Bay Area

Moving Traditions

(215) 887-4511 [email protected]
California regional director Julia Papiyan [email protected]

It is critically important for the Jewish community at this time of cultural upheaval and polarization to help teens navigate the world so they will thrive as healthy, ethical and Jewishly connected people.

However, while a majority of Jewish teens will become b-mitzvah, most drop out of Jewish life soon after, leaving the Jewish community at a critical stage, just when they are figuring out who they are and how to behave in a society that often dictates narrow and unhealthy gender roles and ways of dealing with differences.

Moving Traditions connects the issues preteens and teens care about most—such as body image, social and academic pressure, friendship, romance and sexuality—to enduring Jewish values, fosters positive peer-to-peer relationships through trained educators and mentors, and inspires participants to develop an ongoing connection to Jewish community. By promoting a more inclusive and expansive view of gender for Jewish girls, boys, and transgender and nonbinary teens, the program creates a more vibrant, engaging Judaism that helps all teens to flourish.

Established in 2005, organization has emboldened more than 28,000 preteens and teens, trained more than 2,500 adults as Moving Traditions B-Mitzvah Family Education program leaders and teen group mentors, prepared more than 140 senior camp leaders to promote safety, respect and equity through CultureShift and partnered with more than 500 congregations, JCCs, camps, day schools and other Jewish entities across North America, including staffed regions in Boston, Chicago, Denver, Los Angeles, New York and Philadelphia.