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2009 Top-Rated Nonprofit

Moving Traditions

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Nonprofit Overview

Causes: Judaism, Religion

Mission: At Moving Traditions, we believe that when Judaism promotes self-discovery, challenges traditional gender roles, and celebrates a diversity of voices, it has the power to move our teens, our communities, and Judaism forward. Through our field-tested programs Rosh Hodesh and Shevet Achim, Moving Traditions creates experiences that inspire Jewish teens to openly explore fundamental questions of identity and society. We help teens reach their full potential by connecting relevant content with enduring Jewish values, and by fostering positive peer-to-peer relationships through our trained mentors. Together, with the guidance of Moving Traditions, more Jewish teens are growing into adulthood with confidence, compassion and a lifelong commitment to Jewish community.

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.

Community Stories

11 Stories from Volunteers, Donors & Supporters

6

Client Served

Rating: 5

I really love Rosh Hodesh: its a girl thing! I look forward to each meeting every month! I have become so close with my fellow members. we've built such a strong bond that allows us to speak freely and know that no one will judge. It is a fantastic program that has enabled me to look at issues in a jewish perspective as well as through other girls eyes. I truly cherish each and every meeting.

8

Client Served

Rating: 4

I really benefited from Rosh Chodesh at my synagogue. We had so much fun, and I got to see many of my friends that I do not get to see on a regular basis. It also really helped me connect with growing up to be the best Jewish woman I can be, since we learned about many Jewish female role models. Overall, it was truly an amazing experience.

7

Client Served

Rating: 5

I'm part of a Rosh Hodesh: It's a Girl Thing group in Denver, and mostly I am having a blast! Sometimes the activities are a little overrated, and I wish we could talk and express differently, without dancing around the 'issue' or topic of the month before we dive deep into it. But mostly I think it's great. Kudos to Rosh Hodesh: It's a Girl Thing!!!

8

Client Served

Rating: 5

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!!!

9

Client Served

Rating: 5

My daughter was involved in one of the first local Rosh Hodesh groups organized by It's a Girl Thing. For those 13 year old Jewish girls, it was the best/only place that brought together kids from different schools, camps, synagogues, and movements, and let them do meaningful, age-appropriate, Jewish activities. Those girls stayed together for 5 years!

13

Client Served

Rating: 5

Wonderful organization with program and support materials to strengthen young women and and empower them to be successful independent adults.

9

Client Served

Rating: 5

About five or six years ago, our synagogue offered the opportunity for my daughter to participate in a Rosh Chodesh group that was to meet once a month in the girls' homes on a rotation basis. The leader of the group was to be a young woman who was receiving training to run such a group. She had also had experience working with girls this age in a professional capacity as well. Since joining, this group has become a very important part of my daughter's life. Nothing comes in the way of her attending a Rosh Chodesh meeting. Entire weekends revolve around the 4 - 6 pm Sunday time slot! The relationships she has cultivated with this group will certainly last a lifetime. The girls have experienced highs and lows with each other, sharing milestones and sad events as well. The leader of the group is a young woman who has served as a role model and confidante for my daughter. She is one in whom I place enormous trust. I am only sorry that my older daughter did not have this opportunity.

12

Client Served

Rating: 5

Last fall our synagogue implemented the Rosh Hodesh: It's A Girl Thing! program that was created by Moving Traditions. My daughter is a member of the initial group of 7th and 8th grade girls that was formed. They have been meeting once a month for the past year and intend to continue through high school. This has done so much for her self-esteem as well as her sense of Jewish identity.

12

Client Served

Rating: 4

I had the privilege of participating in and observing a training session for the new leaders of Rosh Hodesh as they implemented their new curriculum. First of all, the curriculum itself was well written and documented. Secondly, the energy enthusiasm and competence of the trainers was palpable. The women in training also benefited not only from the written syllabus but the interactive approach.

12

Client Served

Rating: 5

For six years, every month except July, I would meet with a "Rosh Chodesh Group"- a program run by Moving Traditions. We had two facilitators, both social workers, and then a group of girls that started at 10 and ended up at five over the years, all the same grade, that would meet. We would have a different basic topic every month, all pertaining to the various issues of our young lives. For two years, 10th & 11th grades, we had a leadership program. We learned about different roles in the group, delegating, time keeping & management, staying on task, and planning events. These skills have helped me tremendously in every work place & every situation with which I am in charge. I am still in contact with both the facilitators and the group members that I spent these 6 years with, and they are now my friends & support group for life.

7

Client Served

Rating: 5

I've been in Moving Traditions' "Rosh Hodesh: It's A Girl Thing" for 5 years (this year being my 6th). Rosh Hodesh has played a prominent role in enriching my transition from a preteen to a teen, teaching me life lessons that I may have never learned on my own. Because of Rosh Hodesh, I have learned how to connect to others, myself, judaism and femininity. The girls in my group are now some of my best friends and I am very thankful for the opportunity.