Contact: Donald Cohen-Cutler 212.650.4213 Zachary Kolstein 212.650.4125
Sacred Choices: Adolescent Relationships and Sexual Ethics A Comprehensive Curriculum to Teach Sexual Ethics to Teens is Available for Purchase
NEW YORK March 6, 2007 Where do conversations about sex, sexuality, decision making and sanctity belong? According to Rabbi Eric Yoffie, president of the Union for Reform Judaism they belong in our synagogues.
In the past year, Rabbi Yoffie and a team of educators, rabbis, psychologists, medical professionals, experts in adolescence and community leaders have developed a comprehensive curriculum to address the difficult questions of sex and sexuality in a safe and sacred environment: the synagogue. The result is Sacred Choices, which is designed to help teens discuss with adults the complex issues surrounding adolescent sexuality and sexual ethics. The curriculum grew from Rabbi Yoffies call to teachers and parents to provide direction to our children regarding sex and sexuality. That our kids need our guidance and support is indisputable, he said in a major address to the Reform Movement. Judaism has something to say to them It tells them that the guiding principle of sexuality in the Jewish tradition is Kdoshim tihyuYou shall be holy, which means that sexuality is linked to blessing, commandment, and God.
Using traditional texts and modern interpretations, the complete Sacred Choices guides our children into proper, safe and sacred sexual decision making. It teaches our teens that their bodies are sacred and that every sexual act sanctifies the relationship between two consenting individuals as well as between them and God.
The complete Sacred Choices curriculum gives our teens the decision making skills necessary to negotiate the complex issues of sex, sexuality and personal sexual ethics, said Rabbi Laura Novak Winer, director of the Sacred Choices project. In a culture where societal boundaries about what is sacred are continually changing, this program helps ensure that young people have opportunities to deal openly and honestly with these matters in a safe, comfortable place.
Focusing on issues of relationships, choices and identity, this program is a one-of-kind curriculum that will prove invaluable in congregations, religious schools and youth groups throughout the Reform Movement. Sacred Choices is available for purchase online at www.URJBooksandMusic.com. For more information about the curriculum and the program please visit www.urj.org/youth/sacredchoices.
The Union for Reform Judaism (formerly the Union of American Hebrew Congregations) is the central body of Reform Judaism in North America, uniting 1.5 million Reform Jews in more than 900 synagogues. Union services include camps, music and book publishing, outreach to unaffiliated and intermarried Jews, educational programs, and the Religious Action Center of Reform Judaism in Washington, D.C.