Who We Are
Rabbi Ira Stone
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.
He has served congregations in Seattle, Washington, and Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, where he has been the spiritual leader at Temple Beth Zion-Beth Israel since 1988.
Rabbi Stone has been visiting lecturer in Jewish Philosophy at the Jewish Theological Seminary of America, and currently teaches at the Reconstructionist Rabbinical College in Philadelphia. He has taught and lectured widely on Talmud and the world of Emmanuel Levinas.
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 will be published by The Jewish Publication Society in September 2010.
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.
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.
Miki Young combines a unique background of business acumen and spirituality. She has both a Masters in Marketing Communication (Temple University, 1973) and a Masters in Jewish Studies (Gratz College, 2003). As a Mussar student, Miki is committed to both her own practice and to encouraging others in engaging. She has studied with Rabbi Stone for five years and speaks frequently on ethics, spirituality in the workplace, and social responsibility.
Jim Culbertson is a Jew-by-choice having converted to Judaism 40 years ago. Born and raised in California, he spent two years in the Peace Corps educating teachers in Nigeria after graduating from San Francisco State University and earning a M.A. in Interdisciplinary Humanities. He earned an M.Ed. from Temple University in 1972. He has a lifetime of experience as an educator in public schools, higher education, and non-profit organizations. He is a founding member of Mussar Leadership Programs.