Back in the proverbial saddle…

by Leah Hart Tennenleah-photo

When life hands you lemons, call Carrie Bornstein.  If a truer lesson is out there, I have yet to find it.

In my attempts to discover what I want to be when I grow up (any suggestions?  I’m open!), I have found myself slightly without a job.  I have a couple of part-time things going on, but nothing that has that certain, oh I don’t know, “pays the bills” quality.  It’s also hard to find work that has that perfect balance of feeling like you know what you’re doing and feeling challenged to learn and grow.  Again, any ideas?  I’m pretty open-minded.

I have had the privilege of being involved with Mayyim Hayyim, in some capacity, since 2006; first as a guest, then as a volunteer Mikveh Guide, then as Mikveh Center Director.  In November of 2013, I moved on to (as I might have mentioned earlier) figure out what I want to be when I grow up.  One wonderful outcome was that I was able to “just” be a Mikveh Guide, coming in when I wanted to, as opposed to when I needed to.  I found that I wanted to guide a lot, and managed to come in at least twice a month, often after Shabbat ended on Saturday nights.  I loved being able to come into a peaceful, quiet space, hoping to provide the same for the guests coming to immerse.  Guess what? The more things change, the more they stay the same.

In my various roles, I have seen people come to Mayyim Hayyim for a variety of reasons.  But, I also believe that underneath the larger kavanah (intention), there is a search for peace, for familiarity, and for finding one’s center (and maybe the hope that Anita Diamant might be lurking in the shadows somewhere).

Here I am now, slightly unemployed, and looking for something to do.  Did I mention that one should call Carrie Bornstein?  Well, that’s exactly what I did and here I am, back in the proverbial saddle.  For the next few weeks, you can find me helping out at Mayyim Hayyim happily scheduling conversions, answering questions about immersions, providing resources to people about mikveh and different ways of observing the ritual, and, perhaps most importantly, spending time in probably my favorite place on earth.

Leah Hart Tennen, MPH, LICSW is an experienced social worker, specializing in groups and clinical work with adolescents and parents.  She is open to any ideas about job opportunities and encourages you to contact her with advice.  She can be reached at


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