2009 Top-Rated Nonprofit
Write a Review

More Info

EIN 34-2015014
215-887-4511
Invite people to share their experience with this nonprofit!

Promote This Nonprofit

GreatNonprofits badges allow you to raise awareness of your favorite nonprofits on your own web sites!

Review this charity on
GreatNonprofits

Community Reviews

Role: Professional with expertise in this field
Rating: 5 stars  

10 people found this review helpful

I am executive director of a Jewish outreach organization that serves primarily Jews and their loved ones who are not connected with the organized Jewish community. We have just started our first Rosh Hodesh - It's a Girl Thing! program this fall. The training and support by staff and the curriculum materials are outstanding, and helped us feel very confident that we could be successful with the program. Recruiting was easy, our first group is excited about participating. We plan to keep RH - IaGT! an important part of our offerings.

I've personally experienced the results of this organization in...

The enthusiasm of a group of girls new to each other and the program.

What I've enjoyed the most about my experience with this nonprofit is...

The excellent support by Moving Traditions regional coordinator.

If this organization had 10 million bucks, it could...

Reach many more girls from unaffiliated families to give them a positive, personal Jewish experience.

How frequently have you been involved with the organization?

One time

When was your last experience with this nonprofit?

2009-10-01

Was this review helpful? 
Rating: 5 stars  

8 people found this review helpful

Thank you so much for making Rosh Hodesh: It's a Girl Thing available to girls in our area. My daughter, who is a sophomore in college, still draws on what she learned from that experience as a 7th grader. Now, as I learn more about the program as a volunteer I've come to appreciate even more the serious and thoughtful work that goes into making the materials so informative, interactive and rich, and its leaders so well prepared. Deborah, thank you for all you do to insure this work continues at such a high standard. Judy Elkin, Boston

The kinds of staff and volunteers that I met were...

I've also been incredibly impressed by the talent and knowledge of everyone who works for Rosh Hodesh, from the trainers to the regional director. Everyone is incredibly skilled, informed, and engaging.

How frequently have you been involved with the organization?

About every month

When was your last experience with this nonprofit?

2009-1-01

Was this review helpful? 
Rating: 5 stars  

8 people found this review helpful

Moving Traditions has engaged thousands of girls and hundreds of adults in thinking about gender a

Was this review helpful? 
Rating: 5 stars  

8 people found this review helpful

This will be the 5th year for my daughter. She loves her group, her leader and the messages that come forward -- they have given her fresh perspective and built her self-esteem at a time when the media can be so destructive. Just wish my 7th grader were open to this experience, but she hasn't connected yet, hopefully she'll give it a chance. Thank you, Moving Traditions!!!

I've personally experienced the results of this organization in...

my oldest daughter's healthy attitude about her Jewish identity and her social & spiritual relationships.

If I had to make changes to this organization, I would...

evaluated the leaders carefully, made sure the groups don't exceed 10 kids (you can't open up emotionally in a large group!)

What I've enjoyed the most about my experience with this nonprofit is...

talking to my oldest daughter about what she's learned, about her attitudes and feelings on Jewish life.

The kinds of staff and volunteers that I met were...

One we love is absolutely great, trained as a psychologist, deeply concerned about the girls' self-esteem, not trying to "teach" but rather share and strengthen.

If this organization had 10 million bucks, it could...

Create issue-based blogs for girls, start this process at an earlier age, arrange large scale Shabbatons, create a Tevah experience.

Ways to make it better...

my younger daughter had a better connection with her group leader, and the mix of kids. The younger daughter's group crossed 6th & 7th graders (BIG no-no)

In my opinion, the biggest challenges facing this organization are...

if the group tried to "teach" Jewish history/content instead of build Jewish attitudes/values and share feelings.

One thing I'd also say is that...

Having the same instructor for 5 years makes ALL the difference. We love her!

How frequently have you been involved with the organization?

About every month

When was your last experience with this nonprofit?

2009-10-01

Was this review helpful? 
Role: Professional with expertise in this field
Rating: 5 stars  

8 people found this review helpful

From the moment I was trained as an educator for Moving Tradtitions-Rosh Hodesh: It's a Girl Thing, I knew this was it! Just last Tuesday, at my first Rosh Hodesh meeting of the year, I said to my girls/participants "I WISH this existed when I was your age"!! I do believe the girls understand and agree. There's no hiding how available these young ladies become to themselves and each other through this amazing program. There's certainly noway of denying its lasting impact on each and every participant when you hear each fall what the girls missed about Rosh Hodesh during the summer months. They're connection to each participant and their knew found connection to themselves is ever lasting and miraculous. We're all so incredibly lucky to be part of a project like this!!

