(Tikkun Middot: Part One)
Judaism from the Inside Out: Spiritual Practices for Real Life
Have you ever felt overwhelmed by the prospect of choosing your courses? Snapped at a friend out of anger or impatience? Hesitated to speak up in class even when you knew you had something interesting to say?
What does Judaism have to teach us about our daily behaviors and routines? How can our actions become opportunities for spiritual growth? In this class, we will study teachings and practices from several Jewish spiritual traditions, including meditation, mindfulness, and mussar (the development of positive personal characteristics). Each week, we will explore a different practice through text study, meditation, journaling and group discussion. In between sessions, participants will apply the practices to everyday life and interpersonal relationships.
As we reflect on our experiences, we will grow in our awareness of how our behavior impacts ourselves and the world around us. By the end of the semester, participants will have practiced several techniques that can help us navigate 'real life' and help us grow through daily living.
(Tikkun Middot: Part Two)
Soul Selfies
Selfies are everywhere: those photos we snap of ourselves to capture --and share-- a moment with friends, family, or by ourselves. A selfie is a picture of our physical selves. But what does a selfie of our soul look like? The Jewish tradition of mussar and tikkun middot, ethical spiritual development, teaches that our souls and our spiritual lives are never static but always in a state of dynamic movement--and that each one of us has a unique ‘soul curriculum’ that is a path to personal and spiritual growth. So what might it look like to take a selfie of our souls? A soul selfie would capture a segment of this unique journey towards greater fulfillment of our best selves. The Bronfman Center and the Center for Spiritual Life are inviting applications for “Soul Selfie: Portraits of Spiritual Journeys,” a project that will share reflections from up to ten students who have participated in the JLF seminar Judaism from the Inside Out: Spiritual Practices for Real Life. Alumni and current students in the seminar may apply by choosing one or more spiritual practices --- middot (character traits) or meditations--- that they have studied, and developing a project that reflects their own learning and growth related to these practices. (A list of the practices covered in the seminar is below.) Sample projects include the following:
  • Writing a series of blog posts documenting their experience working on this aspect of personal development;
  • Hosting a gathering of friends and leading a discussion or text study related to a specific middah
  • Creative artistic expressions such as dance, video, or other visual arts that portray engagement with the meditation practice and/or middah

Funding of up to $100/project is available to cover costs.

Selected projects will be featured in Bronfman Center and GCASL social media, including a unique Facebook and twitter campaign. All projects must be completed by December 15, 2014, and will be showcased over the course of the spring semester. Participating students will also receive a $25 gift certificate to the NYU bookstore, and a copy of Everyday Holiness by Dr Alan Morinis, a contemporary guide to mussar and its spiritual possibilities

To apply, please submit a description of your project, including any associated budget, by Friday November 7, 2014. Please email Shuli Passow, Bronfman Center rabbinic fellow and JLF educator, with any questions at __shpassow@jtsa.edu__.

  • Hitlamdut (Learning Through Mindfulness)
  • Bechira (Choice) Points
  • Anavah (Humility)
  • Savlanut (Patience)
  • Hesed (Lovingkindness)
  • Shmirat Halashaon (Mindful Speech)
  • Shtika (Silence)
  • Bitachon (Security)

  • Mindfulness meditation (focus on the breath)
  • Eating Meditation
  • Walking Meditation
  • Hesed (Blessing) Meditation
  • RAIN Meditation
Website: (currently in process of reorganization)
Project leadership team names and emails:
Yael Shy,
Shuli Passow,
MATERIALS PRODUCED FOR MIDDAH OF EACH MONTH (banners, posters, divrei Torah, songs, etc.):

Bechirah Points:

"Soul Selfie: Behira" by NYU student Willa Brown: click here






(Please see both All Middot and Meditations in our curriculum, below)
PUBLICITY MATERIALS (press releases, newsletter articles, e-=blasts, etc.)
  • "Soul Selfie Project" by NYU student Jaimie Mishkin: click here
  • "Soul Selfie: Behira" by NYU student Willa Brown: click here
  • "Soul Selfie: The Mountain and the Sea" by NYU student Adar Darnov: click here
  • "Soul Selfie: Madeline's Musings" by NYU student Madeline Dolgin: click here, here, and here