This past Sunday, JHP@Penn welcomed Jess Mertz, the Director of Sexual Violence Prevention on Penn’s campus. Jess led a workshop for the students called ‘Healthy and Unhealthy Relationships with a Jewish Twist.’ She led an activity called “Great as it is” where the students read different scenarios that may occur in relationship such as, “My partner doesn’t like the way I dress,” and the students had to decide whether the situation was “great as it is” “needs work” or “over for sure.”
A larger discussion unfolded as the students began debating what they would do in certain situations, and the meeting quickly became a safe space for questions and discussion.
Rabbi Ephraim Levin collaborated with Jess by peppering in Jewish content that related to the discussion. He referenced Talmudic text which explained how each human body is special and demands self respect and consideration as well as respect and consideration from significant others, friends, and family members. It was an extremely thought provoking and empowering meeting, which the students really enjoyed.