"I was searching for a way to mark the end of my treatment for breast cancer. The idea of mikveh resonated with me - entering the waters helped me release the pain I (sometimes) still feel and it helped me accept and better integrate how cancer is still a part of me and is something I can live with."

Immersion may be used to mark the changes and challenges inflicted by illness and loss. Immersion is also a way to embrace the future with gratitude.

The emotional and spiritual toll that follows many kinds of losses and struggles is not always acknowledged. Many people find that mikveh provides a way to face up to the changes wrought by pain, illness, and loss. While there is no “cure” in the waters of the mikveh, many people do find a sense of healing and wholeness there.

Some of the reasons for a healing immersion include:

  • After a diagnosis of cancer, as a way to prepare for treatment or surgery
  • After cancer treatment is completed and the “patient” becomes a “survivor”
  • After divorce
  • After a period of mourning
  • After miscarriage, stillbirth, abortion
  • Upon deciding to end fertility treatments

Mayyim Hayyim has a range of ceremonies to help individuals name the fear, despair, faith, gratitude, and hope that are often part of the healing process.

Mayyim Hayyim has also published a book called Blessings for the Journey: A Jewish Healing Guide for Women with Cancer. Written by a group of thirteen volunteers — cancer survivors, caregivers and health care professionals — who identified the need for a guide to the journey through treatment and its aftermath, they created an invaluable resource based on Jewish teachings and first-hand experience.


  • Mayyim Hayyim currently has limited availability for immersions while we undergo construction to repair damage incurred to the building following the extreme cold on February 4. 

    To support our repairs and bolster your local community mikveh, donate to our campaign to Make Waves for the Future and join us to celebrate outgoing CEO Carrie Bornstein. Learn more and donate here.