The Mussar Leadership Program 4-Year Curriculum
The Mussar Leadership Program 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 Leadership classes are offered in Center City Philadelphia, South Jersey, Germantown, the Philadelphia suburbs, an in various parts of the country, including California and Oregon. Distance learning classes are also offered. Each class is divided into a shiur or lesson, and a va’ad or group work.
A TASTE OF MUSSAR
For those who want an introduction to mussar theology and practice, but who do not want to take on mussar as a daily practice at this time. Mussar Leadership is happy to customize A Taste of Mussar for your community, synagogue or learning institution if there are at least 6 participants. The course will generally run from 6 to 10 weeks, in two-hour sessions. For more information, contact us.
THE CHADASHIM (BEGINNING) LEVEL
A two-year course of study for students who wish to become familiar with the principles and practices of Mussar Leadership, and who are:
- New to the Mussar Leadership program
- Not familiar with our approach to mussar and to a daily discipline
- Ready to begin building a daily mussar discipline into their lives.
At the Chadashim level, students will begin to identify their yetzer hara and to work on middot (character traits) to kibbush (constrain) this inclination. In Year 2 students deepen their responsibilities to their va’ad (study group) and chevruta (study partner) through the development of personal action plans that aim to transform a relationship to an other in their lives.
Texts include A Responsible Life by Rabbi Ira Stone, Mesillat Yesharim by Rabbi Moses Chaim Luzzatto (with commentary by Rabbi Ira Stone) and the Mussar Middah Workbook.
New Chadashim classes will be offered beginning in October 2015 at Beth Zion Beth Israel in Center City Philadelphia and via distant learning.
THE BENONIM (INTERMEDIATE) LEVEL
A one-year course of study for those returning students who have:
- An established daily practice, which includes a focus on a middah, torah study, weekly hevruta (partner study) and a chosen mitzvah observance
- A desire to deepen their practice in the company of other committed mussar practitioners
- The foundation to progress through text at a faster pace.
The Benonim level begins the transition to tikkun or transformation through the integration of kabbalistic middot into their mussar study . Each student will develop and practice a personal Ner Tamid statement that represents the calling of their soul, and is a reminder of their best selves.
Prerequisite: Complete Chadashim level
Benonim classes will be offered beginning in October 2015 at Beth Zion Beth Israel in Center City Philadelphia, Temple Beth Hillel Beth El in Wynnewood, PA, Germantown Jewish Center and on the Main Line.
THE TIKKUN (TRANSFORMATION) LEVEL
A one-year course of study for advanced students who:
- Are ready to take the next step in their mussar studies and practice
- Are prepared to begin training as a madrich (teacher)
The Tikkun level includes a practicum for students to teach their peers under the supervision of a madrich.
Prerequisite: Complete Benonim level
Advanced classes are for those students who have completed the four-year foundational curriculum. These groups are self-directed, with a madrich present, and will focus on advanced Mussar texts.