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Rosh Hodesh & Shevet Achim

Jewish relationship building programs for boys and girls by Moving Traditions.

 

SHEVET ACHIM: THE BROTHERHOOD

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.

Current Groups

We are currently running groups for young men in the classes of 2021, 2020 and 2019, once a month. Our groups for the classes of 2020 and 2019 are led by Jeremy Levin, a veteran Shevet Achim leader and special education teacher. Our group for the class of 2021 will be led by Jake Weiss. Jake grew up at Bet Torah and is now a consultant at Pricewaterhouse Coopers, and also has significant experience with Jewish teens.  

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

 

 

ROSH HODESH: IT'S A GIRL THING!

It's not easy being a teenage girl in 2015!

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.

Current Groups

We are currently running three groups for young women. The class of 2020 is led by Pam Moskowitz, and the class of 2018 is led by Diana Binger. The class of 2021 will be led by Robin Wald. The groups all meet one Sunday a month in local homes.  

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

 

 

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Rosh Hodesh and Shevet Achim are programs of Moving Traditions, which envisions a dynamic and welcoming Judaism that incorporates new gender roles and understandings. Read their Annual Report: Empowering Stronger, More Confident, and Connected Jewish Teens.