Offering Boys Lives of Possibility: An Evidence-based Framework for the Jewish Community
Moving Traditions, March 2010
Moving Traditions launched the Campaign for Jewish Boys in 2007, following the success of its Rosh Hodesh: It's a Girl Thing! program and in response to a clamor for similarly engaging programming for Jewish boys that would address their vulnerability to the pressures of normative masculinity. Concerned about boys' declining participation in Jewish activities and their consequent disconnection from community support, Moving Traditions set about to build a model program for Jewish boys based upon evidence. In close collaboration with a research team, Moving Traditions followed a program development model that proceeded through successive stages of qualitative observation and data collection, hypothesis generation, hypothesis testing and analysis of results -- all directly including Jewish boys' perspectives.
In this report, we first summarize the initial stages of the research process -- a literature review that considered Jewish males, boys' development and boys' education, an exploratory study aimed at mapping the important themes in Jewish adolescent boys' experience -- and then review how these themes were converted into a draft curriculum for a program designed to address boys' needs. In addition, a partnership with four different groups of boys was established to pilot test this curriculum, asking them to provide critical feedback to the program development team. This phase of the research process, including its results, is reported in detail as well. Finally, the overall conclusions from this research are offered in the form of a Framework for Working with Jewish Boys.
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Ravitch, Sharon M. Reichert, Michael C. Offering Boys Lives of Possibility: An Evidence-based Framework for the Jewish Community. Moving Traditions. March 2010: http://www.bjpa.org/Publications/details.cfm?PublicationID=7462
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