Jewish teenagers from the major International Jewish Youth Movements are taking on bullying and standing up for their lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, and queer peers. In addition to publicly committing to end bullying and creating an inclusive environment in their own movements, the Coalition of Jewish Teen Leaders, (the presidents of the International Jewish Youth Movements) has set a goal of getting 18,000 Jews to sign Keshet’s “Jewish Community Pledge to Save Lives”. This goal has been echoed by the Executive leadership of the movements and their staff.
Call it "scared straight," parents' version, but it worked. The police officer scared the hell out of us. This was a few years back. Parents of seventh-graders have a special "family life" program at my synagogue's religious school. Makes sense, considering it is the height of the b'nai mitzvah frenzy. Once a month, parents are students gather together for a program about how life connects to Judaism; we split into separate groups and discuss the issues among our peers. Topics ranged from the Torah to video gaming. This particular Sunday, it was drugs.
by Lauren Margolin. BBYO holds a special place in my heart. My parents met through a BBYO programming event when they were 13 and 14 years old and this June they are celebrating their 50th wedding anniversary. I'm thankful BBYO existed back then and that it still runs strong today.