What is Mussar Parenting?
Most of what a child learns is by modeling a parents behavior.
Mussar is a Jewish spiritual practice of becoming a mensch.
Mussar Parenting is an approach to allow parents to discover and heal those things inside that cause them to get stuck in unhealthy parenting patterns. For example, Mussar parenting won’t tell you when to put your kids to bed. But it will help you understand if you set too few or too many boundaries for your kids. When we show up in life with a healthier balance in Humility and Honor, we are better positioned to set appropriate boundaries for ourselves and our children.
Mussar Parenting Video
The YouTube video of a URJ Webinar offers a Mussar Parenting Experience – you’ll see what it would be like to participate in a Mussar Parenting group, and then Greg Marcus pulls back the curtain to show the methodology he used to facilitate the group.
In the last part of the video, he explains the curriculum, discusses pricing, and answers questions. You can watch above, or follow the link here to YouTube.
Mussar Parenting Class
Greg Marcus created the Mussar Parenting class in the fall of 2016 because as a stay-at-home dad of two teen daughters, he needed help. The Mussar Parenting Class covers 13 soul traits. 12 come from Greg’s book The Spiritual Practice of Good Actions: Finding Balance Through the Soul Traits of Mussar. The other soul trait is Strength, which is essential for parenting. Greg and the participants in the class shared a journey of self discovery, becoming better people and better parents.
Here is what some of his students had to say.
“My wife and I have participated in several Mussar classes led by Greg. He is an excellent teacher and facilitator; in each class, he has a manner and approach which enables the students to find their own path to an insight. The discussions he leads have been meaningful and compelling, and makes connecting the particular Mussar topic under question connect deeply the participants’ everyday life. The students in our classes unanimously wanted Greg to continue teaching them, and hopefully you will as well.” – Micah Yairi, Ph.D. Congregation Beth Jacob
“Before I met Greg, I did not know what Mussar is. Through taking a class with Greg and reading his book, I came to understand that Mussar is a rigorous ethical and spiritual practice that can be used to change your approach to life. Greg’s clear and wise way of presenting and engaging people in Mussar has allowed me to develop both a daily practice and ongoing reflection. I encourage anyone who is interested in Mussar to learn from Greg and American Mussar.” – Elisabeth Sylvan, Ph.D.
Greg’s Mussar class has been a grounding force for my spiritual practice. It has provided me with tools to concentrate and focus on the specific soul traits – one by one – I am trying to improve upon to strengthen my relationships with other people and with G-d. Just as important, I think our class has made and built upon connections and deepened our friendships. We have new meaning, understanding and insight with each other we never had before (even after knowing each other for years!) – Rachel Winikoff
More on Greg Marcus here.
Mussar Parenting Curriculum
The Mussar Parenting At-Your-Fingertips Curriculum is designed to allow a lay leader to facilitate a Mussar Parenting group with a minimum of training. The curriculum comes with the following components
- Materials to cover 13 soul traits
- Each soul trait will come with a handout for participants, and a matching facilitators guide.
- A three hour training via webinar for facilitators, plus one additional 90 minute webinar for facilitators and/or participants
- One copy of The Spiritual Practice of Good Actions for each facilitator. The book is highly recommended for participants. Mantra Cards are also available for the facilitator and participants.
- Ongoing email support for facilitators
- Options to access the entire program at once, or in phases.
Mussar Parenting Curriculum Pricing
The Mussar Parenting At-Your-Fingertips Curriculum two options. The first is an ownership model. You buy the materials and you own them; use as many times as you like for as many people as you like. The cost for the program is available on a sliding scale, and can be accessed in multiple phases. For example:
Mussar Parenting Curriculum Phase 1 Includes:
- One year of access to materials for 5 Soul Traits – Humility, Patience, Loving-Kindness, Strength and Trust
- 90 minute web training for facilitators
- One copy of The Spiritual Practice of Good Actions: Finding Balance Through the Soul Traits of Mussar plus matching mantra cards
- Stand alone chapter for the soul trait of Strength
- Training manual and email support for facilitators
- Option to upgrade to the entire course at the end of one year
Mussar Parenting Curriculum Sample
Want to see sample materials? Just sign up below can you’ll get instant access you a sample the handout and matching facilitator’s guide for the Soul Trait of Patience.
Mussar Parenting Curriculum Availability
The Mussar Parenting At Your Fingertips Curriculum was released to the first two synagogues in September 2017. It is currently in use at URJ congregations in the SF Bay Area and in Dallas. Adina Zinn from Temple Isaiah in Lafayette CA said the following after just two meetings,
“I’m amazed at how the teachings are already having a positive effect on people’s lives.”
Rabbi Nicki Greninger from Temple Isaiah describes her experience with the Mussar For Parents Curriculum:
This year we created a theme of “Making a Mensch” for our religious school, and as part of it, we offered a Mussar Group for parents of religious school kids. Two of our congregants with mussar experience were trained by Greg Marcus and subsequently led the group of about 10 parents, using Greg’s Mussar for Parents curriculum and his book, The Spiritual Practice of Good Actions: Finding Balance through the Soul Traits of Mussar. The group has been a huge success, in that it helped parents connect with one another, explore mussar, use Jewish teachings to guide their parenting strategies, and find meaning in everyday experiences. Greg was a huge help to the facilitators, and the materials he created were easy to use. I am delighted we chose to offer a Mussar Group for Parents and would wholeheartedly recommend this program and these materials to others!
Want to learn more? Click HERE to contact Greg