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2009 Top-Rated Nonprofit

Mayyim Hayyim Living Waters Community Mikveh and Education

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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

2 Stories from Volunteers, Donors & Supporters


General Member of the Public

Rating: 5

I shared a special moment with my daughter prior to her wedding. We both participated in the immersion and read beautiful passages written for the mother and the bride. I thought the words were so moving and important that I incorporated the message in my speech to the couple at the wedding. Thank you, Susan Waisbren


General Member of the Public

Rating: 5

A friend was struggling with turning 'a certain age' and not having achieved all the milestones she had dreamed of by that time. I offered to make her a ritual at Mayyim Hayyim where she could celebrate with all the women in her life the love and support she could count on from us, and to immerse in the mikveh privately and dwell in the healing, contemplative waters and make peace with where she is in her life. The staff at Mayyim Hayyim couldn't have been more supportive of my efforts and provided prayers for my friend to use in her immersion. However, they let me do everything I wanted to do in the 'living room' (which also doubles as a lecture room for education events at other times) which included a pot luck lunch, an opportunity for each of the 14 or so attendees to present our friend with a blessing and/or poem or object to symbolize their wishes for her on her journey. We brought in our own music, food and festive attire. For several women, this was their first visit to Mayyim Hayyim, so the volunteer mikveh guide offered a tour while our friend was immersing in the mikveh. Our friend was overwhelmed with happiness to have so many people from different parts of her life, including her mother and friends old and new, in one place. She enjoyed her private immersion. The mikveh guide even used her jumper cables to start my friends car, because she had left the lights on in the parking lot in her eager anticipation of the ritual when she arrived. Talk about a full service non-profit! In addition to the wonderful support I received in planning this ritual, I have also enjoyed meaningful learning opportunities with outstanding teachers at the Mayyim Hayyim Family Education Center. Just yesterday, a stressful day when I was confronting issues with aging family members, I arrived at Mayyim Hayyim for a study session and immediately felt relaxed and calm, just walking into the doors of the beautiful center, where I was warmly welcomed, things were clean, bright and home-like. I could have easily enjoyed just sitting there for 90 minutes, but the learning was so stimulating, I was a different person than the frazzled one who had entered only an hour and a half earlier. Thank you, Mayyim Hayyim, for creating a space where women and men can gather to learn and celebrate life's mysteries and transitions.