An adult woman stands in front of a white board teaching a group of middle-school-aged students. Several students have their hands raised and the adult teacher is pointing her hand to call on one of them.

February is Jewish Disability Awareness & Inclusion Month. Recently, we partnered with our friends at Kesher Newton, whose students learned about marking life transitions through mikveh and created some beautiful social stories about visiting the mikveh. Social stories are a visual learning tool, originally developed to support people with autism. The Kesher students lovingly created several social stories to help guests navigate the experience of visiting the mikveh. Here is a reflection from one of the Kesher students.


My name is Nora. I am a 10-year-old student at Kesher Newton, a little sister, and a sports player. I care deeply about my family, friends, and my community. Before I went to the mikveh, I knew nothing about it. I hardly knew what it was. Mayyim Hayyim was so warm and welcoming when we got there. They were nice and generous enough to give us a tour of the space. 

I loved getting to help Mayyim Hayyim with a social story to help people. A social story is a slideshow or presentation about a certain subject. It is used to help people understand this place or thing around them. Mayyim Hayyim wanted to make sure that everyone who comes through the doors knows what the mikveh is. When we were there, they went through exactly what a Mikveh Guide does. I learned all about the mikveh and the preparations it takes for it. I learned that not all mikvehs used to be this nice, some were in a basement. I also learned that at the Mikveh, they have you do seven different preparations to get ready for the mikveh. One other thing about the mikveh is that before you get ready, you have to meet with a Beit Din. You meet with the Beit Din when you are going through conversion. If you are not going through conversion, you do not need to meet with the Beit Din. A Beit Din is a council of three rabbis that ask you questions about your reasoning for becoming Jewish. They make sure you are ready.  

What I want you to know is that if you feel it is something you want to do for a special occasion, tell your family. Mayyim Hayyim would love to have you.


Nora is 10 years old and in fifth grade. She lives in Newton, MA with her mom, dad, and older brother. Nora loves to dance, sing and play soccer.