Hiddur Mitzvah – Making it All Beautiful

By Sherri Goldman, Administrative Director

Finally, spring is here! I can’t complain too much about this past winter without much snow and with milder than normal temperatures. But, it’s always a good feeling for me to put away the ice melt and see flowers blooming and the landscapers putting down fresh mulch. As Administrative Director at Mayyim Hayyim, I am responsible for building management, maintaining one of Mayyim Hayyim’s seven basic principles that inform our actions and decisions every day, Hiddur Mitzvah (Beautifying the Mitzvah). Hiddur Mitzvah is the rabbinic admonition to beautify religious life that is central to our vision at Mayyim Hayyim. As we state in our principles, from our tiles to our roof lines to our art gallery, Mayyim Hayyim is a place that pleases the eye and uplifts the spirit.

Our wonderful landscapers doing some spring cleanup.

Spring is a rebirth, bringing flowers, cleaning, and the Passover holiday. Spring is also the time for building maintenance at Mayyim Hayyim! Mayyim Hayyim is such a beautiful space. From entering the welcoming gates, seeing the beautiful flowers as you walk to the front door, and viewing the art hanging in the gallery, to feeling the warmth of the water in the mikvaot, this special building brings serenity and calm. So many people comment on the beauty of our building.

As I walk through the building, I also appreciate this beauty. And it’s my job to assure all works as it should here at Mayyim Hayyim. I know it’s the  behind-the-scenes operations that bring such joy, peace and beauty to all who visit here. With the incredible support of Mayyim Hayyim Board Member, Lisa Wexler of Elaine Construction, a construction management firm providing a full range of general contracting, construction management and design/building services, the Mayyim Hayyim building operates seamlessly.

As you enter through the gates in the evenings, lights automatically light up the walkway path. Sprinklers turns on at 4:30 a.m. each day, keeping the lawn green and lush. Fresh-smelling mulch has been put around all our plantings. The paint on the building is fresh, and the garbage and recycling is in discreetly hidden bins.

Press the door buzzer connected to our phone system or put in the code on the automated keypad and come through our front door. Sit in the beautiful reception area, which is cleaned daily – floors mopped and light bulbs changed as needed in the early hours of the morning. The floor tiles in the mikveh area are nice and toasty (regulated by the outside temperature).

Our hardworking vendors are always on call to maintain the heating & air conditioning, mikveh pools, electrical system, painting, landscaping, fire alarms, plumbing, and technological systems. Emergencies are not really emergencies at all with our team of building vendors. Let the shower faucet break in the prep rooms with water gushing into the tub! Not a problem with our plumber on-call, fixing the faucet within the hour – completely unnoticed by visitors learning in the Paula Brody and Family Education Center!

Maintaining the Mayyim Hayyim building, parts of which are more than 100 years old, is a daily job. Stuff happens all the time in a 100-year-old building, not to mention a building with so much hot water! Following the principle of Hiddur Mitzvah helps guide me in my work. I hope this principle is appreciated (but not necessarily noticed) by all who come here.

Happy Spring! and Chag Kasher V’Sameach, wishing everyone a beautiful Passover season!

Sherri Goldman, Administrative Director, joined Mayyim Hayyim in May, 2007.  Sherri is responsible for managing Mayyim Hayyim’s financial and office operations, including accounts payable and accounts receivable, financial reporting, and building management.  Sherri holds an M.B.A. from Suffolk University and is a registered Notary Public in the Commonwealth of Massachusetts.

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