My Last Immersion (For Now)

by Rabbi Ilana C. Garber

Ilana GarberI love everything about the mikveh – the warm waters, the transitions and transformations, the healing and hope. I had immersed in the mikveh long before I was married: marking yahrzeit for my father z”l, becoming a rabbi, and moving to a new town and new job. Then I immersed before my wedding eight years ago, and have been to the mikveh monthly ever since, except during my two pregnancies and subsequent months of breastfeeding.

First Immersion
Present and peaceful.
Healthy and whole.
I immerse – here in this moment. Here in this mikveh.
Barukh atah Adonai Eloheinu melekh ha-olam asher kidshanu b’mitzvotav v’tzivanu al hativila.
Praised are You, Adonai, God of all creation, who sanctifies us with Your commandments and commands us concerning immersion.

I immersed in the mikveh to mark my 38th birthday this past May, but it was a bittersweet moment, as I was also beginning chemo for Non-Hodgkins Lymphoma. One more immersion a few weeks later marked my final menses (though I did not know that at the time) and the eve of the procedure to place the port, through which the rest of my chemo doses would be delivered. And then I hastily arranged an immersion on a Friday afternoon in late August, as I ended my final day of chemo, with my mother and husband witnessing, and my two adorable boys shouting, “yay, Ima!” every time I immersed. A mikveh visit I will never forget!

Second Immersion
Thank you, God, for helping me get through chemo, reach remission, and enter the world of #AfterCancer. You are “rofeh cholim” – the healer of those who are ill.
El na r’fa na la. And Moses cried, heal Miriam, heal Miriam, this I pray!

We anticipated that the potent chemo drugs would suspend my menstrual cycle, but it turns out that once I was declared to be “in remission” (or #AfterCancer, as I prefer to call it), I also tested post-menopausal! This came as a surprise, and as I continued to process it, a disappointment. While we are not planning to have more babies (a child with special needs, two failed rounds of IVF, and my cancer diagnosis were enough for us!), our marriage benefited from the rhythm of a monthly visit to the local mikveh. I was shattered, depleted, and so angry at cancer for taking away something that I love so much.

Third Immersion
The unexpected outcome, a silver lining perhaps, a side effect.
Ending my reproductive years… big deal….we were done.
Entering menopause….scary….things I didn’t know I needed to know.
Saying goodbye to my monthly mikveh visits…wondering how this will change our marriage. Sad that we’ve been married less than 8 years so far, and between 2 pregnancies and nursing, I haven’t used the mikveh so much! Feeling cheated of this holy experience. Praying that I will find other ways to enhance the holiness of our union, because my husband is my rock, my love, my true best friend.
Ozi v’zimrat Yah, vay’hi li lishua.
My strength and the song of the Eternal will be my freedom.

I was not about to let go of my mikveh visits so fast. Grateful to my friends at Mayyim Hayyim, I came to Boston to immerse. I hoped to find comfort in the mikveh, as I was feeling so much fear and anxiety ever since the end of treatment (a common experience for cancer survivors). As much as I wanted to put cancer in my past, I was having trouble letting go.

Fourth Immersion
I am scared on a daily basis. This immersion is to remind me to take a deep breath when I’m worried. I’ve been through so much – I almost don’t know how to just be! So now, we keep walking in the land of the living. Carry on!

I love knowing that Adonai listens to my cry of supplication.
Because God does hear me, I will call on God in days of need.
The cords of death encompassed me; the grave held me in its grip.
I found myself in distress and despair.
I called on Adonai; I prayed that God would save me.
Gracious is Adonai, and kind. Our God is compassionate.
Adonai protects the simple; I was brought low and God saved me.
Be at ease once again, my soul, for Adonai has dealt kindly with you.
God has delivered me from death, my eyes from tears, my feet from stumbling.
I shall walk before Adonai in the land of the living.
I kept my faith even when greatly afflicted… (Psalm 116)

Two dear friends witnessed my immersion along with a Mayyim Hayyim mikveh guide and someone who is training to be a mikveh guide herself. I was thrilled to have a nice group of women, and I encouraged everyone to sing and be present with me. Just as my community shepherded me through my illness, I had created a small community to accompany me in this process of recognizing my healing potential. Since a part of my cancer journey was personally tied to that of my father, of blessed memory, I also needed to mark our separate stories.

