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April 5, 2011

Parents, Teens, and Sex

by Temple Isaiah Religious School

[An Invitation for 8th and 9th Grade Parents]

Last week, we launched a new program in our eighth and ninth grades called Sacred Choices: Adolescent Relationships and Sexual Ethics.

Today we’re announcing the element of the program designed specifically for parents.

You can read the full explanation of the Sacred Choices curriculum by clicking, but here are the highlights:

  • As a synagogue, we strive to be a nurturing environment that offers a space for teens and their families to positively explore challenging issues.
  • We’re not implementing a sex education curriculum in our religious school. Rather, we’re instituting a program that focuses on issues of communication, body ethics, and values-based decision-making.
  • The Sacred Choices curriculum was developed by the Union for Reform Judaism (our national Reform movement) under the direction and guidance of internationally-recognized experts in the fields of teen education, sexual ethics, and Jewish education.


  • In the coming weeks, we’ll be hosting a series of workshops for parents on the challenges and journeys of adolescence, talking to teens about sex, and on the role of parents in their teenagers’ lives (especially as it relates to complicated issues like these).

This is an invitation to three parent sessions. Their dates and descriptions are below. (All of them will take place at the Temple from 6:15pm to 8:15pm, concurrent with our teen program. Dinner will be provided.)

Please click here to RSVP for any of the parent sessions.

April 12 – Parent Session 1:
Responsibilities of Parents

This session is designed to introduce parents to the Sacred Choices: Adolescent Relationships and Sexual Ethics curriculum and how they can be actively involved in their children’s growth and development into adulthood. Through Jewish text study and discussion, the question, “What is a parent’s responsibility to his or her child?” will be addressed.

May 10 – Parent Session 2:
Talking to Your Kids About Sex

During this session, we’ll examine how Jewish values can be a roadmap when making difficult decisions. We’ll also look at Reform Jewish views on pre-marital sex and determine how our own thoughts and feelings match up with these opinions. Finally, we’ll have the opportunity to strategize conversations with their teens that promote their own expectations and values.

May 17 – Parent Session 3:
The Early Adolescent – Becoming Who They Will Be

This session seeks to inform parents about the nature of early adolescent relationships: What do they look like? What we know about sexual behaviors during the middle- and high-school years? How does adolescent development play a role in the decision-making (sexual and otherwise) of young teens?

The sessions will be facilitated by members of our staff and experts in the field of adolescent development. You may attend any or all of them, and resources from all three will be made available to parents who were unable to join us.

To RSVP for any of these parent sessions, please click here.

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