In my third year of Mussar study, we were asked to look at a challenging relationship in our life. For me it was a daughter-in-law of more than twenty years, who I always thought was angry with me. After a year of considering her wounds, I was able to initiate a non-defensive conversation with her. Hearing her, I told her how sorry I was for times I had hurt her and that I really do love her and appreciate the wife and mother she is. I told her I hoped we could start anew; it’s now been more than two years and all is well.
Sandi

When people would ask me how I, as a Reform Jew, practice Judaism in my daily life, I never knew how to respond . . . until I had participated in Mussar. For me, this will be a lifelong practice, but one that brings a conscious awareness of Jewish thinking on a daily basis. 
Jean Adelsman

Our Mussar study is providing me a “mindfulness” alternative in a Jewish tradition. My desire to live an ever more meaningful life led me to search for a better understanding of God’s will for me. Mussar is satisfying my quest.
John Ourisman

Mussar has proven to be a true life companion. I see changes occurring in long held patterns, particularly in the realm of patience. I see myself available to others, receiving feedback that this is true, and yet I understand when self-care is needed and appropriate. In other words, Mussar, as taught by CCM, provides a language and a framework for creating a healthy soul container while acting in our fragmented world.
Martha Hare

In a challenging situation, I ask myself how I should respond from a “Mussar” perspective and that self-reflection helps me to react in a more caring and generous way. I have also been enriched by the relationships I have formed with my study partners and teachers – meaningful bonds with wonderful people.
Debbie Levin

Classes Open To New Students

Seeds of Mussar

Mussar is a centuries-old toolbox for working on one’s character, focusing on particular character traits and Jewish values. This class will introduce a method that focuses on refining our attributes so that they enable us to serve others with greater and greater joy. We work on our character attributes, not simply to take care of ourselves and enjoy more fulfilling lives, but to practice bearing responsibility for others. The Torah introduced the idea of loving our neighbor as ourselves thousands of years ago; this Mussar program provides each student with a personal operating manual toward meeting this overarching goal of Judaism.

No Prerequisite

Seeds of Mussar 

Madrichah: Karen Kripke

Online Zoom Class – Every Monday
Meets 1:00 – 2:30 PM ET • October 12 – November 9, 2020
Course SU20-SD-MO-KK  –  Course Fee: $100   

Seeds of Mussar 

Madrichah: Hazzan Naomi Hirsch 

Online Zoom Class – Every Thursday
Meets 7:30 – 9:00 PM ET • October 22 – November 19, 2020
Course SU20-SD-TH-NH  –  Course Fee: $100   

Foundations of Mussar/Kibbush

Kibbush, which literally means “capture,” is the Mussar practice of self-restraint. This is a foundational step in Mussar practice and evokes the question: What is it that keeps us asleep, even as we desire to be awake to the needs of the other?

In this foundational class of Kibbush, we will study middot (character traits) such as seder/order and savlanut/patience, as a way to understand and recognize when our energy is in a state of Ra, or self-absorption. We will study Mesillat Yesharim (The Path of the Upright) by Rabbi Moses Hayyim Luzzatto as we explore the elements of daily practice which help us transform our energy so we can more fully serve the other.

Prerequisite: Seeds of Mussar (or prior mussar training–contact instructor)

Required texts: Mesillat Yesharim ($48) and CCM Workbook ($18)

 

Foundations of Mussar 

 Madrichah: Elana Eisner

Mondays on ZOOM: 12:00 PM – 2:00 PM ET
October 5 – December 28, 2020
Course F20-Y1/S1-MO-EE – Fee $325

 If you have questions please reach out to Elana at elanaeisner@gmail.com

Foundations of Mussar for Men

Offered as a collaboration of CCM and Menschwork

Madrich: Herb Levine

Every Other Wednesday on ZOOM: 5:30 PM – 7:00 PM ET
September 23, 2020 – March 31, 2021
Course F20-Y1/S1-WE-HL 

Available space for one more registrant.

If you have questions please reach out to Herb@contemporarymussar.org

Foundations of Mussar – Semester 2 – Open to returning students

Madrichah: Carol Daniels

Mondays on ZOOM: 6:00 PM – 8:00 PM ET
October 19 – January 11, 2021
Course F20-Y1/S2-MO-CD – Fee $325 

If you have questions please reach out to Carol at caroldaniels604@gmail.com 

Open Community Class 

Nefesh Ha’Hayyim with Rabbi Ira Stone 

This shiur started as an offering from Rabbi Stone during quarantine. He sought to provide the community with an opportunity to learn some Torah and Mussar for solace during the crisis. It has grown into a treasured and permanent ongoing class.

Online Zoom Class – Every other Thursday
Meets 1:00 – 2:00 PM ET • August 27 – December 17, 2020
Course Fee: $180   

Our Collective Trauma: Antiracism through Mussar Lens

Madrichah: Nancy Axelrod 

This class is open to all.

In the wake of killings of George Floyd, Armaud Arbery, Breonna Taylor and others, and the Black Lives Matter protests that have propelled people across the globe to confront racism, this course invites participants to engage in deep study and conversation about race and racism through a Mussar lens.

Online Zoom Class – Every other Tuesday

COURSE F20-CT-TU-NA

7:00 – 9:00 PM ET • October 6 – March 30, 2021

Course Fee: $325   

If you are looking for a teacher or would like to start a new group please contact us.