by DeDe Jacobs-Komisar, Development Manager


ISIS. Israel/Gaza. Climate change. Rampant inequality and poverty. Women’s reproductive rights being chipped away. Oh yeah, and an Ebola epidemic. We’re living in pretty troubling times, and that’s not even taking into account the challenges we sometimes have being good family members, friends, and colleagues. Or just getting through the day.

I’m going to be honest; it’s not easy to be a fundraiser in times like these. When the world is in crisis mode, many react by allocating their resources toward organizations they perceive to be meeting the greatest need. Some consider spiritual needs a luxury, even frivolous. Who needs spirituality when lives are at stake? Let’s just come out and say it: Who needs Mayyim Hayyim?

A lot of people, it turns out. September saw a record number of people visiting Mayyim Hayyim, including the highest number of mikveh immersions in one month since we first opened our doors in 2004. Hundreds of people joined us for a discussion on gender and pluralism with Anita Diamant, Rabbi Haviva Ner-David and author Tova Mirvis, the opening of “Vessels: Containing Possibilities,” our current art gallery exhibit, and educational programs on preparing for the High Holidays.

More than ever, people are coming through our doors to find solace, physical and spiritual, from the craziness outside. Solace that will hopefully strengthen them to help fix our broken world in ways small and big. Far from being viewed as a luxury, Mayyim Hayyim is vital to those who have gathered here to immerse, learn, or celebrate. Since our founding, we have helped thousands of people connect with the mitzvah of mikveh as a way to enrich their Jewish learning, deepen their spirituality, heal from illness or abuse, mark important moments, and begin their lives as Jews.


We need you, and we want to know why you need Mayyim Hayyim. What has brought you here and continues to bring you back? How has Mayyim Hayyim been instrumental in your life? Write it down on a piece of paper, hold it up and take a picture – it can be anonymous – and send it to us to post on a new page of our website, Why I Need Mayyim Hayyim.

You are the worldwide community of our community mikveh. Our need for each other is real. What does it mean to you?

DeDe is the Development Manager at Mayyim Hayyim. She has needs.