If this organization had 10 million bucks, it could...

reach every Jewish community and every Jewish teenager. They could have even more resources, visuals, speakers and field trips. Perhaps they could reach out to different Jewish communities across the world not just in the U.S.

How frequently have you been involved with the organization?

About every month

When was your last experience with this nonprofit?

2009-10-01

Was this review helpful? 
Rating: 5 stars  

6 people found this review helpful

Moving Traditions, It's a Girl thing, has transformed our community. Girls who might now otherwise connect on a personla basis are forming life-long friendships becasue of the trust and intimacy that is inherent in the curriculum. For several years they have tried valiantly to hire a local administrator so the program can be connected city-wide, but the right person has not yet emerged. We hope to try again. We look forward to including boys in Dallas.

I've personally experienced the results of this organization in...

The curriculum helps build strong Jeiwsh women.

What I've enjoyed the most about my experience with this nonprofit is...

The leaders at the national and local level are so smart and open.

If this organization had 10 million bucks, it could...

Help so many cities build many small communities within their boundries. Moving Traditions build the kind of communities that build good futures for all of us.

How frequently have you been involved with the organization?

About every six months

When was your last experience with this nonprofit?

2009-10-01

Was this review helpful? 
Role: Professional with expertise in this field
Rating: 5 stars  

7 people found this review helpful

As a group leader, I have seen the girls develop self confidence, self esteem, create lasting friendships and have a safe space where they can talk about topics that are a part of their everyday lives.

I've personally experienced the results of this organization in...

seeing young girls discover themselves as young Jewish women

What I've enjoyed the most about my experience with this nonprofit is...

working with the girls and giving them a safe outlet to learn about themselves within their religion and as individuals

The kinds of staff and volunteers that I met were...

insightful, informative, hard working, focused, available and caring

If this organization had 10 million bucks, it could...

reach many more young Jewish teens

How frequently have you been involved with the organization?

About every month

When was your last experience with this nonprofit?

2009-10-01

Was this review helpful? 
Rating: 5 stars  

7 people found this review helpful

They do very important work in the Jewish community securing the gains of Jewish Feminism! The Executive Director is brilliant and creative person as are many of the staff.

I've personally experienced the results of this organization in...

Seeing how they are transforming how Jews think about gender

If I had to make changes to this organization, I would...

Ways to make it better...

I were working there too!

In my opinion, the biggest challenges facing this organization are...

One thing I'd also say is that...

How frequently have you been involved with the organization?

About every six months

When was your last experience with this nonprofit?

2009-6-01

Was this review helpful? 
Rating: 5 stars  

8 people found this review helpful

I am the Coordinator of RoHo IAGT at my synagogue. Since we are a small synagogue, we've combined with another small synagogue. We started 2 new groups of 6th and 8th grade girls and continued already established groups of 9th and 11th grade girls. The old groups are small (7 - 9 girls) but it amazes me how committed the girls are to attending the monthly meetings. Moving Traditions provides fantastic support and engaging training (free of charge) to make the program a success. The girls at my synagogue thank you Moving Traditions!

The kinds of staff and volunteers that I met were...

supportive and informative! What a combo!

How frequently have you been involved with the organization?

About every month

When was your last experience with this nonprofit?

2009-10-01

Was this review helpful? 
Rating: 5 stars  

6 people found this review helpful

Rosh Hodesh "It's a Girl Thing" is a wonderful way for Jewish girls with different educational backgrounds (day school and public school) to get together on a monthly basis and talk about current issues facing today's teens in the framework of Jewish values/beliefs. The girls have the ability to haven open discussions centered around a Jewish topic, all relating to their current experiences in the sometimes difficult world today. What an inspiration it is to hear them share and advise each other while growing together Jewishly!

I've personally experienced the results of this organization in...

feeling the fulfillment of seeing Jewish teens find their strength in a secular world which is sometimes difficult to navigate while holding on to the Jewish values that guide us.

How frequently have you been involved with the organization?

About every month

When was your last experience with this nonprofit?

2009-5-01

Was this review helpful?