by Carrie Bornstein, Executive Director

  1. Sheri Gurock.
Sheri Gurock cropped

Sheri Gurock

As of January 1, Sheri is Mayyim Hayyim’s board president. If you follow our blog regularly, you’ve gotten to know her a bit already, or maybe you even know her in real life. Sheri is crazy smart, super creative, and holds Mayyim Hayyim to the highest standards possible, as she should. She is well-poised to become the next link in a strong chain of leaders, taking what Anita Diamant created and what Jennifer Slifka-Vidal strengthened, and bringing us to new heights.

  1. The Tipping Point

Call it what you will, but we’re on an upward trend with immersions in Boston. 2015 saw a total of 1,525 immersions which was our highest number in one year, a nine percent increase over 2014, which was our busiest up until that point. This isn’t just a numbers game, though. It means that we’re reaching more people, for more reasons, at more times in their lives. We expect to follow this trend in 2016, knowing that our impact will be even greater.

  1. Strategic Planning

In 2015 we embarked on a strategic planning process. We’ve been outlining our goals for the years ahead and planning for how we’ll get there, to bring more people to Mayyim Hayyim locally, and to clarify how we can make the greatest impact nationally. I can’t wait to share more with you about some of the exciting plans in store.

  1. We’re Hiring

The Mayyim Hayyim staff is the hardest working, loveliest, most caring bunch you’ll have the pleasure to meet. And with new staff comes fresh ideas and new opportunities as we strengthen for the future. Here’s more information about our openings for a Director of Annual Giving, Administrative Assistant, and a temporary position between now and June to plan and coordinate our annual benefit event.

  1. New Curricula

In the coming year, thanks to the Lippman Kanfer Foundation for Living Torah, we’ll be making two new curricula available that can be run anywhere, no mikveh necessary. The first, “Beyond the Huppah,” is a program for engaged and newlywed couples and the second, “Now What? Questions and Answers for the Newly Jewish,” helps shepherd women and men into the Jewish community after their formal conversion process ends.

  1. Access for People with Disabilities

In the next year we’ll launch two new resources for people with disabilities in partnership with the Ruderman Family Foundation. A discussion guide based on our short documentary film, Open Waters: Mikveh for Everybody, aims to help participants all over the country recognize potential barriers in their own settings and consider how they can work together as a community to overcome them. We’re also creating a picture guide of our Seven Kavanot for Mikveh Preparation – this accessible version will be used by people who find the written word a stumbling block, those who do not speak English, and children.

So there you have it. Lots of good things to come, and I am grateful to each and every person on this journey with us, and to all those of you who have answered the call by contributing financially to strengthen our base for the future. In whatever way you’re joining on this path, it feels good knowing you’re a part of it, no?

Carrie Bornstein is Mayyim Hayyim’s Executive Director.