Fifth Immersion
Noting that this week will be Abba’s z”l 13th yahrzeit, I immerse to remember, to feel, and to be a bit freer from the grips of memory and history. I am my own person, my story is mine. I carry him with me, but I get to write my own continuation.
Esa einai el heharim, may’ayin yavo ezri. Ezri may’im Adonai oseh shamayim va’aretz.
I will lift up my eyes toward the mountains. From where will my help come?  My help comes from God, who makes heaven and earth.

I crafted a ceremony with seven immersions, because seven is a significant number in the Jewish tradition and in particular, in connection with the mikveh. Each immersion had its own kavanah, intention, that I read out loud, paused to contemplate, and then sang or read about after immersing. Some included prayers or songs that have been meaningful to me for years. Two had liturgy that had just jumped out at me over the summer and had become incredibly meaningful. The words in the sixth immersion come from our daily liturgy, the “Modim Anachnu Lach” paragraph in the Amidah. We refer to God as good and merciful, whose compassion and kindness never cease. The last words, may-olam kivinu lach, we will always hope in you, gave me courage that I, too, should always hope, in God, and in myself.

Sixth Immersion
So grateful to my husband, my mother, my sisters, my boys, my colleagues, our shul, the community, my doctors and nurses, the virtual community….everyone! They didn’t stop believing in me and my ability to kick this….and they helped me to believe in me. God is good, because God did not withhold mercy or have a limit to kindness. Forever we hope in God. Forever I hope and trust in God.
Hatov ki lo chalu rachamecha, v’hamrachem ki lo tamu chasadecha.
May-olam kivinu lach.
Good One, Your mercy is infinite. Compassionate one, Your kindness never ends. Our hope is always with You.

It was powerful, sad, joyful, and beautiful all at the same time. My tears flowed into the mikveh, adding to the holy waters. My witnesses sang with me, said “amen” to my prayers, and supported me as I marked this huge transition in my life. Grateful, warm, happy, sad, calm, peaceful, and ready, I immersed one last time, recited Shehecheyanu, acknowledging God for having enabled me to reach this time in my life, and then I sang a tune about angels as I walked up the steps of the mikveh.

Seventh Immersion
Final Immersion….until I immerse to celebrate my boys as they become bar mitzvah, God willing!
Present and peaceful.
Healthy and whole.
I immerse – here in this moment. Here in this mikveh.
Barukh atah Adonai Eloheinu melekh ha-olam shehecheyanu v’kimanu v’higianu lazman hazeh.
Holy One of Blessing Your Presence fills creation. You have kept us alive, You have sustained us, You have brought us to this moment.

Ilana Garber is a Conservative rabbi who has served Beth El Temple in West Hartford, CT since 2005. She lives with her husband and her two young boys (one of whom has Fragile X Syndrome). A feminist, an educator, and most recently, a survivor of Non-Hodgkins Lymphoma, she blogs about special needs, parenting, Judaism, and healing at She also developed the “Guide My Steps”curriculum for Mayyim Hayyim’s Mikveh Guide Training.


Posted in Cancer, Grief, Healing, Ilana C. Garber, Immersion, Infertility, Niddah | 1 Comment

Into the Darkness

by Kelly Banker, Mayyim Hayyim Intern

Kelly BankerAs we move into the Hebrew month of Kislev, the weather gets colder and the light becomes increasingly scarce. I find myself continually reminded of what the darkness can do, the stillness it can bring. Kislev, a month that literally means “in the pocket of the heart,” is a time of reconnecting with our dreams of all kinds—whether they be as we sleep, or the hopes in our waking lives. Dreams are utterly bewildering sometimes, and yet they serve as a critical reminder of what stirs in our subconscious mind. I have been trying (to little success, I might add) to remember my dreams this month and write them down, so that I might have a sense of what is brewing beneath thesurface. I find that many of the dreams I do remember are painful ones, caught in the past. The word ‘dream,’ to me, conjures up an image of whimsy and beauty, and thus it is all the more difficult to reconcile these sometimes painful visions with this notion of ‘dream’ as inherently connected to lightness.

