Awareness • Wisdom • Transformation


Manchim: Advanced Facilitator Training for Mussar Group Leaders




As more Mussar groups emerge in many places, the call for leadership for more advanced groups increases, and it becomes essential to train capable facilitators to lead higher level Mussar Institute courses in the specific ways and traditions of Mussar. In this sensitive leadership role, the facilitator helps people engage in personal development and growth through Mussar learning and practice.

The Mussar Institute offers its premier facilitator training program, Manchim, to qualified candidates who are ready to lead va’adim through the process of learning, reflection, and transformation that is so much a part of TMI course experiences. This unique program prepares va’ad facilitators to apply their skills to leading Mussar classes and programs offered by The Mussar Institute.

Manchim is for those who are ready to more deeply guide a va’ad (Mussar group) through the process of learning, reflection, and transformation that is so much a part of the TMI course offerings. You will have the unique opportunity in this training program to share with other trainees in a small and intimate va’ad, fostering the growth of your own soul. Due to the personal nature of the training, groups are intentionally small.


This is an interactive, experiential program that takes place in two phases:

1) An intensive interactive 10-week training that focuses on the skills, values, and perspectives unique to Mussar groups. Participants learn facilitation skills, tools and techniques, and the dynamics of group process. The program guides trainees in using the va’ad process to foster spiritual growth. Trainees participate in 9 va’ad meetings and chevruta (pair) meetings in alternating weeks.

2) Upon completion of the intensive, there is a 6-month follow-up period during which trainees will lead a pilot group and as they continue to study in chevruta, interact with their Manchim va’ad, and receive feedback on their facilitation. Trainees will be assisted in identifying leadership areas that need to be strengthened, and personal coaching will be available on an as-needed basis.

Nancy Weiss, the Manchim Program Coordinator, works under the supervision of the Director of Mussar, Rabbi Avi Fertig, regarding program content.  Participants may also interact with Mussar Institute professional staff and/or experienced va’ad facilitators, who will share their experience, insights, and coaching as part of this training program.


This course offers you the opportunity to learn the unique skills of a Mussar facilitator over an extended period of time. The experience allows you to integrate the training more fully and gain support through the process of examining your own soul curriculum as a facilitator while leading your own group.

You will also be part of an international group of individuals who have received this advanced Mussar facilitation training and have similar interests and experiences.  As a Manchim trained facilitator, you will have the unique ability to facilitate any TMI course.

You will receive a complimentary one-year membership in Chevrah: Professional Development and Networking for Mussar Facilitators and receive special invitations to Mussar Institute webinars and gatherings.


  • Jewish individuals with a sincere desire to engage deeply in their own Mussar work, and to help others as they progress on their spiritual path.
  • Persons interested in facilitating Mussar programs offered by The Mussar Institute.
  • Mature and stable individuals who are capable of functioning with flexibility, curiosity and patience in a community predicated on openness, honesty and inquiry.


To apply to the Manchim Program, you must:

1. Have a committed and ongoing personal Mussar practice that includes regular study in a course or independently;

2. Have previous experience as a member of a Mussar va’ad for at least one year;

3. Have completed two Mussar courses, including either A Season of Mussar I and II, or Everyday Holiness, plus more intermediate courses like Mussar in Action, Chaburah, or Path of the Soul.

Candidates in special circumstances who have equivalent experience of Mussar study will be given consideration on a case-by-case basis.


Upon successful completion of all the requirements of the Intensive and Support periods, and based on assessments by the program staff at several points in the program, approved graduates will be granted a certificate from The Mussar Institute.


The training program is conducted via video conference and involves activities that will require about 4-5 hours per week devoted to study and meeting activities, which include participation in va’ad meetings and chevruta study, readings, and assignments dealing with skills and issues of Mussar group leadership, and written reports and posts on the course site.

Our courses are offered via video conference over Zoom (Mac and PC compatible). Reliable, high-speed Internet connection, a current and valid email account, and computer video camera and microphone are required to participate.

The next training session for selected participants will begin as soon as a course fills, and due to the personal nature of the training, groups are intentionally small.


Once your application is received, you will receive a reference form to be given to an individual who is familiar with your character and commitment to spiritual growth (other than a family member, director or staff of the Mussar Institute). This person will be asked to comment on your experience and suitability to be a Mussar guide and a group facilitator. Ideally, this person will be a rabbi, your previous group leader in a Mussar program or a program leader who has direct experience of your leadership and facilitation skills. Once completed, the reference form should be sent directly to

If you are interested in being a part of this training program, please complete an application.