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Alan Morinis, Founder

There is the potential for our approach to Mussar to be perceived as self-help, exclusively on a humanistic plane. Our approach, the Mussar approach, is deeply rooted in the Torah and with this rootedness comes several layers of reality; additional to the worldly, there is a spiritual presence within the material. There is divinity.
This is a spiritual perspective on self-help, making Mussar distinct from other approaches.
As we say, working on the self but not for the sake of the self. We are more than a lineage and tradition, there is this truth, this emet, that is the foundation of all we say and do.
We wouldn't be here if it wasn't for the spirituality of Mussar. It broadens the perspective of what is the self, what is one's responsibility to develop their "selves" and this is all so germane to the Jewish perspective.

- Alan Morinis

Alan's Story

Dr. Alan Morinis, Founder of The Mussar Institute, is a leading figure in the contemporary revival of the Mussar movement, a 1,100-year-old authentic Jewish personal and communal spiritual tradition that was nearly lost following the Holocaust. A filmmaker, Rhodes Scholar, and anthropologist whose focus had been Hindu religious pilgrimages, he reached a personal turning point in his life in 1997 that led to his exploration of Mussar.

Alan sought out Rabbi Yechiel Perr, an accomplished master who stood in an unbroken line of transmission of the Mussar tradition. Following years of study he reinterpreted the ancient Mussar learnings and practices for modern audiences in Climbing Jacob’s Ladder and Everyday Holiness. To address the growing public interest in Mussar, he founded The Mussar Institute in 2004. He went on to author two more books, Every Day, Holy Day, and With Heart in Mind.

Alan continues to explore and interpret original Mussar sources in Hebrew and is making these valuable teachings available to the contemporary world.

The Mussar Institute is the world’s leading provider of contemporary Mussar resources and instruction. The Mussar Institute offers courses, facilitator training, curricula for congregations and organizations, special events, speakers, and retreats. Mussar is a Jewish tradition of learning and practices focusing on character and ethical development that leads to self-awareness, wisdom, and transformation. It is practiced by people worldwide, regardless of affiliation.

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