Written by Carrie Bornstein

Shortly after Mayyim Hayyim opened in 2004, I remember the nervous excitement I felt opening the email inviting applications for volunteer Mikveh Guides.  “Would they accept me,” I thought?  “Do I have what it takes?”

Incidentally, it all worked out okay.

Little did any of us who became Mikveh Guides know, however, the extent of the impact those applications would have on our lives.

Our dedicated, supportive guides and I have put our heads together and submit to you, the:

Top 10 Reasons to Be a Volunteer Mikveh Guide:

10. The outburst of “siman tov u’mazel tov” from loved ones and rabbis as a new Jew exits the water.

9. The look on a grandmother’s face as you complete her tour, when she smiles and says, “Wow – I never imagined a mikveh could be like this.”

8. Being part of a wedding every weekend.

7. Offering an immersion ceremony to a survivor of abuse and saying, “We built this place for you.”

6. That sweet, serene feeling of calm and peace upon walking in the door.

5. The toothless grin of a small child as he says, “I did it all by myself!”

4. Standing behind the sheet of privacy as a woman weeps, offering her prayers for fertility.

3. Being cared for and nurtured by loving people of depth and quality, while doing the same for others.

2. Enacting pluralism.

1.  The secret stash of Mikveh Guide chocolate.

Mikveh Guides across the land: what would you add to the list?

Click to learn about applying for Mayyim Hayyim’s seventh cohort of volunteer Mikveh Guides.

Carrie Bornstein is Mayyim Hayyim’s Acting Executive Director.  Follow her on twitter @carolinering.