Evaded Issues Resource Guide

Download Complete Evaded Issues Resource Guide PDF →

The Evaded Curriculum
“Every two and a half minutes, someone is sexually assaulted in the United States…44% of rape victims are under eighteen. Some women don’t even realize that they’ve been raped.”1

“In both 2001 and 1993, ‘eight in 10 students experience some form of sexual harassment at some time during their school lives.’”2

In 1992, the American Association for University Women published a ground- breaking report entitled “How Schools Shortchange Girls,” in which they named a variety of topic areas that, while typically avoided in the formal classroom environment, are central to learners’ lives (AAUW, 1992). They coined these topics the “evaded curriculum.” These topic areas include issues that our stu- dents confront and negotiate in their daily lives: harassment and bullying, sexu- ality, gender and sexual identity, eating disorders, body image and substance abuse.

The AAUW (1992) urged the immediate transformation of classrooms from venues that solely value conveyance of facts and content knowledge to sites that encourage sharing of feelings and personal experiences. The AAUW recog- nized that the exclusion of subjects relating to the emotional lives of learners sends an implicit negative message to learners that the areas of their daily struggle, which very well might be on their mind as they sit in our classrooms, are irrelevant to their schooling. In Jewish education, how much more so? Are our educators equipped to relate school content to these adolescent realities, as well as create space for content areas that might not readily emerge from a Jewish educational curriculum?

“There is simply not enough time in the school day” is a common lament of educators in Jewish day schools and synagogue schools. In day schools, the extensive listing of curricular subjects includes state- mandated general studies as well as school- designed Judaic studies requirements. Jewish synagogue and supplementary schools often focus upon preparation for b’nei mitzvah, as well as areas related to the mission of the specific institution, such as Israel education, biblical literacy or background in the denomination’s theology. Both educational situations have challenges with implementing an overwhelming amount of curricular material in a small amount of time. In crafting their school curricula, educators strive to balance the varied expectations of their learners, parents and supervisors. With such a vast amount of content to cover, selection of material can become an overwhelming task. This challenge is heightened when topics are suggested that appear to fall outside of the school’s explicit and sanctioned curriculum. One such area of contention is subject matter related to what has been labeled as the Evaded Curriculum.

The response from Jewish educators has been multifaceted. Through hands-on training seminars with Jewish educators and education directors from a variety of Jewish educational settings , we have learned that Jewish educators are hesitant to adopt the role of facilitating “evaded curricular areas.” There seems to be a variety of inhibitors preventing these educators from addressing the “evaded issues” in their teaching:

• A belief that problems related to these issues rarely affect learners;

• Limited class time to address the issues;

• Concern that schools will not support their choice to address these topic areas

• Limited knowledge with these complex issues;

• Personal discomfort with the topic areas; and

• Limited access to resources designed specifically for Jewish educational settings.

In a time-challenged environment where there exists little to no formal training in these curricular areas, does an opportunity exist to better equip educators to address these “evaded issues”?

As the proliferation of programming in this guide demonstrates, evaded curricular issues do affect our learners. Jewish educational settings possess an opportunity to address them holistically through the lens of Jewish values. As educational institutions become more open to addressing “evaded issues,”they are challenged by how to equip their educators with content and techniques or methods for best practice to help them engage in these critical topics. This Guide suggests resources to aid Jewish educators in taking up these sensitive issues; the hope is that as a Jewish community, we will shift from “evading” to “engaging.”

Resources: Hotlines, Websites, and Printed Material

This section includes additional resources: listings of hotlines, websites and printed materials. It is divided between resources intended for parents and Jewish educators, and then resources specifically for teens.

We recommend that educators copy and distribute the full listing of resources for teens, as well as have them posted in their educational spaces and settings.


Resources for Educators and Parents

Ma’yan: The Jewish Women’s Project
Koach Banot/Girl Power Initiative: training, advocacy and education around needs of Jewish girls. Contact: info@mayan.org; ph: 646.505.4440 or visit: www.mayan.org.

