Posted by Sara Berkowitz

Following the great success of last year's TeenSafe pilot program, Journey to Safety is proud to announce that a new tenth and eleventh grade TeenSafe Leadership Group will begin this fall. In addition, Journey to Safety is starting a new eleventh and twelfth grade TeenSafe Advisors Group, which will focus on creating peer outreach programs aimed at Jewish day schools, religious schools, youth groups, parents, educators, youth group advisors, and other adults engaged in youth education.

Funded with a generous grant from the Boston Jewish Community Women's Fund, TeenSafe is designed to bring Jewish high school girls together to learn about healthy, unhealthy, and abusive dating relationships and to create a way to share this information with their peers. The program curriculum emphasizes leadership skills, experiential learning, and community building among the participants.

When asked to reflect on what they gained from the program, 2011-2012 participants enthusiastically responded:

  • "…being able to know the signs and being able to help prevent teen violence and then being able to help people that are in those situations."
  • "…all of the knowledge that I have acquired about dating violence, especially all of the different ways to prevent it. It has changed me because it has made me so much more aware of dating violence and how common it is."
  • "...with the information I have learned at TeenSafe I am an aware and conscientious friend, student, and leader who can make a change in teens' dating lives for the better."

    If you or someone you know is interested in learning more about this year's programs, please contact Sara Berkowitz at or Elizabeth Schön Vainer at or 781-647-JFCS (5327). You can also download an application.

Sara Berkowitz is the Youth Educator of Journey to Safety's TeenSafe Program, where she runs groups designed to teach teenage girls to identify healthy and unhealthy relationships and help them become mentors for their peers. Sara has years of experience working with teens in school, youth group, and camp settings and is passionate about empowering youth to make change in their community. She also works for Wayside Youth & Family Support Network as an In-Home Therapist and Peer Leadership Advisor. Sara has a BA from Ithaca College and an MSW from Boston College.