Source: eJewish Philanthropy
Deborah S. Meyer of Moving Traditions writes in eJewish Philanthropy about the main points she will raise to engage Jewish leaders at The Jewish Futures Conference next week. She outlines four recommendations based on research gathered in running their single-gender programs, Rosh Hodesh: It’s a Girl Thing! and Shevet Achim: The Brotherhood.
"Moving Traditions’ research has shown that unless we work with teen girls and boys to address the personal issues that they care about most we will not successfully connect them to doing Jewish and feeling part of a Jewish community. In our single-gender programs, Rosh Hodesh: It’s a Girl Thing! and Shevet Achim: The Brotherhood we have repeatedly found that when we train mentors to help teens explore the questions, “What does it mean to be a woman?” and “What does it mean to be a man?” teens develop powerful connections to Jewish wisdom, ritual, and ethics. Exploring these questions over time, with an ongoing group of peers and a well-trained adult mentor leads teens to ask themselves “What does it mean to be a mentsch? What does it mean to be true to who I want to be?” in a way that strengthens them internally, helps them to think critically, and leads to life-long Jewish commitment."
Moving Traditions hope to engage the leaders of the Jewish community in a conversation about the following four recommendations:
- Focus on coming of age.
- Train Jewish educators to mentor teens.
- Create small Jewish communities for teens.
- Teach teens to bring the issues central to them into their own, authentic Jewish communities.