Adolescent girls
Brown, Lyn (2005). Girlfighting: Betrayal and Rejection among Girls. New York: NYU Press

Brumberg, J.J. (1997). The body project: An intimate history of American girls. New York: Random House

Lamb, Sharon and Mikel Brown, Lyn (2007). Packaging Girlhood: Rescuing Our Daughters from Marketers’ Schemes. New York: St. Martin’s Griffin

Martin, C.E. (2007) Perfect girls, starving daughters: The frightening new normalcy of hating your body. New York: Free Press

Orenstein, P. (1994). Schoolgirls. New York: Doubleday

Phillips, L. (1998). The girl’s report: What we need to know about growing up female. New York: National Council for Research on Women

Pipher, M. (1994). Reviving Ophelia: Saving the selves of adolescent girls. New York: Putnam

Wiseman, R. (2002). Queen be and wannabees: Helping your daughter survive cliques, gossip, boyfriends, and other realities of adolescence. New York: Crown Publishers

Adolescent boys
Kindlon, D. and Thompson, M. (2000). Raising Cain: Protecting the emotional life of boys. New York: Ballantine

Pollack, W. (1999). Rescuing our sons from the myths of boyhood. New York: Owl Books

Child Abuse Reporting
Note: Learn the policies and procedures of your day school or synagogue with respect to child abuse, and find out the mandated reporting requirements for physical or sexual abuse of children in your state. (Adapted from: Eliav, I, 2005, Yad B’Yad, Working hand in hand to create healthy relationships, FaithTrust Institute) Many states require a protocol of reporting of suspected child abuse to your supervisor (not reporting the abuse yourself).

Childhelp USA — National Child Abuse Hotline, 800-4224453 www.childhelpusa.org

JSAFE — The Jewish Institute Supporting an Abuse-Free Environment www.jsafe.org

Gender and Sexuality
Hineini: Coming out in a Jewish High School, DVD and Curriculum (See Resource Guide listing), www.hineinithefilm.org

Keshet (www.keshetonline.org) is a grassroots organization dedicated to creating a fully inclusive Jewish community for LGBT Jews in Greater Boston and across the country

Lipkin, A. (2003). Beyond diversity day: Q/A on gay and lesbian issues in schools. Landham, MD: Rowman and Littlefield

GLSEN — Gay, Lesbian and Straight Network (www.glsen.org)

Healthy Relationships
Crompton, V. and Kessner, E.Z. (2003). Saving beauty from the beast: How to protect your daughter from an unhealthy relationship. New York: Little, Brown and Company

Liz Claiborne, Inc. “Love is Not Abuse” program: a parent handbook (www.loveisnotabuse.com/pdf/handbook.pdf)

Murray, J. (2000). But I love him: Protecting your daughter from controlling, abusive rating relationships. New York: Regan Books

Internet Safety
While we do not focus on internet safety as part of this project currently, we would be remiss to not offer a few resources for parents and educators to learn about the issues and what they can do to take steps to both protect and empower teens to be safe on teh internet. Here are just a couple of online resources, among many available:

www.connectsafely.org ConnectSafely is a resources for parents, teens, educators, and advocates concerned about the impact of the social Web. This site is user-driven and focused on learnign about safety on Web 2.0 as a collective. ConnectSafely.org is a proejct of Tech Parenting Group, a nonprofit organization based in Palo Alto, Calif., and Salt Lake City, Utah. The forum is co-directed by Larry Magid of SafeKids.com and Anne Collier of NetFamilyNews.org, co-authors of MySpace Unraveled: What It Is And How To Use It Safely. (Peachpit Press, Berkeley, Calif., July 2006)

www.missingkids.com The National Center for Missing and Exploited Children has a section called “Internet-Related Safety Issues for Teens” that highlights what to look for in terms of exploitation as well as protocols for dealing with issues that arise. Parents and teens should read this together and discuss what their family politics should be.

www.netsmartz.org is a program of the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children. This interactive site has sections for educators, teens, children, parents, and advocates. It provides both interactive training and video scenarios that families or teens can watch and discuss on their own.

Multiple Evaded Curricular Issues
the Union of Reform Judaism has compiled a bibliography or resources on multiple topics within what we are calling the evaded curriculum. It includes curricula, books, and websites.

