As a member of the clergy, you are in a unique position to be a spiritual guide to your community. Recognizing this role, the Manchim for Rabbis program will prepare qualified candidates to guide a va’ad and to lead Mussar Institute courses to help people engage in personal development and growth through Mussar learning and practice.
You will have the unique opportunity in this training program to share deeply with other clergy in a small and intimate va’ad, fostering the growth of your own soul.
The training is an interactive, experiential program that takes your scheduling needs into account. The program occurs in two phases:
1) An intensive interactive 10-week training that focuses on the skills, values and perspectives unique to Mussar groups. Participants learn and reinforce facilitation skills, tools and techniques, and explore the dynamics of group process. The program guides clergy in using the va’ad process to foster spiritual growth through their participation in six va’ad and chevruta meetings in alternating weeks.
2) Upon completion of the intensive, there is a six-month support period during which the participants will lead a pilot group while they continue to study in chevruta and interact with their Manchim va’ad in alternating weeks. Participants will be assisted in identifying areas that need to be strengthened, and personal coaching will be available on an as-needed basis.
3) 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 includes web-based va’ad meetings, chevruta study, reading assignments and training videos, and completion of written reports and other posts on the Manchim for Rabbis course site.
Nancy Weiss, the Manchim for Rabbis Program Coordinator, works under the supervision of Dean Alan Morinis for 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.
Because groups are intentionally small in size, we offer training cohorts based upon interest, and applications are welcome throughout the year.
If you are interested in applying and have met the admission requirements, please complete the application.
The Manchim for Rabbis Program is subsidized and includes the entire program and all materials.
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.
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 firstname.lastname@example.org.
BENEFITS OF BECOMING A TMI FACILITATOR
- Being part of a select national group of clergy who have been trained in facilitation, who have similar experiences, and who “speak the same language.”
- A brief biographical listing on the website as a TMI Trained Facilitator with a link to your congregation.
- Assistance from TMI to help you launch Mussar groups in your area.
- 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
“I have come to think of Mussar as ‘the Jewish road to character’. I believe this is vital in our contentious, confusing and disturbing times. I strongly urge my colleagues who’ve started along the Mussar path to consider the Manchim training for clergy. The Manchim training program has deepened my personal practice and is opening new gates within my community.”
-Rabbi Eric Gurvis, Newton, MA
Tuition is subsidized in total for rabbis who have completed TMI training in: Seeking Everyday Holiness, Path of the Mensch, You Shall Be Holy, or Derekh HaNefesh and completed all program requirements.
Otherwise, tuition is $360, including all materials.
For more information contact: Manchim@mussarinstitute.org