Snowball meetings begin November 1st and will take place every Tuesday from 6-8pm at Response.
Please contact Sarah Casper to find out where Snowball meetings will be conducted after Response moves on November 22nd.
Info about programs for summer 2016 will be posted here! Check back in the spring for details.
Alliance is Response’s annual summer program for LGBTQ+ teens and allies! It’s a great way to have fun with friends and meet other LGBTQ high schoolers and allies in the area. All details are TBD and will be posted here in the spring. Please contact RachelMarro@jcfs.org with any questions!
Parent & Family Connection
Parent & Family Connection is a support and education group for Jewish parents and family members of LGBTQ (lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, queer, and/or questioning) youth and young adults. Our program consists of monthly meetings, a peer mentoring program, and community events.
New members are always welcome! Please contact Rachel Marro with any questions about the program: RachelMarro@jcfs.org, or 224-625-2946
If you are having difficulty with your child’s coming out process, or would just like to speak individually with another parent who has experienced what you’re experiencing and can offer first-hand advice, we’d like to connect you with a trained peer volunteer through our Parent & Family Connection program! If interested, please fill out this form: http://www.formstack.com/forms/JCFS-response_pfc_intake_form
Youth For Change: Response’s Teen Advisory Board
Response’s first teen advisory board! YFC is committed to the Jewish value of Tikkun Olam, or man’s shared responsibility to heal, repair, and transform the world. Through partnerships with local organizations, paired with community service projects implemented by the youth themselves, YFC explores local issues effecting youth and the communities they live in. YFC promotes and encourages social responsibility and social activism as essential characteristics of youth leadership and development. Contact RachelMarro@jcfs.org for more info.
Let’s Talk About Sex!
(Sexuality and Comprehensive Sex Education)
Our comprehensive sex education program covers three main areas: male/female anatomy using anatomically correct models; general information on the most common STI/STD’s seen today; the most common methods of contraceptives including condom demonstration. Students will be given all the information needed so they can make educated decisions about safer sex. We provide a safe open environment where students are encouraged to ask questions. This program also introduces youth to Response’s Teen Clinic where we provide teen sexual health care services.
For Parents Only: What you need to know about cyber bullying & internet safety
Does your teen have a cell phone with internet? Do you know all the privacy settings on Facebook? Do you know what Formspring is? Bullying has become an increasingly hot topic among teenagers, parents, and our community at large. Bullying is no longer as easy to see as it once was and parenting an adolescent is hard enough without having to keep up on the latest and greatest social media and technological advancements. This program is designed to inform parents about the key role that technology and social media websites play in bullying behavior, including a discussion about cell phones, Facebook, sexting, Formspring and more. We also provide parents with important internet safety tips and helpful conversation starters to engage their teens around this pressing issue. Parents will leave the program with a more comprehensive knowledge of internet safety and the tools to support their teen in navigating the digital world.
Changing Bodies, Changing Minds (Puberty Education)
This interactive program aims to educate 4th-6th grade students about the physical and emotional changes they will experience during this stage of development. Puberty is often a challenging and confusing time for young people and a time where students experience significant changes in their relationships. Our curriculum addresses these changes and discusses the importance of establishing physical and emotional boundaries, communicating limits, and identifying healthy relationships. Response staff creates a safe and inclusive environment where students feel comfortable asking questions and discussing difficult topics. Our goal is to ensure that every student leaves with a comprehensive understanding of the physical, emotional and relational aspects of puberty.
Relationship’s Aren’t Easy (Healthy Relationships/ Dating Violence Prevention)
This program is designed to help teens identify the difference between healthy and unhealthy relationships. Our program uses interactive discussions to address media influences, peer pressure, personal rights, self-esteem, the cycle of abuse and more. Our goal is to increase awareness and offer tools for teens to help themselves or others who might be in an unhealthy relationship. Through experiential activities such as case studies, Relationship Questionnaires, Relationship Bill of Rights, we work to build awareness and confidence in teenagers to make wise choices when they begin the dating process.
