Asking for Help

by DeDe Jacobs-Komisar, Development Manager

There’s a voice in my head that has always equated asking for help with admitting defeat. Call it impatience or ego, but I prefer to barrel ahead with a task myself and hope for the best than wait for support or feedback. As you can imagine, this strategy has serious drawbacks. While it’s helped me be independent and get many things done, it’s also resulted in unfinished projects and half-cleaned houses and cake that doesn’t bake properly because I thought I knew better than the recipe. Each time, I finally realize that I don’t know everything and I can’t do everything myself.

I’ve gotten much better over the years, but it hasn’t been easy. Working at Mayyim Hayyim has helped me, seeing people who let down their guard to find support and healing in the mikveh. In my position as Development Manager, I’ve learned to ask for help in meeting our fundraising goals from our dedicated volunteer Development Committee and Board. Of course, fundraising itself is asking for help–showing our community members that we can’t do it alone, that your support is vital to keeping us afloat (I’ve also learned to make a lot of water puns).

Nevertheless, I still struggle with asking for help. Unfortunately, my husband Yaakov tends to have the same problem. Two weeks ago, he took a bad fall off a ladder and ended up in the hospital. Thank God he’s okay, but he sustained a major concussion and broken shoulder. It was hard for him to get used to needing help doing just about everything in those first few days, but he had to learn to just ask.

Yaakov is back at work and doing much better. Things get a little more normal every day, but I’m hoping that one thing is permanently changed – that we will have both learned to just ask for help. Maybe a silver lining to all of this is that as a fundraiser, my faith was renewed in the enormous power of just asking. Chances are, many people are willing, even excited, to provide support if you communicate your cause effectively. How best to do this is the art and science of my job that I’m constantly trying to perfect, but this experience showed me once again that it can be done.

So this is me asking for your help. Here at Mayyim Hayyim, we’re in the last eight weeks of our fiscal year and need your support to keep providing life-changing moments every day. Fifty percent of people who immerse here cannot afford to pay our suggested donation amount — your gift makes you a partner in their transformative experiences and in our groundbreaking work for the community as a whole. To support Mayyim Hayyim you can email me or make a gift online at

And this is me saying thank you. No really — Thank you.

DeDe Jacobs-Komisar is Development Manager at Mayyim Hayyim and is extremely grateful for everyone’s help. 

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A Community of Belonging

Welcome to the Last Installment of our October Blog Series, From Rachel Hillman, Guest Editor

hillmanOctober is Breast Cancer Awareness Month, a month where the media highlights breast cancer, research for treatment and, one day, a cure. During October, many women and men share their stories about how breast cancer impacted them or their family. Last year, after being diagnosed with breast cancer at 28, I marked the end of my treatment by immersing in the mikveh, an experience that I shared on Mayyim Hayyim’s blog. I have spent much time thinking about how my Jewish identity and my identity as a cancer survivor intertwine. The opportunity to guest edit the Mayyim Hayyim blog at this time feels like the perfect opportunity to explore this combined identity.

A Community of Belonging 

by Paula Rayman 

Paula Rayman HeadshotWhen I was diagnosed with breast cancer in the fall of 2004, six weeks after celebrating my marriage, I was full of fear and anxiety.  How could this be happening and would I survive? Desperately seeking healing, I knew this could not be done alone.  Looking around to stop the sense of vertigo and gain resiliency, I wanted spiritual grounding for my body and mind.  Not very religious, but very attached to my Jewish culture, I looked for a Jewish guide book (as a teacher, books have been sacred in my life) but found none.  But I did find a community of belonging at Mayyim Hayyim, and there, I also found the ancient words of Rabbe Nachman of Bratslav to set me forth onto the sea of healing waters.

According to Rebbe Nachman, human beings reach out in three directions: inward to self; upward to the Spirit of Universe and outward to others.  By reaching in any one direction, you embrace all three.  And in uniting body, mind and soul you can discover unknown resources and reach the shores of healing.

Mayyim Hayyim and Inward Journey

One of my favorite sayings from the Torah is Lech Lecha (Genesis 12:1).  Told by the Spirit of the Universe to Abraham, it translates to “go to yourself.” For me, full of fear in those months of mastectomy, two rounds of chemo and then radiation, striving to regain my sense of balance meant restoring my sense of healthy self and remembering that resiliency is based on the French word for metal, which can regain its shape after melting.  So I committed myself to the waters of Mayyim Hayyim, connecting my search for myself to the rivers of living waters which unite with the ocean of all living beings.  From the beginning of this journey, I found a wonderful community of women at Mayyim Hayyim. It was at this early stage that I promised myself and them that when I regained health I would help create a Jewish healing guide for women with cancer.  In facing my deep inner fears and illness I was not alone.  Deborah Friedman’s inspiring words of song, “and you shall be a blessing lech lacha” kept floating in my body.

