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A Season of Mussar

 

COURSE DESCRIPTION

A Learning and Practice Module for Congregations, JCCs, and Groups

This 13-lesson program guides congregations and other institutions and groups in a supervised course of Mussar learning and practice.

As with all Mussar study, the aim of this program is to help individuals find balance and strength in key inner traits that are essential for leading a fulfilling life, in worldly as well as spiritual matters.

A Season of Mussar groups have met in Chicago, San Francisco, Philadelphia, Pittsburgh, Dallas, Eugene, Vancouver, Ann Arbor, Sao Paolo, Brazil and elsewhere. They have met in Orthodox, Reform, Conservative and non-denominational contexts. We are pleased to share with you that participants have consistently reported a high level of satisfaction with the program.

The reading materials were a wonderful introduction to each subject. The greatest value, though, came from discussions and further reading around the subject and the diverse views of the other members of the group.

COURSE CONTENT, FORMAT and METHODS

This course equips individuals with the tools of Jewish spiritual practice – the centuries-old Mussar practices that purify and elevate the traits of the soul. Taste of Mussar strengthens the place of spirituality in the local Jewish community, creating a local spiritual group in which participants can share and explore Mussar together.

Every week each participant receives an email of teachings and practices focused on a single middah (soul-trait). This email contains an original composition that pulls together and interprets, in accessible language, traditional Mussar teachings on the trait in focus. Questions, exercises and suggestions are provided to prompt inquiry and insight.

Every lesson also includes an optional reading (in Hebrew and English) from a traditional Mussar text. This optional reading can also be studied with a partner [chevruta], one of the learning modalities that is structured into the course. These excerpts from traditional texts will be especially useful to students who have a solid background in Jewish studies and/or prior knowledge of Hebrew. Except for this optional reading, all course materials are in English, and where Hebrew is used, it is transliterated and translated.

Every two weeks, a face-to-face meeting takes place to address questions and practices focused on the middah of that week, and to discuss personal progress, insights and issues. Experience has shown that these meetings create powerful spiritual community, reinforcing commitment and deepening participants’ learning. Meetings are facilitated by a local facilitator, who could be volunteer, an adult education coordinator, or a synagogue rabbi who has been trained or approved by The Mussar Institute to lead Mussar groups.

Materials are provided to guide the group discussion and process, as well as to instruct the group leader.

In the period between group meetings, students are assigned materials to study with a chevruta, a learning partner to whom they are matched within the program.

Following an introductory session to open the course, each middah is studied for two weeks, so that 6 middot are studied in the full program.

The middot covered in A Season of Mussar are:

Week 1 Introduction
Weeks 2-3 Humility Anavah
Weeks 4-5 Anger Ka’as
Weeks 6-7 Gratitude Hakarat Ha’tov
Weeks 8-9 Trust Bitachon
Weeks 10-11 Honor Kavod
Weeks 12-13 Alacrity Zerizut

At the end of A Season of Mussar program, participants can continue their Mussar learning and practice through the next level of program, A Season of Mussar II. This program also runs for 13 weeks and focuses on a different set of 6 middot. At this higher level, more advanced Mussar practices are added to the program.

COURSE PREREQUISITES

There are no prerequisites for this program, and no language other than English is required.

OUTCOMES

Individuals will learn and use the tools of Jewish spiritual practice that will purify and elevate the traits of the soul.

Individuals will be part of a local spiritual group in which group members share, discuss and explore the middot together.

START DATE

A Season of Mussar group can begin at any time.

DURATION

13 weeks

TUITION

Determined by the host organization in consultation with The Mussar Institute. Contact that organization or your Mussar group leader for details and to get a registration code.

Please check with your facilitator before paying and registering for this LOCAL course. Your facilitator will tell you which option is being used by your group:

  1. Register and pay directly to the institution sponsoring your Local group.
  2. Register and pay by PayPal/Credit Card at this site, by clicking the Register Now button below.
No other class I have ever taken (and I’ve taken classes all the way through my Ph.D!) has made me think about myself and my actions in such depth. Thank you for encouraging us to do just that in such a safe and supportive environment.

FOR FURTHER INFORMATION

To get your group started, email seasonofmussar@mussarinstitute.org.

REFUND POLICY

For withdrawal prior to the first group meeting: 100% refund. For withdrawal after the first group meeting: no refund. Anyone who withdraws and re-enrolls at a future time will be required to pay the full fee at the time of re-enrollment.

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© 2017 The Mussar Institute
 

7605 Old York Rd., Suite 108 | Melrose Park, PA 19027 USA | info@mussarinstitute.org

 


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