CCM Community Update: Discovering Practice’s Vibrant Edge, by Dr. Beulah Trey and Isha Strasser

In the December Newsletter, we published an article which communicated our intent to Build a Vibrant Graduate Community. We reported that so far, CCM has graduated a hundred students–a milestone for our budding nonprofit. Historically, our focus has been serving new and continuing students who are studying in our programs. With the reality of over 100 graduates, we want to expand our offerings to also support our Graduates.

Our first step was to learn more about the graduate community. Working with the latest graduating Vaad, we offered a survey with questions ranging from What is your favorite Mussar memory to What would you want out of a gathering of Mussarniks? Thanks to Ivan Rosenberg, who generously volunteered to compile the results, we now have a better sense of the needs of our graduates. Here’s a glimpse of what we’ve learned: Most of our graduates have continued with Chevruta, Vaad work, Shiur, and/or application of the Middot, while a few have drifted. Those most involved have become Madrichim and are now facilitating new Mussarniks, some have continued with their Vaads, while others have struggled to continue daily practice. One salient theme that emerged was the power of the Vaad–this got our attention and has become the reason that we want to discover our common and individual ‘vibrant edge’ of our Mussar practice.

CCM has forged an approach to Mussar that has grown exponentially (check out the 2020 Annual Report). Turning toward the future, we intend to keep exploring new frontiers of contemporizing Mussar. Over the next couple of months, as our community draws inspiration from the Pre-Pesach Series, we will be working behind the scenes to develop new opportunities for practice and transformation. We welcome all suggestions…and — stay tuned!


Dr. Beulah Trey is CCM’s Mashgiach Ruchani, Director of Curriculum and Practice




Isha Strasser is CCM’s Managing Director