Simon Family JCC offers A Taste of Mussar

by | Mar 6, 2017 | What’s Happening

Four-week session begins Wednesday, March 29, 12:30 pm, Simon Family JCC
Classes: Wednesdays, March 29, April 5, April 26, May 3

Dr. Alan Morinis, founder and dean of The Mussar Institute, was the guest scholar for last month’s Milton “Mickey” Kramer Scholar-in-Residence Fund’s 4th Annual Tidewater Together. Presented by the United Jewish Federation of Tidewater and the Tidewater Synagogue Leadership Council, Morinis offered six unique conversations at six locations. Through each presentation, Morinis guided the community in the exploration of the Jewish spiritual practice of Mussar. Before he left town, the community began asking for more.

In response to the community’s request for additional information on Mussar, the Simon Family JCC will offer A Taste of Mussar, facilitated by Rabbi Gavriel Rudin. Morinis developed this introductory four-week course, which provides an opportunity to experience the tradition of learning and practicing of Mussar that has engaged and helped people for centuries.

“I am pleased that the Mickey Kramer Scholar-in-Residence Fund could serve as an impetus for the interest in continued Mussar learning,” says Ron Kramer.

Mussar is a centuries old body of Jewish teachings, perspective, and disciplined practice that provides distinctively Jewish answers to the sorts of questions people often ask about life:
• Why do I keep making the same mistakes over and over?
• Why do I cause pain to myself and others? \Mussar provides guidance to identify personal paths of spiritual growth and offers practices to help bring about that growth.

Course format
Participants will receive three emails each week, each including three core elements to guide learning and practice:
• A short reading, drawing on the teachings of Mussar Masters such as Rabbi Moshe Chaim Luzzatto, Rabbi Bahya ibn Pakuda, and Rabbi Yisrael Salanter.
• Mussar practice guided by Morinis or Shirah Bell (usually in audio format).
• Reflection questions to deepen the learning and provide guidance in applying the concepts to everyday life.

There are no prerequisites for this program, and no language other than English is required.

Cost for the series is $36. To register, visit the Simon Family JCC front desk or call 321-2338. For more information, email