by Sherri Goldman, Administrative and Finance Director
There was exciting news as my husband’s entire family gathered at our house for Thanksgiving. One of our nieces, Kayla, had just recently become engaged to be married. I thought, what better way to celebrate Kayla’s engagement than with a Gift Certificate for her bridal immersion?
Earlier in the day I showed the Immersion Certificate to my husband, his sister and her husband (Kayla’s parents) to let them know I would present the gift certificate to Kayla after dinner. Their response was mixed. My sister-in-law looked at me and said with some sadness in her voice, “I don’t know if that is a good idea. Kayla is not having a religious ceremony.”
My sister-in-law thought giving her a gift certificate for a bridal immersion might seem that we were suggesting Kayla’s wedding should be a traditionally Jewish ceremony and that we didn’t agree with her nonsectarian choices. Oy! I certainly hadn’t been planning on any family immersion drama during Thanksgiving.
I suggested to them that Kayla decide on her own about the Immersion Certificate, although I wondered if our Thanksgiving festivities would become a bit awkward with the gift of this traditionally Jewish bridal immersion. After all, as my mother-in-law commented, bridal immersion has never been a part of our family tradition.
After dinner, there was silence at the table as I stood and gave Kayla the Immersion Gift Certificate. “This is to give you the option of including immersion as part of your wedding celebration,” I said. “We love you and are so happy for you and Evan.” The entire family looked towards Kayla, and then at each other in wonder (and relief) as she screamed, “This is incredible. I love having this as part of my wedding. I was just reading that brides do this. I’m so happy – thank you.”
From a thank you note that Kayla sent me soon after:
“The gift certificate for a bridal immersion at Mayyim Hayyim was one of the best gifts I’ve ever received. I’m so glad to have the opportunity to partake in such a sacred tradition (and the absolute love and support of my family for giving me this gift- thank you so much!).
To me, this process symbolizes a rebirth, the start of a new chapter. I plan on having my immersion a few days before our wedding ceremony- it will give me a chance to wind down and really dive into the spiritual meaning of the celebration. So often we get caught up in the details of things, especially when it comes to weddings. It will allow me to connect on a deeper level, taking me back to my roots, to my ancestors and the traditions that have shaped me throughout my life. It’s like stepping out into the world for the first time and slowly inhaling a deep, full, breath. It is my new beginning- a beginning that I will feel both physically and mentally.
There is no other way I’d rather prepare for one of the most important days of my life. I’m incredibly excited for this opportunity- now I just have to wait six more months!”
Kayla will be the first woman in the family who will have a bridal immersion and we will all be there to celebrate with her – at Mayyim Hayyim. What a wonderful and momentous opportunity which can well be the start of a new family tradition.
Sherri is responsible for managing Mayyim Hayyim’s financial and building management operations. She always looks forward to festive gatherings with her family.