Ira F. Stone

Rabbi Ira F. Stone is a leading figure in the contemporary renewal of the Musar movement, a Jewish ethical movement.

Ira F. Stone
Occupationcongregational rabbi
Notable work
A Responsible Life
Spouse(s)Annie Stone
Theological work
Tradition or movementConservative Judaism
Main interestsMusar Movement
Emmanuel Levinas
Jewish philosophy

Stone was ordained as a rabbi at the Jewish Theological Seminary of America in 1979, and proceeded to serve congregations in Seattle and Philadelphia while also teaching at the Jewish Theological Seminary of America. He has been the spiritual leader at Temple Beth Zion-Beth Israel in Philadelphia since 1988. He also currently teaches at the Reconstructionist Rabbinical College and is the director of Mussar Leadership Programs (formerly known as the Philadelphia Mussar Institute).

He is a scholar of Emmanuel Levinas and of the Musar movement. His book A Responsible Life: The Spiritual Path of Mussar (Aviv Press, 2006), draws on the thinking of Emmanuel Levinas in developing a contemporary vision of Musar. Unlike other non-Orthodox Musar teachers, he believes that Musar practice must involve a commitment to the observance of Jewish law. Stone has also proposed that a dedication to Musar should be central to the approach of Conservative Judaism.[1]

Among his other books are 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), Sketches for a Book of Psalms (Xlibris, 2000), and a commentary on Rabbi Moshe Hayyim Luzzatto's Mesillat Yesharim (Jewish Publication Society, 2010).


  1. ^ Geoffrey Claussen, "The American Jewish Revival of Musar", Hedgehog Review 12, no. 2 (2010): 63-72