Rosh Yeshiva Rabbi Ira Stone
Rabbi Stone serves as the Rosh Yeshiva of the Mussar Leadership Program. He has served congregations in Seattle, Washington, and Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. He was the spiritual leader at Temple Beth Zion-Beth Israel for 27 years and is now Rabbi Emeritus.
Ira Stone received his education at Queens College, the University of California at Santa Barbara, the American Jewish University in Los Angeles, and the Jewish Theological Seminary, where he was ordained a Rabbi in 1979.
Rabbi Stone has been visiting lecturer in Jewish Philosophy at the Jewish Theological Seminary of America, and at the Reconstructionist Rabbinical College in Philadelphia. He has taught and lectured widely on Talmud and the world of Emmanuel Levinas. He travels widely as a scholar-in-residence at synagogues at conferences.
He is the author of Reading Levinas/Reading Talmud (JPS, 1998), Seeking the Path of Life: Theological Meditations on the Nature of God, Life, Love and Death (Jewish Lights, 1993) and Sketches for a Book of Psalms (Xlibris, 2000) as well as numerous articles in various journals of Jewish thought.
Rabbi Stone’s first book on mussar is A Responsible Life: The Spiritual Path to Mussar (Aviv Press 2006). His commentary on Rabbi Moshe Hayyim Luzzatto’s Mesillat Yesharim was published by The Jewish Publication Society in September 2010.
Executive Director Nancy Axelrod
Nancy serves both as the Executive Director of the Mussar Leadership Program and as a madricha, leading our South Jersey va’ad. She embraces Abraham Joshua Heschel’s precept of “praying with your feet” and has devoted herself to the causes of economic justice, racial reconciliation, sustainable communities and non-violence. Nancy founded a nonprofit called the Jewish Camden Partnership, and has worked both professionally and as a volunteer as an advocate, community organizer and program developer. She holds a B.A. from the University of Pennsylvania and a Masters in Public Administration from George Washington University. A Mussar student since 2009, Nancy brings a social justice perspective to her teaching, but also enjoys helping others to see how Mussar can transform their personal relationships.
Mindy Shapiro, Director of Outreach and Madrich Development
Mindy Shapiro is a Jewish communal professional with over 25 years of experience. She was the founding director of Rosh Hodesh: It’s a Girl Thing!, a program of Moving Traditions. She has also worked for other Jewish organizations including Hillel of Greater Philadelphia, International Hillel and the Gershman Y. Mindy has been studying Mussar with Rabbi Stone since 2003. Mussar provides her with a framework for leading a more mindful life, something she would like to help others to do. She is also a papercut artist. Mindy has a B.A in Women Studies from University of MD. and an M.A. in Women Studies from George Washington University.
Dr. Beulah Trey, Mashgiach Ruchani (Director of Curriculum and Practice)
Dr. Trey is a founder of the Mussar Leadership Program and, in addition to teaching advanced classes, is responsible for curriculum development and group process training. Born into a South African Jewish family, raised in an orthodox Jewish community, married into a fourth generation reform family, follower of a conservative Rabbi and a member of a Reconstructionist synagogue, finding Mussar has given Beulah a practice that incorporates the diverse paths inside and outside Judaism that have nurtured her soul. Aware of the power of Mussar to transform lives, she pioneers the applications of these practices to leadership, team and organizational transformation.