12 2020

As Shaky as a Fiddler on the Roof

10:00AM - 12:00PM  

Contact Jewish Federation of the Berkshires
413-442-4360 x10

As Shaky as a Fiddler on the Roof

Jewish Spiritual Tools for a Time of Challenge

via Zoom Registration Required for Attendance


We are now sharing an unprecedented new chapter in our lives – trying to maintain our balance as our lives and the world around us challenge almost every bit of normal life we know. Each day will change our reality, and we will feel tested. Along the way, it’s easy to lose sight of our core values as we balance stress, frustration and a host of other powerful emotions in our new reality.

The Jewish practice of Mussar, and the teachings of the Mussar tradition can offer us a framework in which to take the steps we will be taking in this time of uncertainty. This session will provide a brief introduction to Mussar, and will focus on some of the concepts of this spiritual path: anavah (humility), hakarat ha-tov (recognizing the good), and menuchat haNefesh (equanimity).

These tools from our spiritual heritage can help us focus on how to best approach the uncertainty of the days ahead as we spend intense time in close proximity to those nearest and dearest to us, and at the same time try to sustain and nurture our relationships with those with whom we can only interact through technology and at a distance. Together we will explore how we can find and sustain our balance in a time when all of our lives are “as shaky as a Fiddler on the Roof.”

This webinar is sponsored by the Jewish Federation of the Berkshires, and co-presented in partnership among all of the congregations of Berkshire county. 

Rabbi Eric Gurvis is a graduate of SUNY-Albany, with a BA in Sociology and Judaic Studies, and was ordained at the Hebrew Union College-Jewish Institute of Religion in New York. Eric has served congregations in New York City; Jackson, Mississippi; Teaneck, New Jersey; Newton, Massachusetts; and is currently rabbi of Sha’arei Shalom in Ashland, MA.


In addition to his congregational work, Eric works with The Mussar Institute as Director of Chaverim and Community Engagement. He facilitates Mussar groups throughout the greater Boston area as well as in Western Massachusetts. He is a member of the faculty for The Mussar Institute, and the program. Eric is a Senior Rabbinic Fellow of the Shalom Hartman Institute in Jerusalem, and has trained with The Mussar Institute as a Mussar Va’ad leader.

Eric lives in the Greater Boston area with his wife, Laura Kizner Gurvis. Eric and Laura have four children, and two young grandsons in whom they take great delight.