It took me two years of Mussar study before I realized that my most important other was my spouse. As educator Adrienne Gold writes: “You marry your homework.” Every time I worked a middah or worked on an other, Rabbi Stone would ask kindly: And what about Steve? And I would brush past the question…until Rabbi Stone and the Vaad asked the question very loudly.

All of us who have studied Mussar know the value of the Vaad; the value of having a group of people who are committed to their Mussar development – in themselves and each other. At CCM, we have focused a lot on developing Mussar in our students and we have been successful. At this point there are over a hundred people who have graduated from our program.

We fondly refer to the most recent group of graduates as ‘Linda’s Vaad.’ Several weeks before graduation, their long-time Madrichah, Linda Kriger, z”l, unexpectedly passed. After their graduation, they decided they wanted to stay together and asked me if I would be their Madrichah for a year. For me, it felt like a calling, like a way I could honor Linda’s memory.

And so, we decided to do two things: to meet together as a Vaad for a year and to find out more about other CCM grads. Specifically, we want to know if there are enough graduates (like us!) also looking for ways to deepen their Mussar work in community with other Mussarniks–and most importantly–to join together to bring this work out into the world – Zikkui haRabbim.

To initiate the process, we decided to develop a survey to learn about fellow graduates, identify themes, and compile our discoveries. We figured this would provide insight into what is most needed and how we can provide that for each other. If you are a graduate reading this, we ask you to please follow the link provided below and fill out the questionnaire. And if you are connected to other graduates, please let them know about this effort, we would love to hear from as many of us as possible.

If you are a new or continuing CCM student, we look forward to building a vibrant graduate community that will be ready to welcome you with ongoing support and inspiration as we strive onward together.

Before I sign off, I want to thank the members of Linda’s Vaad (Donald Joseph, Gail Tunick, Ivan Rosenberg, Judith Miller, Karen Singer & Sandra Cohen) for partnering with me in this effort. If you have any questions or comments, please be in touch with one of us.

Beulah Trey, Director of Practice and Curriculum, CCM

Are you a CCM Graduate? Please fill out this questionnaire: Building Our Graduate Community