By Dr. Paula Brody, Founding Board Member
When Anita Diamant first spoke to me about her vision for a beautiful, warm, and welcoming mikveh for celebration and solace, I was deeply touched. “Imagine a Jewish ritual that might mark the end of chemotherapy or infertility treatments,” Anita said. “Imagine marking different kinds of life milestones, such as starting a new job or having a child leave for college — in addition to traditional immersions for new Jews and brides.” I responded, “Imagine a place where everyone can discover the beauty of Jewish ritual, where the mikveh can be demystified and made accessible to all.” Thanks to the generosity of so many individuals in our community, all of these dreams have become reality. I hope you will join me in continuing to support this unique sacred space.
As one of Mayyim Hayyim’s founders, I was deeply committed to our mission of outreach, so that the ceremony of immersion for conversion would become a natural and beautiful experience for everyone involved, and adoptive parents would feel comfortable bringing children to the mikveh. However, in the seven years since we opened our doors, the learning opportunities at Mayyim Hayyim’s have surpassed all of my dreams.
Introduction to Judaism classes for interfaith couples and individuals exploring Judaism bring 250 people to Mayyim Hayyim annually, so they can see the mikveh and have their questions answered thoughtfully.
Religious school and day school classes in and beyond greater Boston now include a visit to Mayyim Hayyim as part of their Jewish life cycle curricula. Every year, more than 1200 children rush to touch the water in the mikveh for themselves, inspired by a lively interactive lesson with Lisa Berman, our gifted Education Center Director.
Mayyim Hayyim has become an international educational resource, too. More than 500 clergy, educators, Jewish professionals, and lay leaders attended the two breakthrough mikveh conferences we hosted. And now, whenever national clergy associations visit Boston, site visits to Mayyim Hayyim are part of the program.
The festival of Hanukkah teaches us that dreamers can prevail and that wonders never cease. Your generous donation to Mayyim Hayyim insures that we will continue to be a place that nurtures the soul and fires the imagination.
Wishing you a delightful holiday and with unimaginable thanks for your gift.
From a recent visitor: “In my opinion, this was the most beautiful, most spiritual, most moving experience of my life (so far.) I’ve loved Mayyim Hayyim from the moment I came for a tour in 6th grade. Now that I’ve immersed for my bat mitzvah, I am even more in love with Mayyim Hayyim and my Jewish self, who is now a woman, and no longer a child. I feel at peace and relaxed, and pure, and loved, and in love. Thank you, G-d” – M.
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Paula Brody has been a professional on the Northeast Council of the Union for Reform Judaism staff for the past 16 years. She has consulted to clergy, educators and lay leaders in Reform congregations on intermarriage and conversion. She currently coordinates Reform Judaism’s outreach initiatives in greater Boston, funded by a grant from Combined Jewish Philanthropies. Paula has developed and facilitated many programs though the Outreach Training Institute, including the “Reclaiming Mikveh” conference offered four years ago, in partnership with Mayyim Hayyim and 33 national and local organizations. Paula is a founding Mayyim Hayyim Board Member.