I love hearing when CCM students exclaim that Mussar has transformed their lives. They may say their relationship with their spouse or their adult children has improved, or that they have reconciled a broken friendship or that they have achieved a level of trust and equanimity to calm their lifelong propensity to worry. Nearly all of our students say that Mussar has helped them to take a pause before speaking, the ultimate (and most difficult) kibbush. One of my favorite pesukim (reminder phrases) I’ve heard came from one of our students for the middah of Shtikah (Silence) – WAIT – Why Am I Talking! And I know that Mussar has helped me and countless others to put ourselves in the shoes of an other, apply some gentle curiosity and soften into compassion.

And so, this month, we welcome three classes of graduates to the CCM community. Twenty souls that we are sending out into the world to shine their Ner Tamid and bring tikkun/repair to their homes, their workplaces and their communities. You will be hearing from the graduates and their madrichim in this newsletter, but I want to add my appreciation to all for completing this journey, especially in this last, difficult year. To our madrichim Carol Daniels, Sonia Voynow and Herb Levine – todah rabah for your unique talents and for your dedication to your students and to CCM. To our graduating students – yasher koach for completing this stage of your studies with CCM. You are now part of the CCM graduate community and, we hope, a lifelong learner and teacher who will continue to enrich us by engaging in our programs.


Nancy Axelrod, Chair of the Center for Contemporary Mussar