by Amber Caulkins, Director of Rising Tide Mikveh Network
A few weeks ago I traveled to Baltimore with two of my Mayyim Hayyim colleagues to attend the Kenissa: Communities of Meaning Network gathering. The trip gave us the opportunity to connect with Jewish leaders who are working to create “communities of meaning,” defined by Kenissa as “networks of individuals that are inspired by an idea or a practice that enriches their lives and/or significantly improve conditions in the world for others.”
With participants from diverse organizations like Detroit Jews for Justice, Organic Torah, Gather DC, The Beis Community, and Tribe 12, among others, our discussions were enriched by each organization’s unique mission and approach to building Jewish communities.
Here at Mayyim Hayyim, as we work with our partners to create an international mikveh community, the Rising Tide Mikveh Network, I am inspired by many of the ideas shared at the Kenissa gathering and the time spent learning with people who are deeply committed to finding innovative ways to reinvigorate Jewish life.
One of the important values that is driving our work and is also shaping other Jewish emergent communities is the need for partnerships. For example, Detroit Jews for Justice is doing incredible work to insure that the people of Michigan have access to clean water. In their work, finding other organizations to partner with is critical to strengthening their efforts and having a greater impact.
As we develop our mikveh network, I often talk to mikva’ot from all over the world and I am continually amazed by the creative and thoughtful ways people are adapting the ritual of mikveh to support their communities. From developing new immersion ceremonies to creating education programs, mikva’ot in places like Toronto, North Carolina and Portland – and many others – are finding unique ways to support their communities.
With 2018 just around the corner, we are looking forward to launching the Rising Tide Mikveh Network as a global community, working in partnership to make the ritual of mikveh accessible and open to all who are interested.
Amber Caulkins is Mayyim Hayyim’s Director of Rising Tide Mikveh Network. If you or your community are interested in learning more about this burgeoning network, please contact email@example.com or call 617-244-1836 x214.