Jewish Community, Life Transitions, Marriage and Relationships

by Julie Sullivan, Administrative Director

Two weeks ago, I had the pleasure of traveling to Boulder, Colorado to attend the wedding of my oldest niece. Since my family lives all over the country now, the occasions where we are all able to gather are increasingly rare. I was so grateful to have four whole days together to celebrate this beautiful moment in my niece’s life. During our time in beautiful Boulder, we got to see the Rocky Mountains, tour the Celestial Seasons Tea factory, and visit an art gallery and the Pearl Street Mall. The best part of all was watching my niece and her now-husband go through the important rituals related to their marriage: signing the ketubah (marriage contract), standing under the huppah (wedding canopy), and stating their marriage vows to each other in the presence of those who love them. There were so many beautiful shared moments for our family.

It made me think about how wonderful it is when family members and friends are able to come to Mayyim Hayyim and share in their loved one’s immersions. It is always so heartwarming when parents, grandparents, and extended family come to share in celebration of a child’s affirmation or conversion. Soon-to-be brides and grooms come with family members or sometimes just each other before their wedding. Many write in our guestbook about what a wonderful way it is to mark the transition to husband or wife. I love hearing about parents who come with their soon-to-be b’nai mitzvah children, a chance to pause in the midst of an often hectic time to reflect on the true meaning of the milestone. It is so incredibly special for those converting to Judaism when family members are able to attend and share in the moment. In fact, having our welcoming lobby, atrium, and celebration space so that family and friends can be a part of these moments was a very deliberate and important part of the design of Mayyim Hayyim.

The sound of singing floating up to my office from the lobby or atrium is truly one of my favorite things about working at Mayyim Hayyim. The joyful family celebrations that we get to share in each week have made me treasure those moments in my own life even more.

Julie SullivanJulie Sullivan is Mayyim Hayyim’s Administrative Director.