Mayyim Hayyim Living Waters Community Mikveh and Education

Rating: 4.96 stars   48 reviews

Issues: Religion

Location: 1838 Washington St Newton MA 02466 USA

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.
2009 Top-Rated Nonprofit
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EIN 31-1753931
617-244-1836
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Community Reviews

Role: Professional with expertise in this field
Rating: 5 stars  

5 people found this review helpful

About 4 years ago I attended the National Mikveh Conference sponsored by Mayyim Hayyim. At that time I was only interested in mikveh as an element in the Jewish conversion process. My visit to Mayyim Hayyim opened up an awareness of the full potential of mikveh to express Jewish spirituality at a wide range of transistion points in a person's life. I have been working ever since then to duplicate in Los Angeles a similar 21st Century mikveh. The people at Mayyim Hayyim are of extra-ordinary sensitivity and creativity in their penetrating ability with Jewish water ceremonies. I have learned a great deal from them.

I've personally experienced the results of this organization in...

my own immersion at Mayyim Hayyim.

If I had to make changes to this organization, I would...

What I've enjoyed the most about my experience with this nonprofit is...

the readiness of staff and volunteers to share their wisdom.

The kinds of staff and volunteers that I met were...

highly trained to express empathy with clients.

If this organization had 10 million bucks, it could...

facilitate a dynamic national mikveh movement.

Ways to make it better...

I had even more time to visit Mayyim Hayyim. I live in Los Angeles, and I have visited Mayyim Hayyim three times since I first discovered it.

In my opinion, the biggest challenges facing this organization are...

One thing I'd also say is that...

Anita Diamant, the Mayyim Hayyim President, epitomizes the best qualities of a volunteer Jewish leader. She is a great inspiration.

How frequently have you been involved with the organization?

About every six months

When was your last experience with this nonprofit?

2007-5-01

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Role: Professional with expertise in this field
Rating: 5 stars  

4 people found this review helpful

As a rabbi who works extensively with converts, it is a joy and privilege to bring candidates to the warmth, beauty and deep sense of holiness of Mayyim Hayyim. The very facility is warm and inviting and the staff welcomes with great joy and awe every new Jew along with his or her family. What a welcome to the Jewish community!

I've personally experienced the results of this organization in...

The comfort level as the candidates prepared for immersion and the gracious space for celebrating afterwards.

What I've enjoyed the most about my experience with this nonprofit is...

The gentleness and respect of the staff.

If this organization had 10 million bucks, it could...

Provide even more educational and outreach programming for women (and men) to learn about and connect (or reconnect) to mikveh.

How frequently have you been involved with the organization?

About every six months

When was your last experience with this nonprofit?

2009-7-01

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Role: Professional with expertise in this field
Rating: 5 stars  

6 people found this review helpful

As a Conservative Rabbi I was excited to be in on the "ground floor" of planning for a true community-wide Mikve. I had participated in Batei Din for conversion at an Orthodox Mivke in the Boston area, and I found the experience as less than satisfying and inspiring. I was in a meeting which included the certifying Rabbi Ben Zion Bergman from LA. I attended meetings with the architect and designer of the facility which promised to be a welcome and inspiring place. With the opening of the Mikve and the filling of the Borot I felt that Boston community had achieved a goal. Since that time I continue to serve on Batei Din and the impact of Mayyim Hayyim is felt on every occasion.

I've personally experienced the results of this organization in...

providing a welcoming atmosphere.

The kinds of staff and volunteers that I met were...

most dedicated.

How frequently have you been involved with the organization?

About every six months

When was your last experience with this nonprofit?

2009-4-01

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Role: Professional with expertise in this field
Rating: 5 stars  

4 people found this review helpful

Mayyim Hayyim has had a remarkable impact in the spiritual life of the Greater Boston Jewish community. a) It has provided an opportuniy for Jews to return to a significant element of Jewish spiritual practice (Mikveh) who would otherwise have not considered it as meaningful and attractive. b)It has become a center for the discovery of new modes of Jewish spiritual expression that go beyond the forms of traditional rituals in their strictly legal norms. c)This has demonstrated that Judaism has a dynamic plasticity that can meet new needs and challeges of life and lifecycle events and concerns. d) Mayyim Hayyim has become a prime example for many other Jewish communities of how a traditional institution can reach beyond itself while maintaining halachic norms. As a Rabbi, I find it amazing how the staff and volunteers of Mayyim Hayyim have made it so welcoming to those Jews who otherwise would not be attracted to it. It serves the community as the locus for conversion rituals with a warm and hospitable setting for the meeting of Batei Din (Rabbinic Courts, but also a note above, it represents the dynamic potential of other elements of Jewish rituals to enrich the personal lives of individuals.