Cut The Drama! (Bullying Prevention Program)
Response’s bullying prevention program includes discussions face to face bullying as well as cyber bullying and sexting. For teenagers, these various forms of harassment, exclusion and rumor spreading overlap to make bullying and cyber bullying one in the same. Response takes a fresh approach to an often redundant discussion of bullying by exploring current issues and cutting edge research relevant to the topic. The program outlines common misconceptions about bullying, why students bully, bullying related to perceived sexual orientation, the impact of laws around cyber bullying, and the key role that social media websites play in this behavior. Our goal is to encourage youth to be “upstanders” versus bystanders, helping them develop tools to stand up for themselves and others.
The Clothesline Project is a visual, interactive presentation honoring survivors and remembering those who have died as a result of domestic/sexual violence. We discuss the history of the clothesline project, how it was originated, and its purpose. A clothesline is hung with multi-colored t-shirts that have been created and decorated by survivors or in memory of individuals who have been abused. Following the viewing of the clothesline, trained facilitators debrief with youth in small groups. Individuals who are survivors of violence also have the opportunity to add to our clothesline project by creating and contributing a t-shirt. This is a very moving presentation and clinical support from Response is always provided.
Let’s Work Together!!! (Teambuilding/Leadership)
This program will have your students actively working together in a group. We work to create group unity through games focused on communication, trust, leadership, cooperation, teamwork, increasing self-esteem and creativity. During the program youth will get the chance to work in small groups, large groups and pairs where they will be asked to complete different tasks. Once the task has been completed we process the skills needed to reach the ultimate goal. During the program youth will engage in improvisation, build and create final products, learn interesting facts about their peers, and more.
Mirror, Mirror… (Body Image/ Eating Disorders)
This program not only focuses on the most common forms of eating disorders (anorexia, bulimia, and binge eating) but opens up the discussion about why teens suffer from such serious and life threatening illnesses. We discuss media, family and peer influences, along with self-esteem. Through an interactive process using personal reflection, magazine collages and more we open up a safe environment for teens to explore the reality of these serious illnesses and ways to build their self-confidence. Finally, we discuss resources and tips for approaching someone with an eating disorder.
De-Stress With Us! (Stress Management)
Our Stress Relief Workshop gives students the opportunity to learn a wide variety of techniques to combat stress during their finals preparation and in their daily lives. Students are guided through a series of stress relief stations that tackle both physical and mental stress, including yoga, journaling, acupressure, and aromatherapy. After completing each station, students are given a packet of instructive worksheets so they can continue to learn about and employ these practices. The goal of the workshop is to empower students to develop healthy ways of combating stress and provide them with a fun break from the stresses of school life.
Programs for our partners in the Jewish Community
Girls Speak Up
Girls everywhere struggle with issues that grow ever more complex as they face negative and conflicting messages of beauty and what it means to be a girl. Girl Speak Up is a series of workshops offered to girls in Jewish Day Schools or synagogues. Groups meet once a week for 6-8 weeks; timing is dependent on the needs of each organization and their students. The groups include use of multi-media activities such as drawing, collage and photography and will help girls to identify and use their unique skills, create and maintain positive relationships, establish boundaries, value and accept themselves, respect and appreciate others and manage conflict. This program is supported by the Jewish Women’s Foundation of Metropolitan Chicago.
A new and exciting program we are offering to our friends and partners in the Jewish Community. This program begins with a discussion of LGBTQ terminology to better educate students about the diversity among sexual orientations and gender identities. Next, students will view Keshet’s documentary Hineini: Coming out in a Jewish High School, followed by a discussion about the difficulties of coming out in a Jewish setting. We end with an activity to discuss how young people can be supportive allies to LGBTQ youth.
When Push Comes to Shove….It’s No Longer LOVE!
A dating abuse prevention program for Jewish teens, young adults, parents, and guardians. Created by Jewish Women International in 2005, with an updated curriculum developed in 2007, this is an interactive program that Response is skilled at facilitating. A short documentary features young Jewish adults speaking poignantly about abusive relationships they have experienced. The accompanying discussion provides an opportunity to explore the nature of abuse within a Jewish context. Eye catching public awareness materials are also included as a way to extend the lessons learned through the program to the community at large. The toolkit can be used with a youth group, day school, Hebrew school, a congregational or camp setting as well as other venue’s. Response has provided the program to youth alone as well as facilitating a parent and youth process at synagogues.