“As a mother of child with a disability, I have been keenly aware of what it means to be marginalized. Marie’s immersion at Mayyim Hayyim was as powerful for me as it was for her. Together we were able to mark a moment that was truly transformative. This day we both were part of an ancient ritual that had been meant for others – and now it belongs to us.”

One of Mayyim Hayyim’s seven core principles is petichut – Hebrew for “openness” and “inclusivity.” For us, petichut means being accessible and available to everyone who wishes to learn about mikveh and ritual, as well as for anyone in the Jewish community who wishes to immerse. It also expresses our commitment to welcoming and meeting the needs of people of all physical and developmental abilities.

We believe that the mikveh should not be limited to those who are of typical physical and developmental capabilities. Mayyim Hayyim is one of only a handful of mikvaot in the US that is accessible to people with disabilities.

In partnership with the Ruderman Family Foundation Mayyim Hayyim is developing and piloting new resources in Boston, and preparing these materials for national distribution, including:

  • Open Waters: Mikveh for Everybody, a brief documentary film on making mikveh – and indeed any Jewish space – accessible, thus normalizing full inclusion and inspiring schools, synagogues, community centers and other organizations to do the same
  • An accompanying discussion guide for use in schools, youth groups, camps, and synagogues to raise awareness about inclusion in the Jewish community – in all settings
  • A picture guide of our Seven Kavanot for Mikveh Preparation, an alternative when the English language is a stumbling block

Interested in these resources as they become available? Contact us and we'll keep you informed. 

Sharon Shapiro

Ruderman Family Foundation Trustee and Director of the Boston Office (photo credit: Steve Lipofsky)

“Mayyim Hayyim is a well-known mikveh and education center in the Boston area and an organization that is inclusive and cutting-edge. Mayyim Hayyim is one of a handful of accessible mikvaot in the U.S. They understand accessibility and inclusion so well that it made perfect sense for our Foundation to partner with them. Our hope is that more mikvaot and Jewish organizations will learn and implement inclusive practices through this very special partnership.”