Perhaps it is this expectation—that dreams always be connected to lightness—that limits my experience of dreams and darkness. Like many of us, I lived in fear of the darkness for many years. I found myself afraid to be with pain, trauma, loss or grief, convincing myself that to be with these ‘darker’ emotions was to be overly self-indulgent. Recently, I have begun to experiment with the idea of lightness and darkness as mutually dependent. Without light, we cannot know darkness, and without darkness, we can never know light. It is the same, I believe, with our dreams and their ensuing emotions. If we are to live our lives in fear of the hurt we have suffered or might suffer in the future, we refuse to acknowledge the natural cycles that make our existence possible. We cannot only live in lightness, nor should we strive to. Our worldrotates around the coexistence of the sun and the moon—the Jewish calendar is notably both solar and lunar. Therefore these cycles of light and dark serve as powerful models for how to live healthy, balanced lives that lovingly embrace dreams and difficult experiences.

Darkness is uncomfortable. It brings us to places of vulnerability that we spend most of our waking lives pushing beneath the surface. Yet it is precisely these moments and memories of vulnerability and pain that reveal our greatest strengths. We each have a profound capacity for healing within us thatmakes itself known exactly when it is needed. Kislev, and with it Chanukkah, reminds us that darkness and dreaming are hopelessly, irrevocably intertwined. Our moments of darkness can be our most challenging, inspiring teachers because they have the potential to reveal our own radiance. Poet Mary Oliver articulates this connection in her poem, “The Uses of Sorrow:”

 “Someone I loved once gave me a box full of darkness. It took me years to realize that this, too, was a gift.”

Mikveh, for many of us, becomes a sacred space through which an exploration of that which lies beneath the surface is possible. In the mikveh, we immerse ourselves into the depths of water and return to the surface changed, renewed, and sometimes, transformed. Immersing at Mayyim Hayyim is a safe, holy space of embracing our vulnerability and with it, our moments of darkness as well as our moments of celebration and lightness. The mikveh overflows with a life-affirming blend of grief, joy, change, trauma, transitions, and, perhaps most of all, with new life. How blessed we are to have access to a space that so fluidly complements our personal transformations.

With the approach of Chanukkah and the winter solstice, may we find comfort in the darkness that envelops us. May we find the strength to kindle our own light, and may we hold space for our loved ones to do the same for themselves. May we revel in the brilliance of the moon, forever demonstrating the possibility and heartbreaking beauty that darkness holds.

Kelly Banker is an intern at Mayyim Hayyim. She is also a resident organizer at Moishe Kavod House and teaches Hebrew school at local synagogues. Kelly recently earned her BA from Carleton College in Religion and Womens Studies, and has worked with teenagers in the Dominican Republic, as an advocate for survivors of sexual violence, and has taught dance. She loves yoga, modern dance, running in the woods, poetry, and the moon. 

Posted in Celebrations, Chaggim/Holidays, Grief, Kelly Banker | Leave a comment

The Earth-Shaped Universe

by Ashley Loc

Ashley Loc“The main difference is that hope is based on precedent, while faith is the strength to believe when there may never be proof.” Button-down shirt, slightly wrinkled pants, and a distinct hairline. With his almond-toe oxfords never ceasing to slam against the floor, my 8th grade History teacher is still worth remembering five years after the fact.

I responded to him by saying that “religion is just another word for superstition,” and most of my peers agreed.

Growing up outside of Boston, we all received a standard suburban upbringing and only looked to G-d when there was a family death. Even my parents, who claimed to be Buddhists, only practiced the contemporary religion of China–eating mooncake and burning incense. For years, this was enough to keep me satisfied, and the only savior that concerned me was myself.

Then, certain events forced me to accept the fact that I was far less progressive than I let on, and that my life felt unrewarding. It took months of coaxing, but I eventually found myself in several different churches, countless Buddhist temples, and a seminar for the Islamic faith. And yes, I was amazed, but only by the stained glass and the stonework, not by the prayer services or the details that should actually matter. So, it was almost by accident that I applied for Brandeis University’s Genesis program. Once I began to read Midrash and celebrate Shabbat, I actually found myself falling in love with the entire community. And better yet, all these people were opening their arms out to me, excited to answer questions I had.

I cleansed my hands for ritual purposes, tried to fast during Tisha B’av, and sang niggunim (wordless melodies) with wine in my hand. For once, I felt comfortable in my religious surroundings, and this held true until I stood outside of Mayyim Hayyim’s gate. All I could think was, I must have been fooling myself all along. How could I enter an establishment that I may have criticized if I was just three years younger? And why was it that the apprehension and angst that had eluded me before returned at that distinct moment?