Parenting (Jewish)
Doades, J. (2006) Parenting Jewish teens: A guide for the perplexed. Woodstock, VT: Jewish Lights Publishing

Sex (Teen)
Haffner, D.W. (2002). Beyond the big talk: Every parent’s guide to raising sexually healthy teens–from middle school to high school and beyond. New York: Newmarket Press

Sexual Harassment
Dating Violence Resource Center, of the National Center for Victims of Crime, www.ncvc.org, Email: gethelp@ncvc.org

Harris Interactive. (2001). Hostile hallways: Bullying, teasing, and sexual harassment in schools. Washington, D.C.: American Association of University Women Educational Foundation


Meraviglia, M.G., Becker, H., Rosenbluth, B., Sachez, E. & Robertson, T. (November 2003). The Expect Respect project. Journal of Interpersonal Violence. 18(11). 1347-1360.

Sanchez, E., Robertson, T.R., Lewis, C.M., Rosenbluth, B., Bohman, T. & Casey, D.M. (2001). Preventing bullying and sexual harassment in elementary schools: The Expect Respect model. Journal of Emotional Abuse, 2(2/3), 157-180.

Sexual Harassment Task Force (2004). Harassment-free hallways: How to stop sexual harassment in school. Washington, DC: American Association of University Women Educational Foundation

Stein, N., Sjostrom, L. (1994). Flirting or Hurting? A teacher’s guide on student-to-student sexual harassment in schools (Grades 6 through 12). Wellesley College Center for Research on Women

Resources for Teenage Girls
Educator Instructions
Please copy and distribute this  to your learners as well as posting these publically in your spaces.

Body Image/Eating Disorders


National Eating Disorders Association, Information and Referral Helpline, 800-931-2237

Print Publications/Books

Drill, E., Odes, R., McDonald, H. (1999). Deal with it! A whole new approach to your body, brain and life as a gURL. New York: Simon and Schuster

Kirberger, K. (2003) No body’s perfect: Stories by teens about body image, self-acceptance, and the search for identity. New York: Scholastic

McCormick, P. (2000) Cut. New York: PUSH

Odes, R., Drill, E., McDonald, H. (2002) The looks book: A whole new approach to beauty, body image, and style. New York: Penguin


Resources for teen self-injury behaviors: www.selfinjury.com

Website on eating disorders for teens: www.something-fishy.org

Drugs and Alcohol


            National Drug and Alcohol Treatment Routing Service 800-662-HELP


Anti-drug website, National Youth Anti-Drug Media Campaign: www.freevibe.com

JACS (Jewish Alcoholics, Chemically Dependent Persons, and Significant Others) Teen Network: www.jacsweb.org/teens

Stop Underage Drinking, Portal of Federal Resources: www.stopalcoholabuse.gov

Gender/Sexual Identity


            The National Gay and Lesbian Hotline 888-THE-GLNH (888-834-4564)

Print Publications/Books

Bornstein, K. (1998). My gender workbook: How to become a real man, a real woman, the real you, or something else entirely. New York: Routledge

Huegel, K. (2003). LGBTQ: The survival guide for queer and questioning teens. Minneapolis: Free Spirit Publishing

Levithan, D., Merrell, B. (Eds.) (2006). The full spectrum: A new generation of writing about gay, lesbian, bisexual, transgender, questioning, and other identities. New York: Knopf

Marcus, E. (2000). What if I know someone who is gay? Answers to questions about gay and lesbian people. New York: Price Stern Sloan

Peters, J.A. (2004). Luna. New York: Little, Brown and Company

Stevenson, M. (2003). Everyday activism: A handbook for lesbian, gay, and bisexual people and their allies. New York: Routledge


GLSEN—Gay, Lesbian and Straight Network—provides resources to student organizers and Gay-Straight Alliances (GSAs) registered with GLSEN. www.glsen.org/cgi-bin/iowa/student/student/index.html

Keshet (www.keshetonline.org) Dedicated to creating fully inclusive Jewish communities for LGBT Jews across Greater Boston and the country.

The National Jewish Center for Sexual and Gender Diversity: www.jewishmosaic.org

National Organization of Parents, Friends and Families of Lesbians and Gays: www.pflag.org  

General Websites for Adolescent Girls

The Diary Project (www.diaryproject.com) A multimedia project designed to open up a worldwide teen dialogue about issues of growing up today.

Frum Teens (www.frumteens.com) “Anything you want to know about Judaism but have nobody to ask”—interactive online forum for Orthodox teens.

Smart Girl (www.smartgirl.org) An interactive online site for teen girls, supported by the National Science Foundation and the University of Michigan.

