Art Gallery and Education Center, Jewish Community, Shabbat and Holidays

New Year, New Exhibit, New Partnership

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by Rachel Eisen, Director of Development It’s always an exciting day when a new exhibit goes up in the Gallery @ Mayyim Hayyim. Since Mayyim Hayyim opened, our commitment to hiddur mitzvah, beautifying ritual life, has extended beyond the spa-like architecture and design of our mikveh pools and building. The principle of hiddur mitzvah dates […]

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Art Gallery and Education Center, Jewish Community

An Anonymous Affirmation

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At Mayyim Hayyim, we often receive feedback from visitors around the world who participated in one of our many education programs with Associate Director of Education, Leeza Negelev. We are pleased to share these thoughtful reflections from an Israeli teen with the Bronfman Fellowship. Dear Leeza, On behalf of myself and all of the Bronfman fellows, […]

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Art Gallery and Education Center, Jewish Community

The Tide has Shifted

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by Anita Diamant, Founding President I have to tell you a story. At the recent Reform Movement Biennial, more than 50 participants from all over the world took a field trip to Mayyim Hayyim. The response was — rapturous. Mikveh and Education Director, Lisa Berman, asked those 50 URJ guests how many had never been […]

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Blessings

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by Lisa Berman, Mikveh and Education Director It was a hot, sunny day during Sukkot last month and I was in Jerusalem visiting my daughter. During our ten days together, we’d plan an adventure each day. One day we scoured the Muslim Quarter of the Old City for a 200 year old address-less pastry shop […]

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“The Mikveh Monologues” Go to California

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by Karen Calechman The theme for my synagogue’s “Joys of Jewish Learning” event this past year was mayyim (water). Sharon Amster Brown, our Director of Education, excitedly chose “The Mikveh Monologues” as the perfect theatrical piece to be performed at Temple Israel of Long Beach, California. “The Mikveh Monologues,” a play based on stories from […]

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Community in Action

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by Rachel Eisen, Director of Annual Giving Jewish rituals and religious observance rely on community, and people are the backbone of communities. That’s what I walked away with after seeing the film, The Women’s Balcony. The film is about people from a small Sephardi congregation in Jerusalem, whose lives are disrupted when the upstairs women’s […]

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The Simcha of Smicha

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by Rabbi Leora Abelson Ordination weekend began at the mikveh. This felt right for our class, which had marked the beginning of each year of rabbinical school with a ritual at Crystal Lake. We know that the mere presence of water can be grounding and heart-opening. We gathered early Friday morning. Our group of eleven […]

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Returning to Mikveh

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by Phyllis Hirth Here’s my timeline, short and sweet: I was born in Connecticut, raised as a Catholic, moved to New York after college, met my husband, and married into a Conservative Jewish family. My first experience with mikveh was during my own conversion to Judaism. My memory of that is less than pleasant. A woman […]

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Limmud FSU Revisited

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by Leeza Negelev, Associate Director of Education Last month, for the second time, I attended Limmud FSU (Former Soviet Union), a gathering of Russian-speaking and Russian-adjacent Jews from all walks of life. Last year, after teaching a session on mikveh, I enjoyed my newfound notoriety as “the mikveh lady,” as I came to be known. I […]

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From the Ghetto to the Mikveh

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by Rabbi Mara Young “I didn’t expect this experience to move me as much as it did.” This was the refrain from my fellow travelers as they boarded our bus back to New York. Just a month ago, I had the pleasure of spending 48 hours in Boston with members of my congregation. Mayyim Hayyim […]

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Moments in a Moroccan Mikveh

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by Elyse Shuster I recently returned from a trip to southern Spain and Morocco. Part of the appeal of this region was its rich Jewish history, and I was definitely not disappointed! While much of the Jewish history in Spain is the story of a “golden age” cut short by the expulsion of the Jews […]

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