Toward A Meaningful Life: A Soul-searching Journey for Every Jew


Life can be a treadmill - as we go through the motions day after day without ever asking why or seeking what really matters to us. This course, prepared by the author of the best-selling book, Toward a Meaningful Life, is determined to change that. Here are strategies, tips, and suggestions for not only discovering where your true meaning lies, but in actually making it a part of your daily existence. Whether you are dealing with family relationships or job satisfaction, this course will help you look beyond a crisis to find the lessons within. Most important of all, these sessions will help you see life as the mysterious, challenging, and satisfying wonder that it really is.



Course Overview

Discovering Your Personal Mission Statement
No business can function without a mission statement, and neither can you. This lesson will help you establish the foundation of a meaningful life — why you’re here, why you matter, and how you can make sense of the patterns of your thinking, behavior, and feelings.

Marriage, Love, and Intimacy
How can you nourish the richness and depth of a loving relationship? We’ll explore the spiritual factors that can make a relationship greater than the sum of its parts — with a passion that’s eternal, purposeful, comfortable, and which truly reflects our Jewish values and attitudes.

Home and Family
Building a home, raising a family — these are the most important sources of warmth and security in our lives. Learn how to nurture and strengthen these vital bonds that embrace us with comfortand connection.

Work, Charity, and Wealth
We all need to earn a living, but that doesn’t have to consign us to a plodding drudgery that leaves us feeling half-alive. We’ll explore the ins and out of job satisfaction, as well as ways to put money in its proper perspective and keep materialism from overpowering our G-d-given, spiritual natures.

Pain, Loss, and Anxiety
Pain can intrude on our lives at any time. All-consuming, it is a call for attention that launches the natural process of healing. We'll explore ways of coping with difficulty, finding a balance between grieving for what has been lost and feeling hope for the future.

Religion and Faith
Faith is not only the stuff of childhood. It can open us up to the mystery of life, the wonder that defies reason. In this session, we work toward a personal grappling with truth as well as a more mature, dynamic relationship with our Creator.



Course Endorsements


"It is the very problem of our time that people are caught in a pervasive feeling of meaninglessness; people may have enough to live by, but more than not they have nothing to live for. JLI’s Toward a Meaningful Life is an impressive testimony of caring for the most central and humane and human needs - the need to find and understand one’s place in the world, and to come to a practical and applicable understanding of what it means to be a unique and irreplaceable person - to make a difference, and to live up to what one’s personal path in this world may be. Such an understanding enables one not only enjoy life and one’s talents and gifts in all their richness, it also enables one to cope with life hardships. In a word - a renewed awareness of meaning connects one with life’s existential dimension. A timely topic, and a great course."
Alexander Batthyány, PhD, President, Viktor Frankl Institute Vienna, Chair of Department of Philosophy, University of Vienna, Vienna, Austria


"Toward A Meaningful Life can provide you with what most people never realize in their lifetime…. This course gives you the tools and opportunity to rebirth and re-parent yourself. And I have learned that when you heal your life your body benefits from the feelings and provides you with a longer healthier life as a side effect."
Bernie Siegel, MD, Bestselling Author of seven books including 365 Prescriptions For The Soul and Faith, Hope & Healing, Woodbridge, Connecticut


"On the level of the individual to the level of culture, the ills we experience, by and large, result from mindlessness. The wisdom discussed in Toward a Meaningful Life should be widely read to help provoke a reversal of this trend and lead us to mindful lives full of everyday meaning."
Ellen Langer, PhD, Professor of Psychology, Harvard University, Bestselling Author of eleven books including Mindfulness, Counterclockwise: Mindful Health and The Power of Possibility, Cambridge, MA


"Back in the 1950s Viktor Frankl wrote about the existential vacuum — the purposelessness — that permeated our culture. Today, the situation is worse that it was then. Toward a Meaningful Life can contribute toward replacing the void of meaninglessness with a more engaging, purposeful, and happy existence."
Tal Ben-Shahar, PhD, Professor, IDC, Lecturer, Psychology Department, Harvard University, Bestselling Author of five books including Happier: Learn the Secrets to Daily Joy and Lasting Fulfillment, and The Question of Happiness: On Finding Meaning, Pleasure, and the Ultimate Currency, Herzliya, Israel


"Freud said we humans are animated by eros. Marx said by economics. Two Jews, both wrong. The greatest human need is meaning – as brilliantly described by a third Jew, Viktor Frankl, in his seminal work, Man’s Search for Meaning. There are happy people who are poor and there are happy people who are not engaged in an intimate relationship. But there is not a single person on earth who lacks meaning and is happy. If that doesn’t commend this magnificent JLI course, Toward a Meaningful Life, taught by some of the wisest men around the world, I do not know what will."
Dennis Prager, Nationally syndicated radio talk show host, Bestselling author of four books including Happiness Is a Serious Problem, Founder of the Internet-based Prager University, Glendale, California


