Awareness • Wisdom • Transformation


 

Faculty

 

Photo of Alan Morinis
Alan Morinis

Alan Morinis is the founder of The Mussar Institute and an active interpreter of the teachings and practices of the Mussar tradition, about which he regularly gives lectures and workshops. Born and reared in a culturally Jewish but non-observant home, he studied anthropology at Oxford University on a Rhodes Scholarship. For the past 16 years, the nearly-lost Jewish spiritual discipline of Mussar has been his passion, a journey recorded in the book Climbing Jacob’s Ladder (Broadway 2002). His guide to Mussar practice, entitled Everyday Holiness: The Jewish Spiritual Path of Mussar, was published in May 2007. His newest book on Mussar, With Heart in Mind, was published in August 2014.


Photo of Rabbi Avi Fertig
Rabbi Avi Fertig

Rabbi Avi Fertig is the Director of Mussar. He is the author of Bridging the Gap (Feldheim 2007), a comprehensive guide to important Mussar concepts and Mussar lessons from the Talmud, as well as the classical works of the modern Mussar movement. The book is based on talks given by Rabbi Reuvain Leuchter, a foremost student of Rabbi Shlomo Wolbe. Rabbi Fertig was born in the United States and for the past 16 years has resided in Israel. He studied at the Ner Yisrael Yeshiva in Baltimore and has also learned and taught at Yeshiva Neve Zion and the Mir Yeshiva of Jerusalem. He is currently a rebbe and teacher at Yeshivat Reishit, in Beit Shemesh, Israel and Associate Dean of the Mussar Institute, where he has been guiding courses and programs since 2010.


Photo of Rabbi Micha Berger
Rabbi Micha Berger

Rabbi Micha Berger is a father, grandfather, and husband, and sees in those roles much of the expression of his Judaism and Mussar. He was a student of Rav Dovid Lifshitz, the Suvalker Rav zt”l, at Yeshivas Rabbeinu Yitzchak Elchanan (a Yeshiva University affiliate). He took away a dream to infuse his Jewish practice with the blend of love, Mussar, and Jewish thought that grounded Rav Dovid’s life. To that end, he established The AishDas Society.

Micha has addressed audiences of varying backgrounds, from unaffiliated to Orthodox yeshiva graduates, on subjects of Jewish thought, Mussar, and the meaning of our tefillos (prayers). He regularly teaches on the siddur(prayer book), and he has written on these topics for Mesukim MiDevash, a weekly newsletter. His work has been described in HaModiaYated Neeman, the Orthodox Union’s Jewish Action, and The Jerusalem Report.

Photo of Rabbi Judith Edelstein
Rabbi Judith Edelstein
Doctor of Ministry

Rabbi Judith Edelstein, Doctor of Ministry, is a post-denominational teacher, spiritual leader, counselor and writer who has worked in synagogues, long-term care facilities and Jewish organizations.

Photo of Rabbi Amy Eilberg
Rabbi Amy Eilberg

Rabbi Amy Eilberg is the first woman ordained as a Conservative rabbi by the Jewish Theological Seminary of America. She serves as the Coordinator of Jewish Engagement for Faith in Action Bay Area, a multi-faith, multi-racial social justice organization in the San Francisco Bay Area. She previously served as the director of the Pardes Rodef Shalom (Pursuer of Peace) Communities Program, teaching Jewish civil discourse to rabbis, synagogues, and Jewish organizations. She also serves as a spiritual director and interfaith activist.

Her book, From Enemy to Friend: Jewish Wisdom and the Pursuit of Peace, was published by Orbis Books in March 2014. She received her Doctor of Ministry degree from United Theological Seminary of the Twin Cities in 2016.

Photo of Rabbi Yaakov Feldman
Rabbi Yaakov Feldman

Rabbi Yaakov Feldman is a Jewish Chaplain at Good Samaritan Hospital in Suffern, New York. Has translated and commented upon major Mussar works and other books on Jewish thought and mysticism.

Photo of Judith Golden
Judith Golden

Judith Golden is a Cantorial soloist who especially loves making up melodies for mussar middah phrases. Even more than making up her own tunes, she loves to encourage others to experiment with this and fine their own song.

Photo of Rabbi David Jaffe
Rabbi David Jaffe

Rabbi David Jaffe is the author of Changing the World from the Inside Out and the Founder of the Kirva Institute. His writing, teaching, consulting, and activism explore the intersection of moral development and ethical action in the world. David was the spiritual advisor at Gann Academy in Waltham, MA for many years, where he created Chanoch L’Na’ar, a nationally acclaimed Mussar program for high school faculty, students and school leadership. David is the author of the Institute for Jewish Spirituality’s Tikkun Middot curriculum and lead educator for that program. David lives in Sharon, MA with his wife, Janette, two teenage boys and charismatic cat, Bugsy.

Photo of Cyndee Levy
Cyndee Levy

Cyndee Levy is the Director of the Center for Jewish Learning at the Jewish Federation of St. Louis.

Photo of Rivy Poupko Kletenik
Rivy Poupko Kletenik

Rivy Poupko Kletenik is Head of School at Seattle Hebrew Academy, and she writes a monthly Jewish advice column for Seattle’s Jewish Sound.

Photo of Rabbi Chaim Safren
Rabbi Chaim Safren

Rabbi Chaim Safren has run the Calgary Community Kollel since 2007. An MIT graduate, he runs programs for Jews of all ages in his current community.

Photo of Rabbi Chasya Uriel Steinbauer
Rabbi Chasya Uriel Steinbauer

Rabbi Chasya-Uriel Steinbauer, a master-practitioner and teacher of Mussar for the past seventeen years, is the founder of the Ladder Va’ad of Manhattan and Jerusalem and currently serves as a community Rabbi, Scholar-in-Residence, and Rosh Va’ad.

Photo of Rabbi Pam Wax
Rabbi Pam Wax

Rabbi Pamela Wax serves as the staff rabbi at Westchester Jewish Community Services in White Plains, NY, offering pastoral counseling, spiritual direction, support groups, Mussar and other spiritual journeying groups through the agency’s Healing Center.

Photo of Rabbi Dr. Shmuly Yanklowitz
Rabbi Dr. Shmuly Yanklowitz

Rabbi Dr. Shmuly Yanklowitz is the President & Dean of Valley Beit Midrash; Founder & President of Uri L’Tzedek; Founder & CEO of The Shamayim V’Aretz Institute.