With great hesitation, I finally did step into the building, and felt immediate relief when the furniture and paintings reminded me of my own home. Leeza, the Associate Director of Education, spoke of how inclusive this space truly is, and motioned towards all the different immersion ceremonies–healing, transformations, a woman’s monthly cycle. Of course, I focused on any resources that pertained to conversion, and I realized that I would definitely continue to study Jewish texts long after the Genesis program came to an end. I watched as Leeza pointed to the aesthetic touches of curving doorknobs or dynamic ceilings, and I dipped three fingers into the warm water as a prelude to the day in which I will officially descend those seven steps.

Ashley Loc was a part of the “Gender and Sexuality” course for the Brandeis Genesis summer program. She is currently working on a Tikkun Olam project, in which she rewrites popular fairytales through the feminist perspective.

Posted in Conversion, Education Programs | Leave a comment

Thankful for the Trailblazers

by Rachel Eisen, Mayyim Hayyim Intern

Rachel pictureI remember a story my mother once told me. At the beginning of her career, my mother, who holds two doctoral degrees from an elite university, was accepted into a prestigious research fellowship in her field. But she turned this incredible opportunity down, because her would-be boss told her that, “she better not get pregnant.” As an impressionable teen girl, I remember being horrified that my mother (who has since been profiled in national newspapers and has won numerous awards for her work) had been told that her career advancement depended on her private life.

I’m still horrified. And I’m even more horrified because it’s still a problem. People–especially women, but all people–across our country have to make sacrifices they shouldn’t have to make in order to have a family. Whether it’s taking unpaid leave or going back to work before they’re ready, new parents are forced make hard choices about balancing work and home life. And the Jewish community isn’t immune to this problem, which is all the more upsetting considering how highly we as a community value family.

Recently, Mayyim Hayyim was honored by Advancing Women Professionals and the Jewish Community for being one of the first 100 organizations to sign onto the “Better Work, Better Life” campaign to “improve parental leave and flexible work arrangements in Jewish organizations.” It makes me so proud to intern at a place that steps up to openly proclaim its intention to live out the values that make our community and our world a better place.

I’m proud, but unsurprised. Mayyim Hayyim has always been at the forefront of positive transformation in the Jewish world. Who had ever heard of a pluralistic mikveh that welcomed any Jewish or becoming-Jewish person to come and embrace mikveh in whatever way they wanted? And now, there are more mikvaot that do just that; even more continue to come to Mayyim Hayyim and ask to learn how.

In an eJewishPhilanthropy article about the campaign, AWP’s Shifra Bronznick recounted that, “it took two years to persuade the first twelve organizations to adopt paid leave, and in the following four years, more than 90 additional Jewish organizations have adopted such policies.” Change is hard. It’s slow to get the ball rolling, but once it does, it picks up steam and quickly catches fire. The first few people or organizations on the ground may face an uphill battle, but once they show what they can accomplish, many more will join to fight the good fight.

I don’t have a personal stake in Mayyim Hayyim joining this incredible campaign. I’m an intern whose time here is, well, time-bound. But the decisions made by organizations today will affect me deeply in the future. So I’m incredibly grateful to AWP and Mayyim Hayyim for setting the example, and for showing me that in everything from Jewish life to family life, and all the interconnected places in between, it is possible to stand up and lead the way.

May I never need to be as brave as my mother in making the choices she did, but may I always be as brave as AWP and Mayyim Hayyim in transforming this world for good.

Rachel Eisen is an intern at Mayyim Hayyim, and a graduate student in the Hornstein Program at Brandeis University, where she co-chairs the Hornstein Gender Initiative. She is studying for a Master’s degree in Jewish Professional Leadership as well as a Master’s degree in Near Eastern and Judaic Studies.

Posted in Inspiration, Rachel Eisen | 1 Comment

Because I Can

by Leeann Simons, Mikveh Guide

LeeannTen years ago, I became a member of Mayyim Hayyim. At my friend’s invitation, I agreed to go on a tour of this new place. As soon as I walked in the door, I decided: this is it–I am coming here to celebrate my 50th birthday.

Since then, I have immersed for many different occasions–birthdays, holidays, marking the end of the thirty day mourning period. But my favorite reason? Because I can.

