Instruction, resources & community for those seeking greater awareness, wisdom, and transformation through the Jewish spiritual path of Mussar.



Photo of Alan Morinis
Alan Morinis

Alan Morinis is the founder of The Mussar Institute and an active interpreter of the teachings and practices of the Mussar tradition, about which he regularly gives lectures and workshops. Born and reared in a culturally Jewish but non-observant home, he studied anthropology at Oxford University on a Rhodes Scholarship. For the past 20 years, the nearly-lost Jewish spiritual discipline of Mussar has been his passion, a journey recorded in the book Climbing Jacob’s Ladder (Broadway 2002). His guide to Mussar practice, entitled Everyday Holiness: The Jewish Spiritual Path of Mussar, was published in May 2007. His newest book on Mussar, With Heart in Mind, was published in August 2014.

Photo of Rabbi Avi Fertig
Rabbi Avi Fertig

Rabbi Avi Fertig is the Director of Mussar for The Mussar Institute, where he has been guiding courses and programs since 2010. He is the author of Bridging the Gap (Feldheim 2007), a comprehensive guide to important Mussar concepts and lessons from the Talmud and the classical works of the modern Mussar movement, as well as numerous other publications on topics of Mussar. Rabbi Fertig studied at the Ner Israel Yeshiva in Baltimore and has also learned and taught at Yeshivat Neve Zion, Yeshivat Reishit Yerushalayim and the Mir Yeshiva of Jerusalem. Born in the United States, for the past 22 years he has resided in Israel and currently lives in Beit Shemesh with his wife and six children.

Photo of Rabbi Micha Berger
Rabbi Micha Berger

Rabbi Micha Berger is a father, grandfather, and husband, and sees in those roles much of the expression of his Judaism and Mussar. He was a student of Rav Dovid Lifshitz, the Suvalker Rav zt”l, at Yeshivas Rabbeinu Yitzchak Elchanan (a Yeshiva University affiliate). He took away a dream to infuse his Jewish practice with the blend of love, Mussar, and Jewish thought that grounded Rav Dovid’s life. To that end, he established The AishDas Society.

Micha has addressed audiences of varying backgrounds, from unaffiliated to Orthodox yeshiva graduates, on subjects of Jewish thought, Mussar, and the meaning of our tefillos (prayers). He regularly teaches on the siddur(prayer book), and he has written on these topics for Mesukim MiDevash, a weekly newsletter. His work has been described in HaModiaYated Neeman, the Orthodox Union’s Jewish Action, and The Jerusalem Report.

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Rabbi Judith Edelstein
Doctor of Ministry

Rabbi Judith Edelstein, Doctor of Ministry, is a post-denominational teacher, spiritual leader, counselor and writer who has worked in synagogues, long-term care facilities and Jewish organizations.

Photo of Rabbi Amy Eilberg
Rabbi Amy Eilberg

Rabbi Amy Eilberg is the first woman ordained as a Conservative rabbi by the Jewish Theological Seminary of America. She serves as the Coordinator of Jewish Engagement for Faith in Action Bay Area, a multi-faith, multi-racial social justice organization in the San Francisco Bay Area. She previously served as the director of the Pardes Rodef Shalom (Pursuer of Peace) Communities Program, teaching Jewish civil discourse to rabbis, synagogues, and Jewish organizations. She also serves as a spiritual director and interfaith activist.

Her book, From Enemy to Friend: Jewish Wisdom and the Pursuit of Peace, was published by Orbis Books in March 2014. She received her Doctor of Ministry degree from United Theological Seminary of the Twin Cities in 2016.

Photo of Rabbi Yaakov Feldman
Rabbi Yaakov Feldman

Rabbi Yaakov Feldman is a Jewish Chaplain at Good Samaritan Hospital in Suffern, New York. Has translated and commented upon major Mussar works and other books on Jewish thought and mysticism.

Photo of Judith Golden
Judith Golden

Judith Golden is a Cantorial soloist who especially loves making up melodies for mussar middah phrases. Even more than making up her own tunes, she loves to encourage others to experiment with this and fine their own song.

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Rabbi Eric Gurvis
Director of Chaverim and Community Engagement

Rabbi Eric Gurvis is a graduate of SUNY-Albany, with a BA in Sociology and Judaic Studies, and was ordained at the Hebrew Union College-Jewish Institute of Religion in New York. Eric has served congregations in New York City; Jackson, Mississippi; Teaneck, New Jersey; Newton, Massachusetts; and is currently rabbi of Sha’arei Shalom in Ashland, MA.

In addition to his congregational work, Eric facilitates Mussar groups throughout the greater Boston area and Western Massachusetts. Eric is a Senior Rabbinic Fellow of the Shalom Hartman Institute in Jerusalem and has trained with The Mussar Institute as a Mussar Va’ad leader. Eric lives in the Greater Boston area with his wife, Laura Kizner Gurvis. Eric and Laura have four children and a 2 ½-year-old grandson in whom they take great delight.

Photo of Rabbi David Jaffe
Rabbi David Jaffe

Rabbi David Jaffe is the author of Changing the World from the Inside Out and the Founder of the Kirva Institute. His writing, teaching, consulting, and activism explore the intersection of moral development and ethical action in the world. David was the spiritual advisor at Gann Academy in Waltham, MA for many years, where he created Chanoch L’Na’ar, a nationally acclaimed Mussar program for high school faculty, students and school leadership. David is the author of the Institute for Jewish Spirituality’s Tikkun Middot curriculum and lead educator for that program. David lives in Sharon, MA with his wife, Janette, two teenage boys and charismatic cat, Bugsy.

Photo of Cyndee Levy
Cyndee Levy

Cyndee Levy is the Director of the Center for Jewish Learning at the Jewish Federation of St. Louis.

Photo of Rivy Poupko Kletenik
Rivy Poupko Kletenik

Rivy Poupko Kletenik is Head of School at Seattle Hebrew Academy, and she writes a monthly Jewish advice column for Seattle’s Jewish Sound.

Photo of Rabbi Chaim Safren
Rabbi Chaim Safren

Rabbi Chaim Safren has run the Calgary Community Kollel since 2007. An MIT graduate, he runs programs for Jews of all ages in his current community.

Photo of Rabbi Chasya Uriel Steinbauer
Rabbi Chasya Uriel Steinbauer

Rabbi Chasya-Uriel Steinbauer, a master-practitioner and teacher of Mussar for the past seventeen years, is the founder of the Ladder Va’ad of Manhattan and Jerusalem and currently serves as a community Rabbi, Scholar-in-Residence, and Rosh Va’ad.

Photo of Rabbi Pam Wax
Rabbi Pam Wax

Rabbi Pamela Wax serves as the staff rabbi at Westchester Jewish Community Services in White Plains, NY, offering pastoral counseling, spiritual direction, support groups, Mussar and other spiritual journeying groups through the agency’s Healing Center.

Photo of Rabbi Dr. Shmuly Yanklowitz
Rabbi Dr. Shmuly Yanklowitz

Rabbi Dr. Shmuly Yanklowitz is the President & Dean of Valley Beit Midrash; Founder & President of Uri L’Tzedek; Founder & CEO of The Shamayim V’Aretz Institute.