Mayyim Hayyim and Upward Journey

My beloved Rabbi Everett Gendler has taught me over the years to say the word “awesome!” To reach upward (and often downwards to Mother Earth) to feel connected to the awesomeness, the miracle of being alive.  During my own life, I have felt this sense of awe most acutely when giving birth to each of my daughters – the amazing grace that two human beings can create a new being. So I reached for that spiritual bond to beyond what we can fully know.

There are two images I can remember distinctly eleven years since diagnosis.  First the feeling of safety in Mayyim Hayyim’s living waters and being carried to the surface after immersion. I felt safe while on a scary journey, and felt an enormous moment of appreciation.  Second, while being given chemo, an image given to me by a sister cancer patient: instead of feeling only the poisonous aspect of the chemicals, I thought of a fire clearing the woods so new growth can occur.  So I began each chemo treatment with a prayer of thankfulness to Shechinah for helping me to create clearness within for healthy new growth.

Mayyim Hayyim and Outward Journey

During the course of the last decade there have been so many family members, friends and strangers that have comforted me.  Through all the years Mayyim Hayyim has been a home away from home: a place offering sanctuary, welcoming arms, place to voice my fears and hopes, and a space of art and beauty.  John Paul Lederach, a noted nonviolent teacher and activist, has written a profound book on community and resiliency.  In it he says that human beings can only have dignity when they feel a sense of home- a community of belonging that offers each person a place to have a voice, to know safety and to have sacred space.  All have existed for me at Mayyim Hayyim and circles beyond: my dear mother’s (may she rest in peace) apartment in Newton with smells of her soups; the healing circle my daughter organized after diagnosis, full of gathered supportive family and friends; my husband’s banjo folk songs during chemo treatments; my trusted, terrific oncologist Dr. Lowell Schnipper and all his staff; the Christian, Muslim and Jewish counselors and campers of the Israel Friendship Camp at Yemin Orde in Israel, the summer right after radiation stopped; and of course a year later, when my hair was just returning, the Sixth Day group at Mayyim Hayyim, the group that would write “Blessings for the Journey: A Healing Guide for Women with Cancer.” The community of belonging was never more embraced, uniting body, mind and soul.

Paula M. Rayman, PhD is Director of the Middle East Center for Peace, Development and Culture at University of Massachusetts Lowell; founding Director of the Peace and Conflict Studies Program; Gender Consultant at the United States Institute of Peace on Gender Equity and Peace-Building; mother of two daughters and grandmother of four, wife of Richard Herman and grateful member of Mayyim Hayyim for over 12 years.

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Blue for Boys, Pink for Girls

by Leeza Negelev, Associate Director of Education

leezaDo you remember the moment when you figured out the world would relate to you according to your physical sex? I realized this while picking apples with my family at age four; I was hot, and my dad said I should take off my shirt. For the first time I was horrified by the idea. For the first time, I felt it was wrong for me, a girl, to be seen naked. When did you emerge from the nascent childhood state of being an ambiguous pudgy blob and become aware that, for a while now, the world has been measuring you against a standard of “normal” male and female traits?

We are just beginning to explore the idea that gender is really different than our physical sex. What happens when we separate a biological reality from the way we feel, think, love, dress, talk and so much more? Is any trait inherent to a particular gender? I often hear Judy Chicago’s ‘Merger Poem’ in my mind, which was read aloud so many times at the synagogue I belonged to in Portland, Oregon:

And then both men and women will be gentle.
And then both women and men will be strong.
And then no person will be subject to another’s will.
And then all will be rich and free and varied.

Each time I heard this poem I became irritated, thinking, do we really still need to say that a woman can be strong and a man can be gentle? 

Unfortunately, gender norms are insidious, and we are only just beginning to find out what questioning them can do. My Facebook feed explodes daily with religious and secular articles, posts, rants, and images -all pointing to a world where many of us are outraged by the violence and the limitations we experience because of our sex at birth and how we present our gender to the world.