Healthy Relationships/Dating Violence


Dating Violence Resource Center, National Center for Victims of Crime, 1-800-FYI-CALL, TTY: 1-800-211-7996, Hours: Mon-Fri, 8:30am-8:30pm EST; Center serves victims in more than 180 languages. Email: gethelp@ncvc.orgwww.ncvc.org

National Teen Dating Abuse Helpline: 1-866-331-9474 www.loveisrespect.org

New York State Office for the Prevention of Dating Violence www.opdv.state.ny.us

Rape, Abuse, and Incest National Network (RAINN), 1-800-656-HOPE www.rainn.org

Peer-to-peer teen chatroom and counseling, sponsored by CORA (Community Overcoming Relationship Abuse), Hotline: 650-259-8136 www.teenrelationships.org

Print Publications

Anderson, L.H. (1999). Speak. New York: Puffin Books

Levy, B. (2006). In love and in danger: A teen’s guide to breaking free of abusive relationships. Seattle: Seal Press

White, K. (2001). Everything you need to know about relationship violence. New York: Rosen Publishing Group

Dellasega, C., Nixon, C. (2003) Girl wars: 12 strategies that will end female bullying. New York: Fireside

Simmons, R. (2003). Odd girl out: The hidden culture of aggression in girls. Orlando: Harcourt


The National Teen Dating Abuse Helpline: www.loveisrespect.org

Liz Claiborne, Inc. “Love is Not Abuse” program and teen curriculum on violence: www.loveisnotabuse.com and teen handbook:www.loveisnotabuse.com/pdf/teen_handbook.pdf

Love Shouldn’t Hurt—Shalom Bayit: www.love-shouldnt-hurt.org

See it and Stop it: A website designed for teens, by teens, to help prevent relationship violence: www.seeitandstopit.org

Sexual Harassment


Expect Respect: A school-based program promoting safe and healthy relationships for youth. Information on the nationally recognized program: www.austin-safeplace.org

Sexual Harassment Task Force (2004). Harassment-free hallways: Hot to stop sexual harassment in school. Washington, DC: American Association of University Women Educational Foundation (AAUW) www.aauw.org/research/upload/completeguide.pdf

ACLU Lesbian and Gay Rights Project (2005). Making Schools Safe, an Anti-Harassment Training Program. New York, NY: American Civil Liberties Unionwww.aclu.org/lgbt/youth/24003pub20060131.html



Dating Violence  Resource Center, National Center for Victims of Crime, 1-800-FYI-CALL, TTY: 1-800-211-7996, Hours: Mon-Fri, 8:30am-8:30pm EST; Center serves victims in more than 180 languages. Email: gethelp@ncvc.orgwww.ncvc.org

Planned Parenthood: 1-800-230-PLAN (1-800-230-7526)

Teen AIDS Hotline: 1-800-440-TEEN (1-888-440-8336)

Print Publications

Bell, R. (1998). Changing bodies, changing lives: Expanded third edition: A book for teens on sex and relationships. New York: Three Rivers Press

Weill, S. (1998). The real truth about teens and sex: From hooking up to friends with benefits—What teens are thinking, doing, and talking about, and how to help them make smart choices. New York: Penguin


Lesbian Gay Bisexual Transgender Project, American Civil Liberties Union www.aclu.org/lgbt/index.html

Keshet (www.keshetonline.org) dedicated to creating a fully inclusive Jewish community for gay, lesbian, bisexual and transgender (LGBT) Jews

GLSEN—Gay, Lesbian and Straight Education Network—resources for student organizers and Gay-Straight Alliances (GSAs), www.gslen.org

Teen Wire: Sexual Website for Teens, Sponsored by Planned Parenthood: www.teenwire.com

Teens in Crisis/Suicide


Covenant House Nineline: 1-800-999-9999 (24-hour free, confidential and immediate crisis intervention for teens)

National Youth Crisis Hotline: 1-800-442-HOPE (4673)

National Hope Line: 1-800-SUI-CIDE (1-800-784-2433), www.hopeline.com

National Runaway Switchboard: 1-800-RUNAWAY)1-800-621-4000)

Print Publications/Books

Gordon, S. (2000). A friend in need. Amherst, New York: Prometheus Books

Gordon, S. (2004). When living hurts: For teenagers, young adults, their parents, leaders and counselors. New York: URJ Press