In the category of “the Pandemic wasn’t all bad…”, comes the new way that CCM welcomes our graduates: in an all community Zoom session with teachings and celebrations and opportunities to get to know our newest graduates.

As those of you who have heard Rabbi Stone tell the story (and if you haven’t, be sure to ask him to tell it next time you have a chance) one of the early impetuses he had to develop a contemporary approach to Mussar happened during his Rabbinic training. He became fascinated with a book about Mussar by Hillel Goldberg. When Rabbi Stone went to his teachers with the idea of developing Mussar, he was told that the theology was out of date. Never one to leave a challenge unanswered, years later he began what is now the Center for Contemporary Mussar — which is at its heart, an effort to take the Mussar of the eighteenth and nineteenth century and to develop it into an approach that works for our times. To me, that is Judaism in motion, Judaism as a living vessel.

That is what we as graduates are part of, co-creating a Mussar that responds to the challenge of ‘being a good person’ through a contemporary lens. And on June 13, we will welcome twenty new graduates, from three madrichim and four Va’ads into our community. In the past, graduations have been precious private moments, where Rabbi Stone and I have had the opportunity to welcome the graduates and hear their statements about what Mussar has meant for their and their ‘others’ lives. With this June graduation, Rabbi Stone and I are delighted to share the joy of those graduations. We will have a community graduation, where we will hear teachings, and welcome the graduates into our community. I hope you will join us and share the Tov.