A detailed account of all of the ways we are harmed by sex and gender-based violence is beyond the scope of this article; if you want more information read here and here to learn about how violence affects women and transgender people. It is harder to find articles that articulate the scope of gender-based violence towards men. Despite a privileged place in the gender-hierarchy and perhaps because of it, we don’t acknowledge institutionalized violence towards men. A closer look would cover their disproportionate rate of imprisonment; data on men who lost their lives serving in the military or who returned to poverty and mental illness; as well as an analysis of the much higher rate of homicide among men.  As much as I scoffed at the words in Judy Chicago’s poem, it’s clear that the world still tells boys and men that gentleness is not for them.

At Mayyim Hayyim, we have had discussions about gender and mikveh immersion for years.  The conversation is about the wording we use on our educational materials, our bathroom sign, and whether hours should be called male, female, and co-ed, or something else altogether. When I teach about mikveh to young people, they often specifically raise questions about gender.  Here are a few examples of what I’ve heard:

Which mikveh is for boys, which is for girls?  When a boy showers in the preparation room, is a girl allowed to use it after him?  Do girls and boys use the same mikveh?  Why didn’t you make one mikveh blue for boys and one pink for girls?

I often ask in return: “What do you all think: do all boys like blue? Do all girls like pink? Has anyone ever assumed something about you just because you are a girl or a boy? What if you were a boy who likes pink and you came to the blue mikveh, would you feel welcome?” I point to the intentional design of our space; the neutral colors and the unisex pools.

Underneath everything I hear them asking: Aren’t there distinct spheres in which each gender exists? Aren’t our roles, likes and dislikes, needs and wants defined by the gender we appear to be?

When I share the questions from these youth with adult learners, people are often dismayed. Of course not all girls like pink! Of course mikveh cooties aren’t real! True, we know about that. But whether you are secular or an observant Jew, distinctions of gender are part of everything we do. Jewish tradition assigns specific mitzvot (commandments), locations, and behaviors to men and others to women. Secular society does the same but without divine support. Women who dress ‘like men’ and men who act ‘effeminate’ confuse our expectations at best, and attract violence and hate-speech at worst.

We are starting to come up with words to address ambiguity, words like gender-queer, gender-variant, gender non-conforming and their accompanying pronoun forms. We are starting to demand a blank slate. It remains to be seen if this is going to help the cause in the long run. In the short term, these identities remind us that we can’t go on assumptions, much the way our mikveh guides are trained not to assume the needs of the immersee. They are taught to welcome each individual to a pool that offers an open canvas for their thoughts and prayers. Just like at our mikveh, our friends and family will (most likely) respect the way we choose to identify. The larger world may not.

At the end of the day, I wonder if these words distract from the actual problem. New identities won’t broaden our expectations of girls and boys, or the violence we experience because of our sex. That’s not their goal. They try to carve something outside a destructive binary. I wonder what gender norms would look like if we ended the sex-trafficking industry, created equal pay, changed the way we talk about abortion legislation, and how we run our prisons? What if we learned how to thoughtfully interrupt each other’s assumptions about gender while they were happening?

I doubt we will ever land on the perfect language or the perfect understanding of gender. Mayyim Hayyim will continue to think about inclusion in the most comprehensive sense of the term, because that is what we do. But the process will be messy. And perhaps that is the point. None us of knows what the future will hold, but I feel sure that, (to borrow Judy Chicago’s words), when we finally see the world as rich and free and varied… then everywhere will be called Eden once again.

Leeza Negelev is the Associate Director of Education at Mayyim Hayyim. She loves hearing about the moment people realized they were a boy, a girl, neither or both.

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Why I Don’t Call Myself a Survivor

Welcome to Our October Blog Series, From Rachel Hillman, Guest Editor

hillmanOctober is Breast Cancer Awareness Month, a month where the media highlights breast cancer, research for treatment and, one day, a cure. During October, many women and men share their stories about how breast cancer impacted them or their family. Last year, after being diagnosed with breast cancer at 28, I marked the end of my treatment by immersing in the mikveh, an experience that I shared on Mayyim Hayyim’s blog. I have spent much time thinking about how my Jewish identity and my identity as a cancer survivor intertwine. The opportunity to guest edit the Mayyim Hayyim blog at this time feels like the perfect opportunity to explore this combined identity.

Join us each Wednesday this month for posts about breast cancer, Jewish life, and Jewish identity.

