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Manchim Facilitator Training Program



Manchim — Premier Facilitator Training for Mussar Group Leaders


Be a guide and facilitator to others as they walk their spiritual paths, and grow your own soul in the process.

As more Mussar groups emerge in many places, the call for leadership of these groups increases, and it becomes essential to train capable facilitators to lead 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.

Manchim is for those who are ready to 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 deeply with other trainees in a small and intimate va’ad, fostering the growth of your own soul.



The training 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 meetings in alternating weeks.

2) Upon completion of the intensive, there is a 6-month follow-up period during which the trainees will lead a pilot group and trainees will continue to study in chevruta and interact with their Manchim va’ad. 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 Dean, Alan Morinis, 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.



Be part of an international group of individuals who have been trained in facilitation and who have similar interests and experiences. When you are a Manchim trained facilitator, you have the unique ability to facilitate any TMI course and receive:

  • Listing on the TMI Website as a TMI Trained Facilitator.
  • Assistance from TMI to help you locate Mussar groups in your area and connect you with synagogues where there are Mussar Courses
  • Membership in an online community
  • Access to content created exclusively for TMI Facilitators
  • Ongoing professional development
  • Access to exclusive online sessions geared toward the needs of facilitators

There is rolling admission and registration will open 6-8 weeks prior. If you are interested in applying and have met the admission requirements, please send an email to the address below.

The fee for the entire program including all materials is $360.00, payable upon acceptance of your application.


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 the TMI course offerings. This unique program prepares va’ad facilitators to apply their skills to leading Mussar classes and programs offered by The Mussar Institute.


Who Should Apply

  • 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 journaling for at least one year;

Regular and ongoing Mussar middot and chevruta study, whether within a course or independently;

Previous experience as a member of a Mussar va’ad for at least one year.


2. Have completed two Mussar courses, including either (a) the Mussar Institute’s “A Season of Mussar” I and II courses, if these are available in the applicant’s community, or (b) “Everyday Holiness,” followed by “Mussar in Action,” “Path of the Soul” or “Chaburah.”

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


3. You will be asked to provide a name of a reference from a local Jewish leader (other than a family member, director or staff of the Mussar Institute, or anyone playing a role in the ManchimProgram). This person must be familiar with your character and commitment to spiritual growth, in order 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 skills. Once your application is received, TMI will send you the reference form to be completed and sent directly to Ruth Schapira at


The Certificate

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



Tuition for this program is $360 per student. Payment must be made prior to the start of the program. For those who receive notice of acceptance into the program, details will also be provided on how to make a payment.



The training program is non-residential and involves activities that will require about 4-5 hours per week devoted to study and meeting activities, which include weekly:

  • Watching training videos and doing associated quizzes.
  • Reading assignments dealing with skills and issues of Mussar group leadership.
  • Chevruta study usually based on 5–10 pages of source texts
  • Va’ad meetings via web-based technology
  • Written reports and other posts on the Manchim course site


“I keep using the word ‘transformational’ when I talk to others about Manchim! The individual components—the readings, the group process, the va’ad leader’s astute and sensitive facilitation—were all excellent, but the experience was so much more than the sum of its parts! The extension of the process over time within our va’ad community, which was so rich and supportive, allowed for an integration of deeper Mussar learning and leadership.”
Julie Hirschfeld, 2016 Manchim Graduate


Please complete this form online or email your completed form to:


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