Mayyim Hayyim operates a kosher (proper) mikveh so that every member of the Jewish community can feel comfortable and welcomed.
Given that determinations of kashrut are always up for debate, we do our best to fully explain our understanding and execution of this fundamental principle and mitzvah.
All decisions regarding the maintenance of Mayyim Hayyim’s borot (collection pools of living water) and mikva’ot are under the supervision of Rabbi Yaacov Love, from Passaic, NJ. Rabbi Lila Kagedan serves as his local representative.
Design and Construction
Mayyim Hayyim worked closely with Rabbi Ben Zion Bergman z”l, a nationally respected rabbinic authority on all matters related to the design and construction of kosher mikva’ot. Before he passed away in 2015, Rabbi Bergman was a Talmud professor at the American Jewish University, a trained civil engineer, and a member of the Rabbinical Assembly Law Committee.
Rabbi Bergman consulted with Mayyim Hayyim’s architects at Bechtel, Frank & Erickson, to ensure that all measurements, materials and design conformed with Hilchot Mikva’ot (Jewish laws concerning the construction of a mikveh). The rabbi made three site visits during construction and met with rabbis from all segments of the Boston Jewish community who also reviewed and vetted Mayyim Hayyim’s design and construction plans.
Upon completion of construction, Rabbi Bergman returned to Boston to ensure that the borot were constructed correctly and that the system for collecting mayyim hayyim (“living” or naturally collected water) was correct.
Rabbi Bergman’s Teudat Hechsher (certificate of kashrut) is prominently displayed at Mayyim Hayyim.
Mikveh Guides (Attendants)
A Mikveh Guide is available to every guest coming to immerse at Mayyim Hayyim. Mikveh Guides go through a rigorous interview process and attend a seven-week course taught by Jewish educators and clergy from Orthodox, Reform, Reconstructionist and Conservative backgrounds using a curriculum reviewed and edited by community rabbis, mikveh experts and Jewish educators.
Mayyim Hayyim’s Mikveh Guides represent the full spectrum of Jewish religious observance. A visitor may request a specific Mikveh Guide or bring their own witness, or immerse without a witness (unless visiting under the auspices of a rabbi who requires otherwise.)
For questions concerning niddah, monthly immersion, Mayyim Hayyim staff and Mikveh Guides may consult a service (and encourage guests to do the same) provided by Nishmat: The Jeanie Schottenstein Center for Advanced Torah Study for Women. This website and organization’s goal is to provide Jewish legal and medical information about monthly immersion and women’s health. Some Boston area rabbis, including Rabbi Lila Kagedan, are available for ongoing consultation to guests regarding these topics.
Kitchen and Food
Mayyim Hayyim is a vegetarian-only facility; no meat is brought into the building (fish and dairy are permitted.) All food served by Mayyim Hayyim is certified kosher. Individuals who bring food into the building from a kosher-certified establishment or bearing kosher certification on its packaging may use Mayyim Hayyim’s dishes and silverware. Food that has been prepared without rabbinic supervision (whether store-bought or home-made) may be brought in, however, we ask that you provide your own utensils and paper plates.
If you have questions about Mayyim Hayyim’s adherence to halacha (Jewish law) please contact Carrie Bornstein, Executive Director.