Why I Don’t Call Myself a Survivor

by Eve Lader

eve lader 2My grandparents, immigrants from Eastern Europe, often spoke Yiddish around the house where we all lived together in Brooklyn.  I was never really interested in learning the language, despite my grandmother’s desire to teach me.  There were a few words that she insisted I learn—words that didn’t exist in English.  I find myself thinking of one of them, kenahora, almost every day.  ‘Don’t tempt the evil eye,’ she always said.  ‘You don’t boast, you never know what might happen….don’t jinx yourself.’  Kenahora.

So I never use the word survivor.  When someone wants to talk about how I feel or how great it is that my cancer is gone, I say, “One day at a time.  So far, so good.”

eve lader 1Yes, I’ve had breast cancer. Twice.  The first time I was diagnosed was 2011, right before my 50th birthday.  I didn’t spend a lot of time dwelling on the possible outcomes. Obviously, I would do everything I could to fight this disease.  Beyond that, it was in God’s hands.  So I prayed.  I prayed for the time to see my three girls get settled in their lives; to know that they would be okay if anything happened to me; to be there for their graduations the following year.

From the day I was diagnosed, these prayers became an important part of my daily life. Each night, as I lay in bed, I silently talked to God.  It made me feel both humbled and empowered.  It allowed me to express, in some way, the fears and hopes that I dared not speak of out loud.  It gave me hope that maybe God was listening.

Within the month, I had surgery followed by a year of aggressive chemotherapy and radiation.  The drugs sometimes made me sick and often made me tired.  I lost my hair and got blisters in my mouth and on my feet.  Yet the treatments made me feel comforted. I was doing something to prevent the cancer from coming back.  We celebrated when my last treatment was over, but I couldn’t help feeling like I was losing a safety net.

One day at a time.

I moved on with life.  I was blessed to watch my daughter be ordained as a rabbi; to be there for my middle daughter’s college graduation, and send my youngest off to high school.  I felt the need to stretch myself.  I ran my first 5K, pushed my water-phobic body onto its first cruise ship and had an amazing vacation with my family.  I took swing dancing lessons.  My nightly prayer ritual continued, but with a new slant.  I was so thankful but still wary.  Please let me continue to be well; let me be there for my family; let me meet my grandchildren.  Like a good girl, I had my annual mammogram and follow-up MRI each year.

Almost two years to the day from my first diagnosis, an MRI found a new cancer in the same breast.  This time, I opted for a bilateral mastectomy.  I didn’t want to spend my life worrying about something showing up in the “good” breast.  I also chose not to do the reconstruction that would mean going back for multiple procedures over time.  I just wanted to get it done and get back to living my life.  Once again, I went through many months of chemotherapy.  Once again, we celebrated when my last treatment was over.

“So what now?”  I asked my oncologist.  “I obviously can’t have a mammogram anymore, so how do we monitor for recurrences?”  Short answer: we don’t.  Studies have shown that the outcome from recurrences is the same whether they catch it on a PET scan or from some symptom that shows up.  So every few months, I see my oncologist for blood work and a brief examination.  Beyond that, I’m flying blind.

eve laderI still don’t dwell on possible outcomes.  I am happy; I am grateful.  My family is my life and my lifeline.  I treasure spending time with my husband, my amazing children and my two beautiful grandchildren.  I am stretching myself in different ways now, trying to give back, to do good.  I am a hospice volunteer, visiting patients.  I collect warm socks and distribute them to those undergoing chemotherapy for breast cancer, sharing a bit of comfort at a dark and frightening time.

Yet every day it’s there, that little ‘what if’ dwelling in the back of my mind.  And in the quiet of the night, every night, I still silently pray.  I have so much more life to live.  I will never call myself a survivor.  No kenahora.

One day at a time.  So far, so good.

Eve Lader is a former marketing executive turned full­-time mom living in Boyds, Maryland.  She is the president of Socks for Sisters – Maryland Chapter, and a volunteer with the Jewish Social Service Agency.



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A Year Since the Hidden Cameras at the Mikveh… Has Anything Changed?

by Carrie Bornstein, Executive Director

Originally posted on the Times of Israel Blog

CBTapestry It’s been one year since Rabbi Barry Freundel was discovered to be spying on women as they prepared to immerse in the mikveh in Washington, DC. Since that time news reporters, rabbis, and individuals all over the world have placed significant attention on mikva’ot: policies and procedures, leadership, and the experience of people immersing in them. With scandals like these, I’m always interested in the lasting effects, if any, beyond the initial outrage.

