“I want a mikveh that encourages the prayers of the heart in Jews of every denomination and description. I want a mikveh that respects the modesty of the people who visit… that is beautiful in design and decoration, welcoming and inviting from the minute you walk through the door.”
With these words, renowned Jewish author Anita Diamant inspired the creation of Mayyim Hayyim.
Since opening its doors in 2004, Mayyim Hayyim has supported and provided consultation to communities from across the country and around the world as they explored a new model of mikveh. As more mikva’ot have opened their doors or reimagined the use of existing mikva’ot, Mayyim Hayyim sought more effective ways to serve what has become a movement of welcoming, inclusive mikva’ot.
Motivated by the belief that mikva’ot could benefit from working together, Mayyim Hayyim sought consultation from a team of graduate students from the Heller School for Social Policy and Management at Brandeis University, which examined the landscape of mikva’ot across the country. Their study provided essential information about the demand for such services, and about possible ways to support communities interested in being part of a network of open, inclusive mikva’ot.
In March 2017, Mayyim Hayyim convened staff and lay leaders from Adas Israel Community Mikvah in Washington, DC, ImmerseNYC, Libi Eir Awakened Heart Community Mikveh in Raleigh, NC, and MACoM in Atlanta, GA, and a mikveh network was born. Since then, our five founding members have worked together to explore how to best support communities who embrace an open, inclusive and welcoming approach to the ritual of immersion as a way to mark life transitions. As a result of that meeting, and with support from the Natan Fund, Lippman Kanfer Foundation for Living Torah, an anonymous foundation, and individual donors, in April 2018, Rising Tide Open Waters Mikveh Network became a reality.