Our Story & Work:

We are JTEC: Jewish Teens for Empowered Consent. We’re fighting for dialogue and change around toxic hookup culture in Jewish youth groups.

JTEC’s six co-founders met as participants on the Rising Voices Fellowship, the Jewish Women’s Archive’s year-long social justice writing fellowship for female-identified teens. In April 2020, a discussion about Jewish youth groups during the fellowship's virtual retreat sparked a realization. Despite our different regions, youth group affiliations, and levels of involvement, we had all witnessed what we call “toxic hookup culture”—environments marked by sexual pressure, objectification, and sexism where meaningful lessons about consent were notably absent.

On September 3rd, 2020, after months of discussion, we published an op-ed in eJewish Philanthropy outlining the toxic hookup culture in these spaces and calling on leadership to pursue change. Since publication, we’ve engaged with international youth group leadership, Jewish educators, and activists. We were invited to present at multiple classes and webinars. A recording of our webinar with JTEEN Professionals is shown below.

JTEC’s efforts have been covered in Hey Alma, Times of Israel, The Jewish News of Northern California, and New Voices. New Voices is also working on an investigative report about this issue.

A major focus of our work since being published has been the creation of our Instagram account, the digital home base for our growing community. On our page, we share anonymous testimonies that speak to the damaging effects of toxic hookup culture. To learn more about sharing your story, please visit our testimony submission page. We also post educational resources to raise awareness and support youth group members as they create change in their communities. Our next step is building a curriculum that youth groups, summer camps, and other Jewish groups can utilize to discuss hookup culture and consent constructively. Find out more on our Curriculum page!

Please reach out to us with any questions or comments, and feel free to subscribe to our mailing list to stay up to date with JTEC news! JTEC’s co-founders are happy to meet with community stakeholders, present at classes/webinars/meetings, and support your efforts with resources and ideas. We are interested in working with people of all backgrounds and interests and we are available to talk about how you can become involved. Thank you for your support!