A New Model for Family B’nai Mitzvah Education

Organization: Moving Traditions, Jenkintown, PA

Grant Year: 2017

Project Director: Rabbi Daniel Brenner

Type of Grant: Signature

Grant Amount: $172,000.00 (3 years)

Website: https://www.movingtraditions.org/

Moving Traditions – To create and disseminate a new model of family education for b’nai mitzvah tweens and their parents, bringing Jewish wisdom to bear on the real-life challenges of becoming a teenager and parenting a teenager.

The Moving Traditions leadership plans to draw on its prior work with parents and success with training adult mentors to address the needs of parents and thus help them and their teens. Their staff will create and offer both in-person group sessions and digital resources parents can access on their own time. Parents will learn how to support their tweens in their developing identities as teenagers, grappling with critical issues related to their b’nai mitzvah and their lives as 6th and 7th graders, including peer pressure, parental expectations, party etiquette, navigating gender codes, challenging friendship situations, and emerging sexuality.

This new initiative will serve parents by pursuing three strategies: 1) Generating curricular sessions for families and parents; 2) Creating and leading training for a cadre of B’nai Mitzvah Fellows, who will lead regional programs and train local educators; and 3) Developing a podcast and supplemental materials about parenting teens through the b’nai mitzvah experience and beyond.