Advanced Mussar Study/Practice Group Spring 2024


Course Title: Advanced Mussar Study/Practice Group Spring 2024
Hebrew College Open Circle Jewish Learning: Mindfulness
 Rabbi Marcia Plumb (Read bio)
Dates: March 6, 13, 20, 27; April 3, 10, 17;  May 1, 2024 (May 8-makeup session if needed)
Day and Time: Wednesdays, 5:00-6:30 p.m. Eastern Time
Partner: Temple Shir Tikvah Winchester
Location: Online via Zoom
Fee: $320  * Temple Shir Tikvah members, $284 (TST register here)
Partial scholarships available

Join Rabbi Marcia Plumb to delve into texts from Jewish tradition and contemporary sources, with particular focus on the study of Mussar. Explore the middot (“soul traits”) of Mussar through ongoing textual study, reflection, journaling, and kabbalot (small mindfulness exercises). The class engages with these texts in full group session, and in small breakout groups. Some of the essential questions we will delve into are: how do we understand the selected middot? How do we engage with the middot and each other to enhance our personal spiritual growth, our daily behavior, and the alignment between the two? How can each of us contribute to the growth of others in the group, and bring our learning to repair the world?

Hebrew College Open Circle Jewish Learning classes are for learners of all backgrounds.

Canadian and other registrants from outside of the US: please email Cindy Bernstein to complete your registration. We apologize for the inconvenience.

Street Mussar (a.k.a. Applied Mussar)

Course Title: Street Mussar (a.k.a Applied Mussar)
Hebrew College Open Circle Jewish Learning: Texts and Traditions
Rabbi Eric Gurvis (Read bio)
Dates: March 5, 12, 19, 26; April 2, 9, 2024 (6 sessions)
Day and Time: Tuesdays 7-8:30 p.m. Eastern Time
Location: Online via Zoom
Session: Winter/Spring 2024
Fee: $240  Financial Scholarships available

Interest in the study and practice of Mussar has been expanding exponentially in recent years as the teachings of Dr. Alan Morinis, founder of The Mussar Institute; Rabbi Ira Stone, founder of the Center for Contemporary Mussar; along with other groups and individuals.

Reaching back through the generation of writers and teachers and picking up on the practices established by Rabbi Yisrael Salanter and his followers in establishing the Mussar Movement in 19th century Lithuania, growing numbers of Jews, and others, have been discovering the authentic spiritual path which emerges from the riches of Jewish tradition.

Studying and practicing Middot, “measures” or “soul traits” guide an individual along their life’s path with an eye towards becoming the best version of the person they can hope to be. Middot such as humility, honor, gratitude, truth, equanimity, simplicity, attentive listening and so much more can help us strive to be better people.

What happens when we take the teachings of the Mussar tradition and apply them to real life situations and circumstances in our lives and our time? How can Mussar inform our behavior and mindset as we find ourselves in the midst of difficult conversations, not an uncommon occurrence in our time? What might we draw upon from the Mussar tradition as we think about social media, and even media itself more broadly?

In this series we will explore the application of teachings from the Mussar tradition (as well as other aspects of our rich Jewish heritage) as we consider how these teachings can offer us guidance for our lives in the rapidly changing realities of the 21st century.

All texts will be presented with English translation.

Hebrew College Open Circle Jewish Learning classes are for learners of all backgrounds.

Canadian and other registrants from outside of the US: please email Cindy Bernstein to complete your registration. We apologize for the inconvenience.

Year One Bible and Rabbinics:
Thursday Evenings Online via Zoom

Year One Bible and Rabbinics: Thursday Evenings Online via Zoom

Program: Hebrew College Me’ah Classic
Instructor: Rav Rachel Adelman (Fall) and Rabbi Shayna Rhodes (Spring)  (Read Bios)
Dates: 11 Thursdays, Winter/Spring 2024:  1/25, 2/1, 2/8, 2/15, 2/29, 3/7, 3/14, 3/21, 3/28, 4/4 & 4/11
Time: 7-9 p.m.
Cost: $425, financial aid is available
Location: Online via Zoom
Hosted by: Hebrew College

The Me’ah Classic Year 1 Program begins with Bible in the Fall and continues with Rabbinics in the Spring.  Your tuition covers the Spring semester.

Fall: Hebrew Bible

The Hebrew Bible, or Tanakh, is the central text of ancient Israel and the foundational text for Judaism through the ages. You’ll examine the various biblical genres, structures, concepts, theological and historical settings of the biblical world, and then explore selected topics, often integrated with rabbinic perspectives.

This sequence balances an overview of the Hebrew Bible with focused discussion of core texts, such as the Creation stories, the binding of Isaac, the Exodus story, the revelation at Sinai and the prophetic books. You’ll analyze the primary biblical texts and secondary scholarly materials through various lenses: literary, historical-comparative, and rabbinic commentary.

While you may be familiar with the Bible from childhood, this in-depth exposure to other texts and different modes of reading will challenge you — and may well lead you to reassess some long-held views.

Winter/Spring: Rabbinics

The Rabbinic Period — the millennium from the Second Temple to the completion of the Babylonian Talmud (500 BCE to 600 CE) — refers to a time when new Jewish leaders, sages and rabbis emerged and developed rich texts of their own. Some of those texts took the form of extensive commentary about the earlier world of biblical Israel. During this seminal period, rabbinic scholars created a legal system which led to a Jewish belief system that has informed and ordered Jewish community, culture, and behavior for the past millennia.

What is the relationship between God and human beings?
How do we understand Jewish history and Jewish ethics?
What is the role of ritual, holy days and life-cycle events?

Readings illustrate the development of the rabbinic mindset and talmudic beliefs. As with the Hebrew Bible sequence, you’ll first cover selected historical, textual, and conceptual areas, then examine core concepts in conjunction with Bible study to illustrate how beliefs and practices evolved over time.

Please contact for more information.