- Level: Beginner/Intermediate
- Delivery: Distance Learning via Live Web Meetings or Local On Site
- Learning Methods: Independent Study and Practice plus Groups (va’adim) Meeting Locally or via Live Web Meetings with or without Chevruta
- Duration: 13 Sessions
A Season of Mussar guides you in an exploration of your soul traits as you find and strengthen your balance for leading a fulfilling life in worldly and spiritual matters. You will become equipped with tools of Jewish spiritual practice that are centuries old to purify and elevate your soul. Guided by a Mussar Institute trained facilitator, you will create a spiritual group or va’ad, which is a place of safety to share and explore Mussar. Local Va’ad facilitators report a strengthening of the group’s bond with the local Jewish community.
Courses are delivered in two ways: (1) on-site, through organizations, or (2) through live, web meetings. In either case, you will be supported by a TMI-trained facilitator and TMI materials.
Groups have gathered in Chicago, San Francisco, Philadelphia, Pittsburgh, Dallas, Eugene, Vancouver, Ann Arbor, Sao Paolo, Brazil and elsewhere. They have met in Orthodox, Reform, Conservative and non-denominational contexts.
For those joining onsite groups, materials are provided to guide the group discussion and process, as well as to instruct the group leader.
Whether your Season of Mussar I va’ad meets on-site or through virtual web meetings, you will engage in the same course materials.
Every week you will receive teachings and practices focused on a single middah (soul-trait). This original lesson pulls together and interprets, in accessible language, traditional Mussar teachings. Questions, exercises, and suggestions are provided to prompt inquiry and insight.
Every lesson also includes an optional reading (in Hebrew and English) from a traditional Mussar text. This optional reading can also be studied with a partner (chevruta). The materials are appropriate for everyone since they are written in English, and where Hebrew is used, it is transliterated and translated.
The meetings address questions and practices focused on the middah of that week, and group members discuss personal progress, insights, and issues. Experience has shown that these meetings create powerful spiritual communities, reinforcing commitment and deepening participants’ learning.
In the period between group meetings, you will have materials to study, perhaps with a chevruta, a learning partner to whom you are matched during the program.
Following an introductory session, each middah is studied intensely for two weeks, so that 6 middot are studied in the full program.
- Gratitude/Hakarat Ha’tov
At the end, you may choose to continue in the next level of the program, A Season of Mussar II, which also runs for 13 weeks and focuses on a different set of 6 middot. At this higher level, more advanced Mussar practices are added to the program. There are no prerequisites for this program, and no language other than English is required.
Two Ways to Take Season of Mussar I
(1) Live Web Meetings: Students from around the world are now gathering for online Season of Mussar I courses. Through Zoom technology, they will meet face-to-face to study Mussar in traditional small, intimate groups, led by a facilitator with deep knowledge of Mussar. Tuition: TMI Chaverim: $150. Non-Chaverim: $180. Next Step: meet the Season of Mussar Facilitators and explore the course schedule.
(2) On-Site Courses: Fees may vary depending upon the agreement between your host organization and The Mussar Institute. Contact that organization or your Mussar group leader for details. Please check with your facilitator before paying for and registering for an on-site or local course. Base Tuition (not including any organizational supplemental charges): TMI Members: $136. Nonmembers: $164. To register you will need to know the name of your facilitator and the start date of the local course you are registering for. Tuition: TMI Chaverim: $136. Non-Chaverim: 164. REGISTER
For withdrawal prior to the first group meeting: 100% refund. For withdrawal after the first group meeting: no refund. Anyone who withdraws and re-enrolls at a future time will be required to pay the full fee at the time of re-enrollment.