My goal here is not to provide a comprehensive roundup of what has or hasn’t happened since last October, but rather to revisit some of the passion around the issue, and explore what, if anything, might have changed since that time. I took the opportunity to re-read the post I first published on the Times of Israel blog, as well as the article about Mayyim Hayyim in the New York Times, to get some perspective.

The cynical side of me says that by-and-large, not a whole lot has actually changed.  And of course, I remember that for those of us who want to see change in the world, no matter what the arena, the process feels slow, the steps incremental. And yet, each of them moves us in the right direction.

Perhaps the most inspiring outcome I’ve seen is in Washington, DC itself, at the newly-opened mikveh at the Ohev Sholom synagogue. A group of women got together to create a mosaic mural, taken from shards of glass they broke as part of the artistic process. They put the pieces back together again in a beautiful, Van Gogh-like arrangement, and hung it in the mikveh space itself. This collaboration allowed a healing process; instead of throwing out the brokenness, they reclaimed the shards as something they could own and reshape together.

A rabbi from another community contacted me saying that though she remains confident in how she protects privacy while accompanying converts to the mikveh, she has altered how she explains what will happen during the immersion, since the scandal. [Now the conversation is] “always before, always with clothes on, usually in my office days or weeks before the mikveh,” believing in the importance of talking openly about the element of authority and power.

At Mayyim Hayyim, one phrase in particular has stood out from our Seven Principles of Common Purpose, in the section on tz’niyut, modesty: “We recognize that at the time of immersion, an individual is extraordinarily vulnerable.” No matter what. Even if they visit the mikveh all the time. For every visitor, during every visit, we keep at the front of our minds that we just don’t know what is going on for that person beneath the surface. So we tread lightly. We take her or his lead. Our thoughtful and sensitive Mikveh Guides of all genders are trained to help visitors feel safe and comfortable.

So what’s needed moving forward? Reflecting back since a year ago, are we where we want to be? One person who is a survivor of sexual assault got in touch to say that we need much more open dialogue in the days ahead in order to help people in need of healing to get closure.

I’d love to hear your thoughts about what’s worked, what hasn’t, and where you think we need to go in the future.

When this news first broke people asked me whether I was concerned that people would stop coming to the mikveh because of what happened. I don’t know about anyplace else, but I can say that one year later, Mayyim Hayyim’s numbers have markedly increased and, in fact, they’ve never been higher. So to all of our guests, thank you for entrusting your vulnerability to us, and for helping us all grow together toward the future.

Carrie Bornstein is Mayyim Hayyim’s Executive Director.



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Welcome to Our October Blog Series, From Rachel Hillman, Guest Editor

hillmanOctober is Breast Cancer Awareness Month, a month where the media highlights breast cancer, research for treatment and, one day, a cure. During October, many women and men share their stories about how breast cancer impacted them or their family. Last year, after being diagnosed with breast cancer at 28, I marked the end of my treatment by immersing in the mikveh, an experience that I shared on Mayyim Hayyim’s blog. I have spent much time thinking about how my Jewish identity and my identity as a cancer survivor intertwine. The opportunity to guest edit the Mayyim Hayyim blog at this time feels like the perfect opportunity to explore this combined identity.

Join us each Wednesday this month for posts about breast cancer, Jewish life, and Jewish identity.


by Rachel Hillman, Guest Editor

havdallahSeven times over the course of the summer I sang the blessings of Havdallah, the service that separates Shabbat from the rest of the week, with Jewish high school students and staff at various summer camps. With my arms around the shoulders of those next to me, we looked up into the clear sky for three stars, smelled the cloves as they were passed around the circle, and saw the reflection of the candles in our fingernails. As I sang the final blessing that marks the transition back into the week from the holiness of Shabbat, I found new meaning in its words:

Baruch atah Adonai, Eloheinu melech haolam, ha­mavdil ben kodesh l’chol 

Blessed are You, Adonai our God, Ruler of the Universe, who separates the holy from the mundane

Havdalah means “separation,” and each week as we marked the separation from the holy of Shabbat to the mundane of the rest of the week, I was reminded of the increasingly long separation I am feeling myself, between the time last year during my breast cancer treatment and the time, now, where I am cancer-­free. I first felt this separation when I immersed myself in the mikveh’s waters on my first day as a cancer survivor, marking the separation between treatment and the rest of my life. My experience with the mikveh allowed me to take care of my spiritual self after I had spent so much time taking care of my physical self; but as the months passed since my experience with the mikveh, I found my spiritual self feeling distant. Havdalah this summer brought me back to focusing on my spirituality.