What I've enjoyed the most about my experience with this nonprofit is...

its search for continued development

The kinds of staff and volunteers that I met were...

incredible, warm and welcoming as well as knowledgeable.

How frequently have you been involved with the organization?

About every six months

When was your last experience with this nonprofit?

2009-6-01

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Role: Professional with expertise in this field
Rating: 5 stars  

9 people found this review helpful

An amazing resource for our community - both the mikveh and the educational center. As a rabbi in the area, I have led countless people to the mikveh for conversions, healing after miscarriage or illness, wedding blessings, and many other transitional moments. They also offer local clergy the benefit of an immersion in the mikveh before the High Holidays - what a gift!

What I've enjoyed the most about my experience with this nonprofit is...

The incredible warmth and welcoming that Mayyim Hayyim exudes to its guests is inspiring.

How frequently have you been involved with the organization?

About every month

When was your last experience with this nonprofit?

2009-10-01

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Role: Professional with expertise in this field
Rating: 5 stars  

2 people found this review helpful

Mayyim Hayyim is a unique institution in the Jewish community helping women to reclaim a ritual and a ritual space that was virtually unknown by our mothers and maligned by our grandmothers. My experience there is that it is a holy space where people's lives change and deepen. The new rituals that have been developed there are especially helpful. As a rabbi, I have brought people there for conversion, before their weddings, before cancer treatment, after miscarriage and on their way home from a stay in the mental health unit of a nearby hospital. There are many life cycle events beyond birth and death and Mayyim Hayyim helps us to mark these events with awe and dignity. It brings peace to all who seek it in the warm waters and compassionate surroundings.

I've personally experienced the results of this organization in...

my work and also in my personal Jewish life.

What I've enjoyed the most about my experience with this nonprofit is...

The beautiful surroundings and tranquility in provides at key moments of a person's life.

The kinds of staff and volunteers that I met were...

Extraordinaary. The staff is dedicated of course, but the real story is the volunteers--men and women who mostly never heard of a Mikvah are now devoting themselves to this organization in large numbers.

If this organization had 10 million bucks, it could...

have an endowment fund that would pay the daily expenses. It could offer more educational programs to the community and more outreach to other communities around the country.

How frequently have you been involved with the organization?

About every month

When was your last experience with this nonprofit?

2009-7-01

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Role: Professional with expertise in this field
Rating: 5 stars  

6 people found this review helpful

As a rabbi, I have served as witness and convener for conversion immersions at Mayyim Hayyim on numerous occasion. The ambience, staff friendliness and competence, availability and physical structure are an order of magnitude better than any other mikveh in my experience in a forty year career. This is a welcoming and supportive environment both for those who are new to Judaism and for those who, for either traditional or creative reasons, seek immersion in a mikveh. I also used the mikveh myself as a "havdalah" between my active career and my retirement. It was an unalloyedly positive experience.

I've personally experienced the results of this organization in...

the positive experiences of individuals who came here as part of their process of conversion to Judaism.

What I've enjoyed the most about my experience with this nonprofit is...

the quality of the facility and availability for both traditional and innovative use.

The kinds of staff and volunteers that I met were...

welcoming, committed, tactful and deeply knowledgeable.

How frequently have you been involved with the organization?

About every month

When was your last experience with this nonprofit?

2009-8-01

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Rating: 5 stars  

4 people found this review helpful

As a Cantor and the head of a Rosh Chodesh women's group, I have brought about 30 women to Mayyim Chayyim as part of an educational trip on mikvah. My goal was to share the idea of mikvah as a source of spiritual renewal and "rebirth," particularly after life-changing events. The women who came with me found this beautiful venue to be a peaceful, soothing place and several expressed a sense of profound spiritual growth after immersion. Our group including several widows, recently divorced women, cancer survivors, and a new mother. All found Mayyim Chayyim a place of refuge and renewal. As a spiritual leader, I am grateful to Mayyim Chayyim for offering us this opportunity.

The kinds of staff and volunteers that I met were...

Knowledgeable and caring.

How frequently have you been involved with the organization?

About once a year

When was your last experience with this nonprofit?

2008-9-01

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