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POWERED BY MOVING TRADITIONS

Sunday evenings, monthly. $225 for the full year ($325 for non-congregants). Some groups may have different schedules; consult your group leader.

Programs for young menyoung women, and transgender, nonbinary, gender fluid, or gender questioning teens.

Once a month, in small peer groups with trained adult mentors, teens bond and have open conversations in a safe space. Rosh Hodesh and Shevet both have a positive and lasting impact on teens, empowering them to become strong, confident, and happy young adults.

It’s not easy being a teenager. Even outside of school, the pressure is on, and issues like self-esteem, body image, competition, and relationships add to the noise. This is why real friendships and trusted mentors are important, and the values and support of Jewish community can be a positive guiding force. And this is why Moving Traditions created Rosh Hodesh and Shevet.

Rosh Hodesh and Shevet groups at Bet Torah are for teens in specific academic years. Please contact Loen Amer if you have questions.

We are proud to support the online Tzelem group for teens who identify as transgender, nonbinary, gender fluid, or gender questioning. 

Shevet

Close to half of boys view bar mitzvah as their graduation from Jewish life. Contrary to popular stereotypes about teen boys, many are eager to explore the divergent and confusing messages they receive about masculinity.

Jewish boys want to spend time with adult male mentors, deeply appreciate being in all-male environments where they can escape the social pressures of co-educational space, and long to be taken seriously as young adults. Shevet supports boys as they face the everyday pressures and increasing challenges of being a man in today's society. Guys hang out, do tons of fun activities and tackle topics such as peer pressure, masculinity, relationships, success, social pressures, and identity.

Teen boys who participate in Shevet groups report that the experience offers them a more “honest,” “relevant,” and “cool” way to participate in the Jewish community. Moving Traditions' adult mentors report 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. 

Rosh Hodesh 

Rosh Hodesh is an experiential education program that uses Jewish teachings and practices 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.

Through discussion, arts & crafts, creative ritual, games, and drama, the groups 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.

Developed in 2002 by educators, rabbis, social workers, and psychologists to address the real needs of teen girls within a rich Jewish context, Rosh Hodesh was the first program to draw on Jewish teachings and traditions to keep girls healthy and whole, instilling in them the ability to counter narrow views of gender in popular culture.   

Tzelem

Tzelem seeks to enrich teens’ lives with the same core outcomes as all Moving Traditions Teen Groups:

  • Develop a strong self-concept and the social emotional skills to navigate through life.
  • Recognize and resist sexism personally and in their communities.
  • Experience Judaism and Jewish community as personally relevant and meaningful.

Learn more

While Bet Torah does not currently offer our own Tezlem group, options in our community include both the Online Group, and in-person group in New York.

For questions about Tzelem or Moving Traditions, please call Rabbi Tamara Cohen, 215-887-4511 x104, or email tcohen@movingtraditions.org.

 

Rosh Hodesh, Shevet, and Tzelem are powered by Moving Traditions, which embolden teens by fostering self-discovery, challenging sexism, and inspiring a commitment to Jewish life and learning. Read their research findings.

What do parents say about our Moving Traditions groups? 

Our son has participated in the Shevet Achim [the program has been rebranded "Shevet"] program for the first time this year and it has been a wonderful experience!  I would be lying if I didn’t mention that his enthusiasm for this program actually shocks us.  Post bar mitzvah, he was not the kid most willing to participate in the variety of "Jewish programming” that came across his radar or that we asked he consider from time to time.  However, the Moving Traditions program offering was a little different. 

This was an opportunity to discuss relevant and interesting life topics in the context of Jewish values and in the safety of a comfortable and fun environment.  A group, boys his age--many of them long time friends from his years at Bet Torah religious school--was formed, a fabulous mentor was found, and the monthly Shevet Achim gatherings began.  Although the specific discussions and activities are deemed private (and not for parent ears), so that the kids feel safe and encouraged to be open, our son’s enthusiasm for the topics he was discussing was often enough that he wanted to share and discuss further upon coming home. For a kid who typically answers “not much," when asked about what he learns at school on a daily basis, this was amazing!  

As parents, we are thrilled that he can continue exploring his Jewish identity through relevant discussions in the safety of a group of people he can trust and with the leadership of a mentor he respects.  We are so hopeful that the Moving Traditions curriculum and mentorship will continue to lead this group of boys throughout high school and beyond…

--Deborah Goldman

Both my 16-year-old daughter, Lauren, and my 14-year-old daughter, Emma, are part of Rosh Hodesh groups and they have each benefitted tremendously by being involved with this program.  

Lauren is completing her fifth year with her group and Emma is completing her first and each looks forward to continuing on next year.  
The program has given each of my girls a safe and sacred space in which to discuss issues surrounding adolescence, self-esteem, empowerment and self awareness--all guided by Jewish ethics and values.  

Emma enjoyed her first year getting to know her group leader Pam, as well as connecting with the other girls. With each monthly meeting, the bond grew stronger among the girls and they seem excited about continuing on next year.  

Lauren has been meeting with her group leader Nicole for the past five years and as the girls have navigated high school, they have found this group to be priceless. The girls truly view this group as a safe place to discuss sometimes difficult issues surrounding friendships, relationships, academic and social pressures and the expectations thrown upon girls and women by the media and advertising. Again, all addressed with the backdrop of Jewish ethics and values.  

Clearly, meeting monthly for five years has deeply bonded this group and the girls treasure the time they spend together. They don't all go to the same high school, and the ones that do don't always spend time together at school so this has developed into a space separate from the regular routine where the girls can all take a step back.  

I look forward to seeing the progress of Emma's group, the relationships deepening and the continued strengthening of the bond among the girls with each other and also with Pam. They are off to a great start for sure! Based on my older daughter's experience, I am grateful that Emma will enter high school knowing that she is a part of her Rosh Hodesh group to help her navigate as she starts this new chapter.

--Jessica Rosh

 

Sat, September 24 2022 28 Elul 5782