OW Guide

"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 mikva’ot in the US that is accessible to people with disabilities. The building is accessible to wheelchairs; service animals are welcome.

We offer a fully accessible preparation suite complete with wheelchair access, a shower seat, and handheld shower head. Our immersion pools feature safety rails and an aquatic lift for those who need assistance getting in and out of the water.

Many of our volunteers have experience guiding for guests with physical disabilities, vision impairment, hearing impairment, Autism spectrum disorders, people in hospice, and survivors of trauma. They also speak a variety of languages, including American Sign Language.

In partnership with the Ruderman Family Foundation Mayyim Hayyim has developed resources 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

Let us know how we can help welcome and support you. Contact our Mikveh and Education Director to learn more or to request any of these services.