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Teens 4 Repro Health Keeps Students Informed

The reproductive health program was created by teens for teens.

By Chana Shapiro | Atlanta Jewish Times

ReproFest hosts with signs indicating planned activities

ReproFest hosts with signs indicating planned activities

Fifteen students from 11 different Atlanta high schools met monthly during the school year as participants in Teens 4 Repro Health, an innovative program in which they gained information from medical experts about reproductive health.

The National Council of Jewish Women-Atlanta Section spearheaded the program, which was chaired by NCJW volunteer, Laura Kurlander-Nagel. Kurlander-Nagel’s commitment to the novel program reflected NCJW’s interest in helping teens gather accurate and useful information about reproductive health, understanding their bodies, and making informed decisions as they mature.

JumpStart, the Atlanta Jewish teen initiative of the Jewish Federation of Greater Atlanta, joined NCJW in generously supporting the first-time project.

Two smiling women holding cake.

A medical student of Medical Menches is pictured with Laura Kurlander-Nagel of NCJW.



The students themselves developed the curriculum for the series. The monthly meetings featured doctors and other experts who offered facts and, importantly, answered questions. One month’s program featured a visit from members of Medical Menches, a group of Jewish Emory University medical school students who volunteer in the Atlanta area.

Two teen girls smiling at welcome table.

Teens 4 Repro Health teens greet guests.


The culmination of the monthly series was an outreach event through which the 15 students wanted to give others an opportunity to learn important information about reproductive health. The high schoolers held a free event on Sunday evening, May 5, at Congregation Or Hadash; the synagogue worked along with the group to provide a welcoming space. The teens named the event ReproFest, and the PR for the occasion was encouraging and candidly to-the-point. Part of the ReproFest flyer, created by teen Sela Sokol, read: “Are you uncomfortable about contraception, legalities around abortion, and making good choices? We know it’s not always easy or comfortable to talk to your parents about this. That’s why we created an event by teens for teens.”

Adults and teens packing menstrual supplies in bags.

Attendees pack “period bags” at ReproFest.

The host group endeavored to create a comfortable experience for everyone. Attendees at the free ReproFest event were able to meet with a representative from Planned Parenthood and an ObGYN, from whom they learned facts and could get answers to questions about reproductive health, the issue of consent, the Jewish view on abortion and other related subjects. They played fact-exploring games and trivia, enjoyed pizza, and gathered to make “period bags” for homeless women and teens.

The thoughtfully planned evening was fun and meaningful to the planners and the diverse group of attendees, which included teens of all genders and mothers and fathers of a few of the teens.

Chair Kurlander-Nagel, representing NCJW, affirmed, “We are hoping to expand the program next year with the help of some of our prior participants who are excited to continue the program.”