madrich מדריך (madreekh) noun male / madricha מדריכה (madreekhah) noun female /madrichim מדריכים (madreekheem) plural: Guide; trainer; educator; group leader; va’ad facilitator; tour guide; camp counselor.
Rabbi Jonathan Bernhard
Rabbi Jonathan Jaffe Bernhard received his ordination from the Jewish Theological Seminary in May 1996. Prior to that, he studied at Haverford College, PA, from 1984-1988, where he received his BA in Religious Studies. Upon ordination in 1996, he came to Adat Ari El (Valley Village, CA) as the assistant rabbi where he has served ever since and he is now only the third senior rabbi in the congregation’s 70 year history. For him, Judaism is about Tikkun: Tikkun ha’Nefesh/developing our soul and Tikkun ha’Olam/repairing the world and his goal is to create a community that allows us to explore and grow spiritually as individuals and families while living in a community that remains committed to making this world a better place.
Rabbi Joshua Boettiger
Rabbi Joshua Boettiger is the spiritual leader of Temple Emek Shalom in Ashland, Oregon. He is a graduate of the Reconstructionist Rabbinical College in Philadelphia, and is a Rabbis Without Borders Fellow. Rabbi Boettiger leads three Mussar cohorts in Ashland, and also teaches Jewish meditation on a weekly basis and leads silent retreats. He has taught at Williams College, Southern Vermont College, and been a scholar in residence at different locations around the country, teaching on topics ranging from the history of Jewish poetry to biblical Hebrew.
Rabbi Rachel Bovitz
Rabbi Rachel Rudis Bovitz, Director of Millennial Engagement at The Jewish Theological Seminary (JTS), is known for her dynamic and innovative programs. Rabbi Bovitz previously was Adjunct Professor of Jewish Students at American Jewish University, focusing on Judaism and Gender and continues to run a series of independent learning programs including Mussar (ethical spiritual practice) study groups. Rabbi Bovitz began her rabbinic career as Associate Rabbi of Temple Aliyah in Woodland Hills, and was the founding director of the Conejo/West Valley Florence Melton Adult Mini-School.
Rabbi Richard Camras
Rabbi Richard Camras has been senior rabbi at Shomrei Torah Synagogue in West Hills, California since 1999 and previously served as Associate Rabbi of Chizuk Amuno Congregation in Baltimore, Maryland for seven years. He founded the Conejo/West Valley branch of the Florence Melton Adult Mini-School in 2007 and serves as President of the Pacific Southwest Regional Rabbinical Assembly. Rabbi Camras served for three years as the Chair of the West Valley Rabbinic Task Force at the Valley Alliance Federation and also oversees the West Valley/Conejo Valley Introduction to Judaism class sponsored by the American Jewish University.
Marty Jacobs has been studying Mussar for 6 years with Mindy Shapiro, Beu Trey, and Rabbi Ira Stone. He also has been studying Torah and Biblical Hebrew for over 60 years and is a 1958 graduate of Essex County (NJ) Hebrew High School. Marty is a retired Polymer Chemist who served as a consultant for 12 years, after directing the Research & Development Departments for 2 major corporations.
Linda has studied and practiced Mussar for almost nine years. She is a graduate of Connecticut College and the Columbia University School of Journalism. She was a reporter for the Providence (R.I.) Journal and a medical writer for the Philadelphia Inquirer. She studied medical issues on a mid-career Knight Fellowship at Stanford University. After she left the paper, she was a producer with Daughter Productions, a theater company that produced plays by women about women. She researched and wrote Gut Feelings: Social and Emotional Struggles with Crohn’s & Colitis, for which she interviewed more than 100 patients, family members and significant others to discover how people live with the shame and isolation of a disease that can be so difficult to talk about. Linda lives in Philadelphia with her husband, Jake. She has two sons, three stepchildren, and four step-grandchildren.
Herb studied for five years in the Mussar Leadership Program — graduating from the Va’ad of Rabbi Stone and Beulah Trey. He is a long-time teacher of adult Jewish education at the National Havurah Summer Institutes. He is also the author of Sing Unto God a New Song: A Contemporary Reading of the Psalms.
Eugene grew up in Romania and Israel. He has degrees from the Hebrew University in Jerusalem and Yale. He lives in Philadelphia where he works as a software engineer and is a member of congregation Mishkan Shalom. Eugene has been studying mussar with Rabbi Stone since 2006, and has been teaching both at BZBI and Mishkan Shalom. Eugene brings a deep knowledge of Torah, Talmud and other Jewish texts to his teaching.
Rabbi Daria Jacobs-Velde
Rabbi Daria Jacobs-Velde is the rabbi and co-founder of ZMANIM (www.zmanim-seasons.org), an organization which cultivates multi-generational Jewish community in West Sonoma County, exploring and celebrating connections between Judaism and the natural world. She was ordained by the Reconstructionist Rabbinical College in 2009, and during her time there was introduced to the practice of Mussar. Since 2006 she has been engaged in this traditional, powerful practice, as taught through the Mussar Leadership Program in Philadelphia. From 2012-2014 (at which point she moved to northern CA), she taught a Mussar cohort at Congregation Ohev Tzedek, in Ohio, where she also served as the co-rabbi with her husband, Josh.
Sonia Voynow is a psychotherapist in private practice, and the founder of Surviving and Thriving, an organization that draws on Mussar teachings to help parents and grandparents of children with autism. Raised in a conservative Jewish family, and a member of Germantown Jewish Centre, Sonia has found that Mussar has not only enlivened her religious and spiritual practice, it has also provided valuable guidance in many other aspects of her life. She has studied Mussar since 2005 with Rabbi Ira Stone. Sonia has her B.A. from the University of Pennsylvania and her Masters in Social Work from Temple University.
Miki Young was a founding member of the Mussar Leadership program. She brought a unique background of business acumen and spirituality, having both a Masters in Marketing Communication (Temple University, 1973) and a Masters in Jewish Studies (Gratz College, 2003). As a Mussar student, Miki was committed to both her own practice and to encouraging others in engaging. She spoke frequently on ethics, spirituality in the workplace, and social responsibility.