You see, I’m not only a member of our mikveh, but I also have the privilege of being a Mikveh Guide. After walking through those doors ten years ago, I realized I wanted to be a part of this community. Wherever I have lived–State College, PA, Harrisburg, PA and Silver Spring, MD–I have always volunteered for organizations involving women. And, after walking through that door ten years ago, I found a place I wanted to join.

As part of our Mikveh Guide training, we learn about the different reasons women immerse. One reason, that is significant to me, is to mark a difference, a change. One of the changes someone might traditionally go through is from tamei to tahor, meaning from “ritually unready” to “ritually ready.” For me, it is about intention–about marking a change between then…and now.

Because of the wonderfulness of our mikveh, we have ceremonies that allow us to decide what the “then and now” can mean. Our guests may also decide for themselves why they want to immerse: we provide them with the privacy and the safety to make those decisions. Mayyim Hayyim is for everyone in the Jewish community, and we have an extraordinary ritual committee who put into words the ceremonies that can then be said in the mikveh.

While I love being a Guide, I also love my time as a guest. I tell my friends, “the prep rooms are as big as my living room.” Preparation is as important to me as immersing–it’s making time to take care of myself. I always take my journal with me. It’s a snapshot of what is happening in my life at that particular moment. Each time I sit down to write, I look at where I was the previous visit. Sometimes I write for a while, making time to peel away the layers so I can truly immerse with nothing separating me from the water. Other times, it’s just a quick note. Either way, it works.

Even though I no longer belong to a congregation, I like to say I belong to the mikveh. Whether I am guiding or immersing, whether it’s quiet or busy, I am going into a space where I belong.

There is a quote, from The National Center for Learning and Leadership, CLAL, in the bridal and groom immersion ceremonies I read whenever I immerse:

Immersion in water softens our form, making us malleable
Dissolving some of the rigidity of who we are.
This allows us to decide who we wish to be when we come out of the water.
The water changes us neither by washing away something nor by letting something soak into us
But simply softening us so that we can choose
To remold ourselves into a different image.

These special moments are about me, and I am lucky to have them. So when someone asks me why I immerse, the reason is–thanks to Mayyim Hayyim–because I can.

Leeann Simons is a registered dietitian and adjunct professor at two local business colleges. She has been a guide (and member) of Mayyim Hayyim for over 11 years. She is married and has two grown sons who live out of state.

Posted in Immersion, Leeann Simons, Mikveh Guides, Uncategorized | 1 Comment

When We Come to the Water

by Walt Clark

When I think about milestones, ten year milestones are an important marker. Whether it is celebrating multiple decades of marriage, working somewhere, or seeing a child’s 10th birthday, we think these moments are worth celebrating. Everyday people come to Mayyim Hayyim to mark milestones. Birthdays. Anniversaries. End of life. Transitions. They come to the water to mark moments.

The human body is supposed to regenerate all of its cells every 7-10 years. Essentially after each decade you are in a completely different body. When I look at myself compared to when I graduated high school, I look older and, at times, feel older with some pain, but I am still essentially the same person in my mind. I have shared memories with my past self, my personality is largely the same. I am little bit smarter and wiser (hopefully), but I am still me.

If our bodies are brand new every decade, what is the constant? Our neurons are the one constant in our body that don’t regenerate, but they change as we age, storing our memories and thoughts. But does our spirit live in just our neurons? If you seek the Divine, it is simply just the neurons? That doesn’t seem satisfying to me.

I don’t presume to know the answer. But I’ll offer this.

A milestone is a celebration and marking of something that has been created. A relationship, an event, or a life. We are marking the passage of time since creation happened. Creation on this planet ultimately came from water. It is the common thread in life. Every living organism uses it in some way and all life has sprung from it. The water we drink today is the same water our ancestors drank thousands of years ago.

Water is a constant across all religions as a tool for renewal and we use it throughout our entire lives. When we come to water, we are in a way coming into contact with a link in our own creation. So the question of how our spirit resides in us may be something we will never completely understand. But when we come to it, we are, in a way, coming back to our creation, as individuals, as a species, as a planet, as another chain in this universe, past, present, and future. The fact that we are here and we exist. We come to water to mark moments.

On a personal note, today is my last blog post as a staff member of Mayyim Hayyim. I want to publicly thank everyone who has supported me during my time at Mayyim Hayyim. From the mikveh guides, the board, and the entire Mayyim Hayyim staff, past and present. It has been a wonderful place to come to work the last 2 years and will be something I take with me forever.

