The Mussar Institute

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Jewish Values for Everyday Living

Mussar for Children

Mussar for Children encourages an inquiry based approach in which cooperative, child-initiated learning promotes the children's spiritual and ethical development. The program provides a starting point for creating awareness and encouraging reflection and on-going discovery.

This program includes:

  • Family Introductory Letter
  • Teacher Introduction Letter
  • Information on how to purchase or create a program mascot
  • A Scroll with the middah written in English, Hebrew, and transliteration reinforces the idea that each middah was received long ago and has been passed down to us.
  • An introduction describing the middah and ways to incorporate it into family life which can be included in the school newsletter or sent home to parents.
  • Classroom Connection Activity for children to explore what the middah means.
  • Questions in a Jar Activity for stimulating class discussion about the middah.
  • Self-Awareness/Reflection Activity for children to personally relate to the middah.
  • Self-Awareness/Reflection Page for children to create a page for each middah which could be turned into a book at the end of the year.
  • Letter to Families for keeping parents involved and helping them reinforce the values at home.
  • Book List relating to the middah for helping parents and teachers choose books that foster continued discussion and reinforcement of the middah.
  • Home Connection: Family Discussion Activity for providing an opportunity for families to have discussions and engage in activities to experience the middah together.

Mendel the Mensch or his sister Mindel is a child-size puppet that can join you in the classroom when each new middah is introduced. Information on how to purchase or create your own mascot is included. The children experience Mendel or Mindel as the messenger who brings them the values (middot) from revered Jewish sources. The children are always excited to see the puppet, knowing that whenever he or she visits a new value to explore and practice is included, along with books to read, a much-loved "Questions in a Jar" activity and more.

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