"At a time when anxiety is on the rise and there is a widespread loss of trust in public institutions people are turning to each other, as well as inwards, to reflect on what is truly meaningful in life. Toward a Meaningful Life is as timely as it is effective. It is an opportunity to get back on track."
Robert Biswas-Diener, PhD, Programme Director, Centre of Applied Positive Psychology, Author and Co-Author of five groundbreaking books on Positive Psychology, Portland, Oregon


"Healthy faith-based and psychological practices can offer considerable assistance to each individual's attempt to scale the great existential challenges of finding meaning, a way of belonging, and increasing freedom.  This course unites both approaches to empower participants to find greater meaning and joy in their lives."
Steven E. Rothke, PhD, Clinical Professor, Northwestern University Medical School, President, Illinois Psychological Association, Clinical Psychologist, Northbrook, IL


"Toward a Meaningful Life is a beautiful book filled with wisdom that will benefit any reader with an open heart. One need not agree with or even understand every conclusion, to be instructed and warmed by the insights and compassion that course through the book's pages. I commend the book to anyone who wishes to open a door to the profound tradition the book represents. With best wishes,"
Gordon Bermant, PhD, JD, Lecturer in Psychology and the Benjamin Franklin Scholars Program, University of Pennsylvania


"Toward a Meaningful Life integrates many positive psychology interventions and research findings into a package that should benefit any committed meaning-seeker."
Kennon Sheldon, PhD, Professor of Psychological Sciences, University of Missouri, Columbia, Missouri


"For each and every one of us, life’s challenge is to discover why we’re here, what man’s purpose is, and how we each can find ourselves and our own personal destiny to live our lives in the richest, fullest, most joyfully productive manner. For many of us, this course provides a path to begin that journey in earnest. As with all JLI’s courses, an excellent guide for the perplexed among us."
Michael E. Gerber, Author of The E-Myth books, Founder and Chief Dreamer of Michael E. Gerber Companies, Carlsbad, California


"I know many people who have taken the JLI class and found it a source of inspiration, personal growth and a place of friendship and community."
Erica Brown, PhD, Director of Adult Education, The Partnership for Jewish Life and Learning, Author and Lecturer, Silver Spring, MD


"The Talmud notes that ‘The world endures on three principles: truth, justice, and peace.’ Unfortunately, the “greed is good” approach to business has corrupted our values and come very close to destroying the world economy. I strongly support the Rohr JLI course, Toward a Meaningful Life. Only a life – and we certainly must include one’s business life -- grounded in ethical and spiritual values can be meaningful to the individual and beneficial to society."
Hershey H. Friedman, PhD, Department of Finance and Business Management, Brooklyn College of the City University of New York, Brooklyn, NY


"I commend the efforts of JLI to provide a course such as Toward a Meaningful Life which seeks to enhance people's lives in these fundamental aspects."
Hilary Cohen, MSW, Lifeworks Outreach Services, Woodbridge, VA


"The Rohr Jewish Learning Institute's course, Toward a Meaningful Life, uses core principles of Positive Psychology to lead students down an elegant but simple path to self-fulfillment and to living lives with their highest purpose in mind. I enthusiastically support this course in teaching self-introspection, goal setting and facilitating living lives with vision and meaning."
Marcia Kesner, MS, LPC, LMHC, Adjunct Professor, Ferkauf Graduate School of Psychology and Psychotherapist of Yeshiva University, New York, NY


"Here is a program to provide spiritual enrichment within our rich Jewish heritage. It goes beyond acquiring more information and can be an effective springboard for life transformation."
Barbara Sofer, MA, Israel Director of Public Relations and Communications, Hadassah, Columnist, The Jerusalem Post, Author, Jerusalem, Israel


"As with generations of the past, we search for meaning in our lives, yet often struggle with this goal. Often, the problem is focusing on only one facet of the stone rather than realizing that they all contribute to creating a special ‘light.’ Toward a Meaningful Life helps participants realize the importance and value of creating a toolkit of life skills that not only provides practical strategies to addressing the different facets of one’s life, but helps participants realize the need of them to shine together—as one unique stone."
George J Pfeiffer, MSE, FAWHP, Author, Founder and President, The WorkCare Group, Inc., Member, Board of Directors, National Wellness Institute, Charlottesville, Virginia

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