About the Center for Contemporary Mussar
Formerly The Mussar Leadership Program
The Center for Contemporary Mussar (CCM), formerly the Mussar Leadership Program, provides access to Judaism’s most precious treasure – how to make “Love your neighbor as yourself” the cornerstone of our lives. Our students awaken to a Jewish spirituality that is compassionate, moral and generous. They learn to create stronger, more positive relationships in every sphere of their lives. CCM was launched in August, 2017 as a non-profit, after more than 15 years as a synagogue-based program under the leadership of Rabbi Ira Stone and Dr. Beulah Trey, a psychologist and group dynamics expert.
The Center for Contemporary Mussar offers introductory and continuing classes that focus on foundational Mussar texts, theology and practice. Students commit for a semester at a time; a complete curriculum is offered over a period of four years. Mussar classes are offered in the greater Philadelphia area, South Jersey, and in various parts of the country, including New York City, Los Angeles and Oregon. Distance learning classes are also offered. Each class is divided into a shiur or lesson, and a va’ad or group work.
Our Unique Approach
The Center for Contemporary Mussar’s uniqueness lies in its integrated contemporary approach that engages students with primary texts, commentaries, and a practice based on positive psychology and an approach to halachah as a Jewish mode of existence in a contemporary key. Moreover, the discipline of middot practice is not for the purpose of self-improvement, but as a way to focus on the needs of the other. CCM’s approach provides a response to our ‘me first’ narcissistic age through a constant and guiding focus on the other.
Your donations enable us to grow the Center for Contemporary Mussar and offer scholarships to open access to all students.
In true rabbinic fashion, we answer that question with several questions of our own:
Mussar Can Change Your Life
• Why is it so difficult to do what is good?
• What is the relationship between living a religious life and an ethical one?
• How can religion strengthen an ethical life?
• And most significantly, in a cultural milieu in which personal and spiritual satisfaction are seen as identical, how can we achieve a spirituality that takes us beyond ourselves?
The Center for Contemporary Mussar (CCM) addresses these critical issues within a contemporary Jewish context. Mussar, the tradition of moral and ethical character development, is a centuries old toolbox filled with practices that assist in continually rediscovering that joy and holiness happen in those moments when we are fully present to others.
Mussar is an engaging contemporary spiritual practice that enables us to transform ourselves and our relationships, allowing us to live a moral, responsible life.
The central cornerstone of Mussar is “Love your neighbor as yourself.”
Our students awaken to a Jewish spirituality that is compassionate, moral, and generous.
Move your mouse over each staff picture for a brief bio. For fuller bios, go to About Us.
Rabbi Ira Stone
Dr. Beulah Trey
Guide; trainer; educator; group leader; va’ad facilitator; tour guide; camp counselor.