Source: Moving Traditions
When Jewish education promotes self-discovery, challenges traditional gender roles, and celebrates a diversity of voices, it has the power to help Jewish teens grow into adulthood with confidence, compassion and a lifelong commitment to Jewish community. Moving Traditions has just received “proof of concept” on this model of Jewish teen education that we have been honing for more than a decade with 1,400 small groups of girls meeting through the auspices of 388 institutional partners in the Rosh Hodesh: It’s a Girl Thing! program. The evidence, researched by respected independent evaluators Dr. Pearl Beck and Dr. Tobin Belzer, shows that Moving Traditions has developed a model that in fact does keep girls healthy, confident, and connected to Jewish life.
According to the study, which included both qualitative and quantitative research and was funded by the Jim Joseph Foundation and the Covenant Foundation, Rosh Hodesh is successfully achieving results in four key areas of development:
- Helping Jewish girls build greater self-esteem. Research indicates that, as a result of the program, girls gain a greater sense of self-worth and confidence.
- Empowering Jewish girls. Research shows that the open discussion of gender and women’s issues empowers girls to believe that they can take action for themselves, other women, and their communities.
- Fostering positive peer-to-peer relationships. Research indicates that the experience delivered through Rosh Hodesh enables girls to develop honest and supportive relationships with other Jewish girls.
- Cultivating deeper Jewish connections. Research shows that the program engages girls through relevant, meaningful, and dynamic Jewish experiences, and encourages them to stay connected to Jewish life and practice.
In 2002, out of dedication to the next generation of Jewish women, a group of women and men took a risk and launched Rosh Hodesh: It’s a Girl Thing! We wanted to offer a new teen-girl-centric model of Jewish education, one that meets their authentic needs and desires rather than our preconceived notions.
- A trained adult mentor
- A supportive peer group of about 10 girls from the same grade, from middle to high school
- The safety to openly explore fundamental questions of identity and society
- Most important of all, relevant, adolescent-girl-focused content connected to enduring Jewish values and wisdom
Read the entire research report here.