It is only with infinite patience that we can arrive at a thoughtful response and a guidance that is built upon the individual nature of the child.
- Rav Shlomo Wolbe, Mussar Master
NEW ONLINE TEEN VA'AD!
Do you know an 11th or 12th-grader who is passionate about Judaism but unable to attend religious school, or unaffiliated with a synagogue?
This Teen Mussar Va'ad – a meaningful spiritual experience aimed at preparing them for life after high school – might be just right for them!
For more information contact: Leslie-Anne Copes-Finke, Director of Teen Program, firstname.lastname@example.org
TEEN PROGRAM MUSSAR FACILITATION TRAINING
Thank you for your interest! The Teen Program regularly runs facilitator training programs. Registration has closed for the Fall 2022 cohort. Please sign up at the button below to apply for our Winter/Spring 2023 cohort.
FUTURE FACILITATION TRAINING DATES
- Summer 2023: 6/14, 6/21, 7/12, 7/25, 8/9, 1-3 p.m. ET
If you have any questions, please reach out to Leslie-Anne Copes-Finke, Director of the Teen Program at email@example.com
THE MUSSAR INSTITUTE'S TEEN PROGRAM FOR SOCIAL, EMOTIONAL, AND SPIRITUAL DEVELOPMENT
The Mussar Institute’s teen program, Challenges and Choices: A Jewish Teen’s Guide to a Balanced Life, is an interactive, experiential, and engaging 12-unit curriculum for students grades 9-12 that is delivered at no charge in Jewish organizations across the United States and beyond. We are able to offer the program free to our sites because of the generosity of our visionary investors.
Challenges and Choices offers practical ways for teens to become their “best selves” through the spiritual practice of Mussar.
With the goal of creating a deeper connection to Judaism, Challenges and Choices helps teens find meaning and purpose by navigating life choices in healthy ways that reflect Jewish values. Using practical Jewish wisdom, facilitated discussions, and a focus on social, emotional, and spiritual learning, the program also addresses the mental health stressors brought on by life’s challenges facing today’s teens.
The program was developed, piloted, and evaluated through a generous grant from The Templeton Foundation.
12 Units of Self-Discovery
Based on the Jewish Spiritual Tradition of Mussar
Engaged Learning with Peers and Trained Facilitators
Equips Teens to Face Personal Challenges with Confidence
A Proven Program Piloted by The Mussar Institute and The Templeton Foundation
Teens explore their own inner character traits, known as middot, in Hebrew.
With 1,100 years of Mussar wisdom to draw from, teens learn about and try tested techniques to understand and balance their inner qualities. This inner awareness supports them as they manage the real-life stressful situations they encounter with friends, school, family dynamics, and social unrest.
They learn in an engaging manner through role-play, movement, meditation, chanting, visual aids, TED talks, animation, games, and of course, meaningful conversation with their facilitators.
Each unit explores a different and unique middah or character trait and introduces the teens to holistic skills offered by the Mussar masters. They'll experience centering activities, multiple ways to understand and process the middah, and practices to bring the middah to life, culminating in a personal practice to “seal in” the learning.
The facilitators are guided through each unit with an overview of Mussar, Mussar facilitation perspectives and techniques, best practices, suggested lesson outline templates, and a resource section for both new and seasoned Mussar facilitators.
Read and download this handout from a workshop offered at the last TMI Kallah.
Teens, program authors, and site leaders introduce you to the Challenges & Choices Teen Program.
Max Einsohn composed our theme song. Once you hear it - you'll remember it forever! firstname.lastname@example.org
“I want to thank you for all you have done for H this year. You gave her the gift of introspection and the ability to articulate her core values and beliefs.
I know this will help to guide her through the challenging situations she will experience in college next year. I thank you for helping to facilitate and nurture that!”
Parent of a 12th grader
“There are no other courses that are this amazing.”
12th grader, Boston, MA
“It’s a really great and interesting way to learn more about yourself not only as a person, but also where you stand as a Jew.”
11th grader, Boston, MA
"I am a pretty happy person, so I thought why do I need to examine myself emotionally?
Boy was I wrong! This class taught me so much about myself and life in general. Nobody’s perfect and we can always use help and time to improve ourselves!
“Mussar has been one of the best experiences during quarantine...It’s been so nice to have a place to learn and hang out with friends throughout. I have developed so many good skills, like journaling, meditation, and gratitude."
- 12th grader
TEENS MEET IN VA'ADIM
The va'ad is a small-group learning and sharing experience that connects and supports both group and personal teen growth.
WHAT WE TEACH
Facilitators receive Mussar training for teens and guidance for leading teen sessions using a variety of learning modalities.
Challenges and Choices has been years in the making. Learn about how it was developed and who piloted it.
PILOT SITES ACROSS THE US
Funded initially by the Templeton Foundation, the program was piloted. in several sites.
Learn how to become a site and how much the program will cost you. (Answer - it's free!)
Read the study results from a 3-year Templeton Foundation Grant.
The Teen Program Task Force guided the expansion of the Teen Program in the early years of development and testing. The task force included the program authors, as well as Irv Robinson, Co-President of TMI; Sandy Garrett, TMI Board member and co-chair of the Teen Task Force; Rabbi Amy Ross, Temple Emanu-El, Dallas, TX and Rivka Felsher, TMI Program Administrator.
LET'S BE IN TOUCH
Interested in learning more? Once we have your basic contact information we will get back to you promptly.
If you'd like to speak with Leslie-Anne Copes-Finke, Teen Program Manager directly please reach out to her here.
Or Call: 617-947-0423
TMI MAILING ADDRESS
1025 Gateway Boulevard #303-318
Boynton Beach, Florida 33426