As I said shavua tov (“have a good week”) to my colleagues and campers, I found myself realizing that from my day of diagnosis to the day I ended treatment, I was living in a “holy” bubble, my own personal Shabbat, and that the separation we feel as we go from Shabbat to the rest of the week feels similar to the ongoing separation I’ve been living in since my treatment ended. I was shocked to think of my period of cancer treatment as “holy,” since it was the worst and scariest time of my life. But, while I faced the horrors of having breast cancer, I became a better version of myself. I allowed myself to be vulnerable: by asking for help and accepting help, often in the form of meals or financial assistance; by crying at work when I just couldn’t keep my eyes open (or just because I had breast cancer and I was allowed to cry about it); and by allowing people to come over on my worst days, when I could barely get myself to change into “day” sweatpants and sit on my couch and watch trashy television. I didn’t dwell on feelings of being sorry for myself and I didn’t sweat the small stuff in the way I normally do.

I pushed ahead, confident in my treatment plan and my medical team. I wasn’t concerned about the future, knowing that I had to take life one hour at a time. I was living my life in a sacred time and space, this “holy” bubble. However, I couldn’t wait to be back to my “mundane” life – I wanted to be traveling, to go on a walk without feeling winded, to be a twenty-­something in a fun city once again.

And here I am now, thirteen months after finishing my treatment, back to my everyday life, and with that comes many of the feelings and emotions that I pushed aside when I was in treatment. I am concerned about every pain in my body, any moment when something doesn’t feel right. I put up walls in lieu of allowing myself to be vulnerable. I don’t bring people to follow-­up appointments, or share with many people when those appointments are approaching, even though they come with added anxiety and concern. Some days, I crave the vulnerability and “holiness” that I felt during my treatment; other times, I want the separation between my cancer and my current life to be as concrete as the separation between Shabbat and the rest of the week.

I know I can never go back to a truly “mundane” life, but I also can’t be in a holy bubble forever, just as we cannot spend every day celebrating Shabbat. I now need to integrate the balance of holiness and mundane as I navigate survivorship and this new version of myself, the me who has learned what it means to be “holy” in new ways.

Rachel Hillman lives and works in Washington, DC. In between kicking cancer’s ass, working to increase BBYO’s effectiveness and reach, and traveling to places near and far, Rachel pretends to enjoy running, yoga, and experimenting with healthy­ish recipes. In reality, she enjoys binge-watching television, reading on her couch, and making nachos.

In November 2004, a group of thirteen women gathered at Mayyim Hayyim.  Some were cancer survivors; others were caregivers and health care professionals. They had each wished for a specifically Jewish, spiritual guide to the difficult journey through treatment and its aftermath, and decided to join together and create one. Blessings for the Journey: A Guide for Women with Cancer gives women access to Judaism’s spiritual resources and richness when facing the physical and emotional challenges of cancer. To purchase this book for yourself, or someone you love, click the link above. 

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History for the Holidays

10575385_10101407932399142_6711001650359510826_oby Walt Clark, Office Manager


Last month was insane.

We had 233 immersions in the month of September. That is the most we have ever had.

In any month.


We have been on track to have more immersions this year than past years, but this was something different. Many people came to immerse before the high holidays, but in truth, this is a testament to the volunteers, not only the ones who came this month, but who have ever volunteered. People do not come back or tell others to come to Mayyim Hayyim if their experience has not been a great one. The fact that more and more people keep coming is in large part because of the volunteers.

Here are just a few thoughts from people who have come this month:

“This was my first mikveh experience and I couldn’t have asked for a better one. This is a beautiful, welcoming space, with wonderful guides and I truly felt I was guided to another state of being. Thank you so much for the very important work that is done here.”

“In a week full of nerves, sadness, scurrying and goodbyes, what a blessing to create a space to find moments of peace and reflection.”

“Thank you for providing a place that affirms human dignity and honors and restores the soul. What a beautiful place to experience a moment of wholeness and shalom, peace.”

This place could not function without the efforts of many people and so I wish to publicly thank all the guides and volunteers who helped welcome people during the holiday season. We look forward to what’s to come in the new year.

If you are interested in learning about becoming a mikveh guide, come to our information session on Wednesday, October 14th at 6:00PM at Mayyim Hayyim. RSVP at or calling 617-244-1836 ext. 205. 

Walton Clark is 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.

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