Dina Schoonmaker is one of the most insightful and psychologically attuned people I have ever come in contact with. The midos vaad that she has put together benefits from her many years of personal mussar study, teaching and counseling, and particularly her sharp understanding of human nature. In the vaad meeting, Mrs. Schoonmaker presents one aspect of the midah we are working on. The presentation is a combination of traditional sources and personal insights, and always ends with a homework assignment - an "avoda" for the week. My group reports on our application of the homework assignment by email to each other. The discussion is always lively, fascinating, and revealing of a greater understanding of ourselves and others. We all feel that the vaad is changing our lives. I personally have very little time in my busy life for commitments other than work or family, but the midos vaad has become and indispensable part of my life. The story is told of the villager from Kelm who wanted to send a letter, but since the letter was already so heavy, refused to put a stamp on the envelop for fear of making the envelop heavier and therefore undeliverable. The midos vaad is that stamp. You may be thinking that you don't have time for another commitment, but this is the "extra" component that can make the envelope deliverable -- infusing the rest of your life with calm, serenity, and fulfillment.
- Leah Hershman
Dina's classes on emuna/bitachon have strengthened my awareness of Hashem's involvement in every detail of my life. Her teachings on anger have transformed the way I think about and relate to anger. The knowledge, advice and practical applications that she provides throughout the course ease the task of growth and help facilitate change in our lives. Dina's teachings will resonate with virtually any woman seeking avenues for growth.
Ramat Beit Shemesh, Israel
Dina’s vaad is an amazing combination of the wisdom of our chachamim (sages) and contemporary psychology. The end result is a practical step by step approach to middos improvement and a deeper relationship with Hashem and ourselves. Dina’s vaad has provided me with the tools necessary to deal with life’s challenges.
Dina shares her vast knowledge of Torah and life in such a clear manner- understandable to all. I travel from Chashmonaim to Ramat Beit Shemesh weekly to hear Dina's pearls of wisdom. What I personally appreciate is Dina's well rounded wealth of information gathered from professionals in the world of education and psychology. After experiencing her Mussar Vaad in Ramat Beit Shemesh- I could not keep her all to myself and began a monthly Rosh Chodesh shiur in my home.