One Year, One Community at a Time

National Network

by Amber Caulkins, Director of the Rising Tide Open Waters Mikveh Network

Over the last several months, the Rising Tide Open Waters Mikveh Network hosted multiple learning opportunities for our members. Most recently we held a “virtual workshop” on mikveh education led by Leeza Negelev, Associate Director of Education at Mayyim Hayyim, and guest facilitator Rabbi Miriam Farber Wajnberg, Director of Adult Jewish Learning and Interfaith Engagement at the Marlene Meyerson JCC and ImmerseNYC, to train participants on practical tools to bring mikveh education to their communities. Next month, leaders of mikva’ot in Portland, OR, Raleigh, NC, Washington DC, Atlanta, GA and Newton, MA will share how they turned their mikveh vision into reality through a series of webinars.

Learning together, sharing knowledge, and building resources that can support our mikveh communities (and those that don’t exist yet) are all part of how Rising Tides lives our value of tz’micha, or growth. As Rising Tide celebrates its one-year anniversary, I invite you to learn more about what we have been up to over the last year and see what we have planned for the next year.

One of the first things I did when I started at Mayyim Hayyim almost a year and a half ago was read through any and all documents that might be connected to what would become the Rising Tide Open Waters Mikveh Network. This was no small task. There was a long paper trail, dating back to almost as soon as Mayyim Hayyim opened its doors in 2004, that detailed communities reaching out, asking questions, wondering how they could bring this type of mikveh—open, inclusive, welcoming—to their community.

Today, along with Carrie Bornstein, executive director of Mayyim Hayyim, I am visiting one of those communities, a founding member of Rising Tide: the Metro Atlanta Community Mikvah (MACoM). We’ll learn more about their mikveh, meet members of their community who helped bring their mikveh vision to life, and begin to prepare for our second annual Rising Tide Gathering that will be held in Atlanta, GA, November 10-12, 2019. (Check out this recap of last year’s gathering at the Pearlstone Center in Maryland.) I can’t wait to spend the next two days learning from MACoM, seeing their mikveh in person, and gaining a better understanding of what makes their community unique.

This month, Rising Tide celebrates its first year since we launched for membership—one year since Mayyim Hayyim, in partnership with Adas Israel Community Mikvah in Washington, DC, ImmerseNYC, Libi Eir Awakened Heart Community Mikveh in Raleigh, NC, and MACoM in Atlanta, GA, said “join us, because we are stronger together.” Rising Tide now has 29 members communities all over the United States, Canada, Israel, Australia, and the UK who are working together, making a more vibrant, inclusive Jewish community for all of us.

Visit us at risingtideopenwaters.org to learn more and follow us on Instagram @risingtide_openwaters to see updates from our visit here in Atlanta.

Amber Caulkins is the Director of the Rising Tide Open Waters Mikveh Network. 

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