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Rosh Hodesh & Shevet Achim

Jewish relationship building programs for young menyoung women, and any teen beyond the binary

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Sunday evening, monthly, in family’s homes. First gathering on Sunday, September 17, $180 for full year ($250 for non-congregants).

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 Achim.

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 Achim both have a positive and lasting impact on teens, empowering them to become strong, confident, and happy young adults.

Click here to learn about new groups for the class of 2022. 

 

 

 

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 Achim 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.

Please email [email protected] for more information.

Thoughts of a Participant's Parent

"Our son has participated in the Shevet Achim (Moving Traditions) 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 (Jeremy Levin) 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

It's not easy being a teenage girl today!

Join us for this amazing open forum program that gives girls a safe place to ask questions and voice their concerns about things that matter most in their lives: body image, friendship, relationships, competition, stress, and family. Girls who are connected to a community of other girls and have strong role models are more likely to thrive.

Please email [email protected] for more information. 

Thoughts of a Participant's Parent

"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

Trans Jews Belong Here

Trans, Nonbinary, Gender Fluid and Gender Questioning Online Group

Moving Traditions Goes Beyond the Binary

For the first time this year, Moving Traditions is offering a national online group for trans, nonbinary, gender fluid and gender questioning Jewish teens in partnership with Keshet

Like Rosh Hodesh and Shevet Achim, Moving Traditions’ program for trans/non-binary Jewish teens will meet monthly, and sessions will focus on topics relevant to today’s teens through a Jewish lens. The group offers a safe space where these teens can find support from peers and a place for themselves, within Judaism.

Facilitated by Rafi Daughtry, an adult transgender mentor who has experience finding a place within Judaism for himself—and who has traveled the adolescent and young adult journey toward wholeness and joy—the program combines new content with elements of Rosh Hodesh and Shevet Achim and will feature discussion on topics including courage, self-esteem, stress, body image, friendship, family, Jewish identity, and more. Each 90-minute videoconference session will include discussion, games, and other activities.

For additional questions, email Rabbi Tamara Cohen.

 

moving_traditions_logo_preferred_cmyk.jpgRosh Hodesh and Shevet Achim are programs of Moving Traditions, which embolden teens by fostering self-discovery, challenging sexism, and inspiring a commitment to Jewish life and learning. Read their Annual Report: Empowering Stronger, More Confident, and Connected Jewish Teens.

New Recordings to Practice With!

Listen to Cantor Randy chant parts of our services! Whether you're preparing for a B'nei Mitzvah, chanting Torah, or need a refresher on service prayers, listen here!