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
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EIN 34-2015014
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Rating: 5 stars  

10 people found this review helpful

After finding out about Rosh Hodesh:It's a Girl Thing! I just knew it was something I needed to be involved in by helping make connections in the SF Bay Area. The staff and board are deeply committed to Judaism and education, all through the lens of gender.

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

deeply committed to the mission of the organization. They are really seeking honest opinions and help from volunteers, students, parents and board members.

How frequently have you been involved with the organization?

About every week

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