Walton Clark was Mayyim Hayyim’s Office Manager and jack of all trades.  He is a working keyboardist in Boston, playing Black American Music and leads the acid-funk outfit Roxo Gato as well as performing in a variety of groups. You can follow him on Twitter @walt_twitwalker and on Instagram @welaxer.

Posted in Celebrations, Walt Clark | 1 Comment

The Choices

Shira Cohen-GoldbergBy Shira M. Cohen-Goldberg

I grew up listening to Marlo Thomas’s “Free to be You and Me,” a compilation of songs and stories geared towards children that immerses the listener in the progressive values of the early 70’s: gender equity, individuality, tolerance, and comfort with one’s identity. In the world of “Free to Be,” Atalanta outruns her suitors to become friends with, and not to marry, the winner. It is “all right to cry,” and “mommies can be almost anything they wanna be.”

Ah, the choices. I lament and celebrate this upbringing now that I am a woman, a momma, and a wife raising two children. Women before me cleared a path for the choices that I am now enjoying and benefiting from. I did not have to marry. I did not have to have children. I could have sex, though I did not have to marry or have sex to have children. I could study English literature and go on to be a boss at work, accomplishing both, and acquiring a gracious husband who makes dinner nightly and shares parenting duties while trying to launch his own career.

They are a bit of a fallacy, the choices. I wonder at every turn how much control I actually have, and approximately what percent of my fate is G-d’s doing. A former mentor of mine once commented to me, upon viewing my 6-month pregnant belly: “enjoy it now—this is the last stage of child-rearing where you’ll never worry about where your child is.” In other words, once you release your child out into the world, control is a mere illusion.

The words of Unetanah Tokef, said on Rosh Hashana, live with me and have haunted me into this new year:

Who will live and who will die?
Who in his time, and who not in his time?
Who by the storm, who by plague?
Who by fire and who by water?

Is the objective of this poetry really to strike fear in us, that if we do not do right, these horrific things will happen? Or does it just serve to underscore that the choice we feel, the agency we think we have, is a mere illusion?

I burrow further into myself with every thought. In this life, I am overwhelmed by choice. Is it mine to make, or am I merely powerless? Is G-d is in control of the future or not? In these moments I seek meaning, peace, calm, and the possibility that every choice is not mine to make. That perhaps G-d is there, whispering that I am going to be okay. That I do not need to know and understand everything, that every choice does not need to be measured and weighed and optimized. That it is okay to just breathe, and be. In these moments, there is the mikveh. I am stripped to my core. No choices. Nowhere to go. Nothing to strategize. Just me, and the water, and maybe G-d. I am not sure.

There is a small boy that I love. He wears princess costumes and fairy wings and loves rainbows and talks about super powers. He whispers, “I love you mommy,” early in the mornings, and gobbles up the “cookie kisses” I give him before he goes to sleep at night. He is quirky, sensitive, and creative, and his actions and words surprise me every day.

There is a tiny girl that I love. She is toothy, and willful and can’t talk but can shriek really well. She will look a person right in the eye and smile until she gets them to smile too. She is fearless and loving and takes less than five minutes to get to sleep every night, without fail.

This small boy and this tiny girl. My two children. As my husband and I go through this journey of life with our children, I understand that the more we think we can curate every experience, make every good choice, provide every best option, the less control we have.

Recently, a headline showed up in my Facebook feed: “25 Words Your Kindergartener Must Know Before First Grade.” As I scanned the list, wondering whether my child would be adequately prepared for 1st grade, I noticed that the “list” was actually each word of the following sentences: Your parents are taking this way too seriously. Their aggressive and goal-focused parenting style will isolate and minimize their ability to parent you effectively. (If you were wondering, word #25 is “puppy.”)

The choices. Which ones matter? Which ones are yours to make? Come to the mikveh. Experience silence. Just you, the water, and maybe G-d.

Shira M. Cohen-Goldberg is a long-time member of the Cambridge-Somerville Jewish community. She works as a literacy specialist at an educational non-profit focused on organizational change. She spends most of her time working and rearing her 3-year-old son, Hallel, and infant daughter, Ya’ara, in partnership with her husband, Ari.

Posted in Children, High Holidays, Immersion, Parenting, Shira Cohen-Goldberg | 3 Comments