Mayyim Hayyim has worked hard to reopen our doors in the safest way possible, and we look forward to welcoming you. The safety of our community is our top priority and with that in mind, we share these upgrades and new procedures, developed in partnership with infectious disease and legal experts. Please check this page for updates as we expect these protocols to vary over time as new information about the pandemic and its spread in Massachusetts becomes available. 

One of Mayyim Hayyim’s core values is petichut – openness and inclusivity – and we strive to provide as much access and availability as possible. We also know that in order to minimize risk at this timeMayyim Hayyim needs to operate in more restrictive ways than is typical for us. We thank you in advance for your partnership in keeping our community as safe as possible.

Screening

All those who enter the building (including our volunteer Mikveh Guides) will be required to complete a COVID-19 symptom and exposure screening. If any of the following apply for our guests or their household members/intimate partners, guests will need to either cancel their appointment or reschedule for a later date: 

  • Chills, fever above 100.4 degrees, symptoms of acute respiratory illness such as new cough, sore throat, difficulty breathing, shortness of breath 
  • New loss of smell, reduced ability to smell or detect odors, reduced or distorted sense of taste 
  • Diarrhea or vomiting 
  • Current evaluation for COVID-19 with a test pending or scheduled, positive diagnosis within the past 14 days, or close contact in the past 14 days with anyone who fits these categories
  • Airline travel within the past 14 days

We expect that all visitors to Mayyim Hayyim will comply with Massachusetts’ current COVID-19 travel order as it relates to visitors and returning residents entering Massachusetts. A negative PCR/molecular test result for COVID-19 may be accepted provided the sample was taken within 72 hours of visiting Mayyim Hayyim and is being used only for those visiting from a higher-risk state by transit other than air travel. Under no circumstances will a negative test result be permissible for entry in the case of airline travel, symptoms, or COVID-19 exposure.

Anyone visiting Mayyim Hayyim must successfully check in prior to entering the building, which can be done most easily and quickly from the check-in email sent 24 hours prior to the appointment time. Confirmation of a successful check-in (via smart phone or printout) must be shown to the Mikveh Guide in order to enter the building.

Scheduling

Each person visiting Mayyim Hayyim (those immersing, their guests, or clergy) must schedule their own individual appointment in advance (link to the scheduling page) and successfully check in via webform which will be emailed 24 hours prior to their visit. Confirmation of successful check-in (via smart phone or printout) must be shown to the Mikveh Guide in order to enter the building.

Mayyim Hayyim’s reopening will take a phased approach and appointments will be available on a limited basis, no more than one per hour, which can now be self-scheduled on our website. Those immersing may bring up to two additional guests with them. All those in the building (other than those who live in the same household) must remain at least six feet apart while at Mayyim Hayyim.

Cleaning and disinfecting

Masks are required for all who enter the building; please contact us aexceptions can be made with advance notice for medical or other accessibility reasons.  

Touchless sanitizer dispensers are available in the building and all visitors will sanitize their hands upon entering. Volunteers will wash their hands thoroughly upon entering the building and between each guest and new signage is posted to help remind the community of proper hand washing procedures. 

After each visitor, Mikveh Guides will thoroughly disinfect all surfaces using EPA-approved disinfectants. Additionally, Mayyim Hayyim will conduct a deep clean and disinfection each weekday, testing water levels and adding chemicals as needed.  

Guest experience

The preparation process is an important part of immersing in the mikveh to connect the physical with the mental, emotional, and spiritual. Currently all physical preparation must take place at home prior to arrival; we encourage you to use Mayyim Hayyim’s Seven Kavanot (intentions) for Mikveh Preparation as a guide to help you slow down, center, and be present in the moment. Preparation rooms at Mayyim Hayyim will only be used for changing in and out of clothing. 

Though singing will not be permitted, guests are encouraged to utilize music in other ways; a CD player with Mayyim Hayyim’s Immersed CD and this mikveh playlist on Spotify are available for use. 

Credit card donations will be accepted via the contactless check-in process described above, or via locked box onsite for other payment types.

Please note that other than personal water bottles, eating and drinking are not permitted at this time. 

Conversions

Becoming Jewish is a cause for celebration and we look forward to the time when we will be able to welcome celebratory groups into the building once again. Given the limitations on numbers of people in the building at this time we encourage conversion candidates and clergy to consider other ways to celebrate, including zoom welcome ceremonies, drive-by parades, or compiling video blessings from loved ones to save as a memento. 

At this time Mayyim Hayyim is open for conversion immersions only; beit din meetings will take place offsite in advance. Candidates and clergy are encouraged to determine together which two guests to invite to the immersion (Mayyim Hayyim requires that at a minimum, the sponsoring clergy member participate either in person or by zoom)For those who would like additional guests to participate, Mayyim Hayyim has a tablet onsite that can be used for zoom meetings as needed; Mikveh Guides are happy to assist. Please create and distribute the link to guests in advance and bring the meeting ID and password with you to log in.   

Given the restrictions on singing at Mayyim Hayyim, guests may consider bringing a guitar to play music, using our CD player onsite, or playing a recording of siman tov u’mazel tov; please let your Mikveh Guide know how we can assist you in creating a celebratory environment.  

Though celebrations with food and drink are not permitted at Mayyim Hayyim at this time, visitors may participate in a brief ceremony of welcome at the mikveh, provided that participants will remain at least six feet apart at all times. 

For those interested in using an immersion gift certificate for their visit, Mayyim Hayyim is now extending all expiration dates by one year for any immersion gift certificates currently set to expire between March and December of 2020. 

Volunteer Mikveh Guides

Volunteer Mikveh Guides support our guests in whatever way is right for them. Each of our Mikveh Guides will wear a mask and gloves while guiding and has completed a COVID-19 safety training including welcoming guests during the pandemic, cleaning and disinfection procedures, and our new contactless check-in system. In addition, Mikveh Guides will be held to the same exposure and screening protocols as our guests, will adhere to MA guidelines regarding travel from other states, and will not have completed airline travel within fourteen days prior to volunteering. 

As always, guests may choose (in consultation with their clergy, in the case of conversion) whether or not to have a Mikveh Guide present during their immersion. If requested, Mikveh Guides will check a guest’s back for loose hairs from a distance of at least six feet. There will be no personal touch between Mikveh Guides and guests. In addition, Mikveh Guides will wear face shields on top of their masks while witnessing immersions. 

Ventilation

Mayyim Hayyim’s HVAC company has thoroughly inspected and tested our systems and upgraded ventilation system filters to MERV-13 in order to meet the level recommended by ASHRAE (American Society of Heating, Refrigerating and Air-Conditioning Engineers).

Tracking and reporting

Mayyim Hayyim respects the privacy, modesty, and confidentiality of those who come to immerse. In concert with the Jewish principle of pikuach nefesh, the belief that preserving human life takes precedence over most all other religious mandates, Mayyim Hayyim will participate in contact tracing through Massachusetts’ Community Tracing Collaborative and we ask that anyone who receives a positive COVID-19 test result in the week following their visit to please contact us as soon as possible.

Should you have further questions upon reviewing the above information, please email immersions@mayyimhayyim.org or call 617-244-1836, ext. 205.