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Nonprofit Overview

Causes: Judaism, Religion, Religion-Related

Mission: Mayyim Hayyim Living Waters Community Mikveh and Education Center, Inc. (Mayyim Hayyim) is a non-profit organization, founded in the spring of 2001.  The mission of Mayyim Hayyim is to reclaim and reinvent one of our most ancient Jewish rituals “immersion in the mikveh” for contemporary spiritual uses and to make this new, sacred space open and accessible to all Jews in the Greater Boston area.

Results: Since our opening in 2004, we have provided more than 6,600 immersions (there were 1,400 immersions last year), including more than 1,200 conversions. This year our Education Center hosted 87 programs for 1,525 people, including religious school kids, teens, college students and adults.  Hundreds of people have celebrated weddings and b’nei mitzvah, converted to Judaism with dignity and honor, found solace in the face of illness and trauma, and explored the ritual of monthly immersion. Mayyim Hayyim has hosted training and information sessions for communities around the world looking to establish local mikvaot and educate their communities. Mayyim Hayyim is a threshold into Jewish life—a place where the spiritually diverse needs of 21st century Jews are met by reclaiming the ancient tradition of immersing in the mikveh.

Community Stories

15 Stories from Volunteers, Donors & Supporters

1

Volunteer

Rating: 5

Mayyim Hayyim is an inspirational organization. Volunteers make this place sing and the professional staff values the work that the volunteers do day in and day out. If innovation in Jewish life is important to you , check out Mayyim Hayyim.

5

Volunteer

Rating: 5

Mayyim Hayyim is one of the most sacred and beautiful places in Massachusetts. I went there to immerse when I converted to Judaism, the day before I was married, and to honor every one of my birthdays. This place is spiritual and special and when I am there I feel closer to God. Going down those seven steps and into the water is like coming home. I am honored to be able to use the mikveh and to be a guide there as well.

6

Volunteer

Rating: 5

In Sept. of this year prior to Rosh Hashanah I was guiding as a young woman (under 21) came to the Mikveh with her father who was very supportive of her experience. She was very reserved about her experience and appreciated that I could be just a resouce for her and not intrusive in her immersion experience. She was gratefull that I did not inssit that I watch her immersion and that I was able to give her the information that she needed and not be intrusive.

9

Volunteer

Rating: 5

as a mikvah guide, I have had the priveledge and honor to guide so many women and children as they engage in this most personal and intimate process. Sharing this moment with others is important to me becasue it allows me to be part of and apart from at the same time. For each person who immerses in these sacred waters, the reasons vary but the emotional experience is equal impact, meaning and transformative value. What a gift to share!

6

Volunteer

Rating: 5

Mayyim Hayyim is one of the most innovative Jewish organizations in the world. It has successfully taken the ritual of mikveh and made it relevant to the 21st century. This miraculous transformation has been done within the parameters of Jewish law, making it a destination for all Jews. There is truly nothing else like Mayyim Hayyim in the Jewish world. Not only does it enable women to fulfill the family purity laws in a beautiful, safe environment, it is also a place where men and women come to renew themselves spiritually and to heal from physical and emotional upheaval in their lives. The upheaval can range from finishing a course of chemotherapy, completing 11 months of Kaddish or healing from a traumatic relationship. Mayyim Hayyim is truly of service to the entire spectrum of the Jewish community.

2

Volunteer

Rating: 5

This place has been a huge part of my life for some years. In it, I have learned about the power of ritual, the vitality and diversity of the Jewish community. It has opened my heart.

6

Volunteer

Rating: 5

My experiences at Mayyim Hayyim include being a volunteer Mikveh Guide as well as a user of the facility. First, as a mikveh guide, I feel completely supported and most importantly, appreciated. The staff is extraordinarily committed to this wonderful place and it is an honor to be a part of it. We are continually provided with educational training and supported in the work that we do. It feels great to be part of such a team, providing a space to ritually transform lives. As someone who has immersed at Mayyim Hayyim for special moments of celebration and transition, I can say that the facility is extraordinary in its welcome and amazing at providing just the right words at just the right time. When I wanted to transition before my son's wedding, I found just the right "mother of the groom" ceremony to allow me to focus on my changing role and relationship with my son. I was able to acknowledge the change, the loss, and think deeply about my hopes and open myself to new possibilities.

5

Volunteer

Rating: 5

initially thinking this facility "wouldn't be for me," i was amazed how moved and impressed i was when first introduced. I starting getting more and more involved, and consequently now am not only a board member, but for more than a year now, i am a volunteer mikveh guide during a regular time slot every week. And every week there is something special, and some way where i know i have made a difference for someone coming to immerse, or just visit, and learn about Mayyim Hayyim. At MH, i am exposed to a wide variety of modern Judaism, not just the branch i am affiliated with. I help with, and share in, very personal experiences for individuals and families as they undergo both painful and joyous times in their lives. I often get quite a warm hug with a grateful thank you as they leave, which is a big honor. I also get heartfelt thanks from rabbis whose congregants i have assisted with. It's wonderful to see a person coming to convert start out so nervous, and emerge after their immersion relaxed and beaming. MH is a gentle, caring, respectful, spiritual place to volunteer and it's a privilege for me.

10

Volunteer

Rating: 5

I did an immersion at Mayyim Hayyim as I started graduate school. It had been a complicated and emotional year and I just wanted to mark the end of that and the beginning of something new. It was beautiful, calm, relaxing and the immersion was incredibly powerful. Also, as someone who had never been to a Mikveh before, the attendant was kind and supportive and willing to explain each thing step by step. Overall, a great experience.

3

Volunteer

Rating: 5

As a volunteer mikveh guide since Mayyim Hayyim opened its doors more than five years ago, I've found the experience extraordinary. Witnessing immersions of all sorts has elicited the best in me. I'm my most caring, sensitive self at the mikveh.It's been a privilege to serve in this holy place.