Top 10 Reasons to Be a Volunteer Mikveh Guide

Written by Carrie Bornstein

Shortly after Mayyim Hayyim opened in 2004, I remember the nervous excitement I felt opening the email inviting applications for volunteer Mikveh Guides.  “Would they accept me,” I thought?  “Do I have what it takes?”

Incidentally, it all worked out okay.

Little did any of us who became Mikveh Guides know, however, the extent of the impact those applications would have on our lives.

Our dedicated, supportive guides and I have put our heads together and submit to you, the:

Top 10 Reasons to Be a Volunteer Mikveh Guide:

10. The outburst of “siman tov u’mazel tov” from loved ones and rabbis as a new Jew exits the water.

9. The look on a grandmother’s face as you complete her tour, when she smiles and says, “Wow – I never imagined a mikveh could be like this.”

8. Being part of a wedding every weekend.

7. Offering an immersion ceremony to a survivor of abuse and saying, “We built this place for you.”

6. That sweet, serene feeling of calm and peace upon walking in the door.

5. The toothless grin of a small child as he says, “I did it all by myself!”

4. Standing behind the sheet of privacy as a woman weeps, offering her prayers for fertility.

3. Being cared for and nurtured by loving people of depth and quality, while doing the same for others.

2. Enacting pluralism.

1.  The secret stash of Mikveh Guide chocolate.

Mikveh Guides across the land: what would you add to the list?

Click to learn about applying for Mayyim Hayyim’s seventh cohort of volunteer Mikveh Guides.

Carrie Bornstein is Mayyim Hayyim’s Acting Executive Director.  Follow her on twitter @carolinering.


About mayyimhayyim

Mayyim Hayyim is a 21st century creation, a mikveh rooted in ancient tradition, reinvented to serve the Jewish community of today
This entry was posted in Carrie Bornstein, Mikveh Guides, Mikveh Training and tagged , . Bookmark the permalink.

8 Responses to Top 10 Reasons to Be a Volunteer Mikveh Guide

  1. Here are my top 10…

    Top 10 Reasons to Love Being a Mikveh Guide

    1. Being the first to welcome a clean, fresh Jew into the fold.
    2. Knowing the time and space we give to people in celebration or sorrow is sacred and holy.
    3. Feeling the connection with the past—thousands of years past—and helping carry the tradition into the future in a thoughtful, intentional, meaningful way.
    4. Understanding that in guiding, we have the opportunity to share information about mikveh and immersion.
    5. Sharing a moment of calm with someone who may be in the midst of extreme turmoil.
    6. Helping a child feel ownership of his/her immersion by having him/her get the room ready or some other task.
    7. Seeing the shift from shpilkes to serenity.
    8. Offering a variety of beautifully written ritual ceremonies and knowing that at least one of them will be perfect for the occasion.
    9. Folding holy laundry helps to remind me of the sacredness of every day tasks and reinforces for me that being Jewish is a way of life, not just something to do at services.
    10. Being able to immerse at Mayyim Hayyim.

  2. Marion Gribetz says:

    where is that secret stash of chocolate????Have I been missing something all these years?
    Even without the chocolate I think that being a guide is one of the most fulfilling things I do month in and month out.
    10.And yes doing the laundry with intentionality is one of the most sacred things .
    9.having a newly Jewish person say “I will always remember what you did for me today”.
    8.wrapping an immersee back in the sheet after she has completed her mitzvah get to read the log book and feel part of so many mitzvot
    6. chatting with family members as an immersee prepares herself
    5.welcoming return guests
    4.sharing the beauty of mayyim hayyim with out of towners
    3. the acoustics of the atrium
    2.witnessing so much holiness
    1.opening the gate from the parking lot and being enveloped by the beautiful garden

  3. mayyimhayyim says:

    Now, Marion… we can’t put that kind of classified information about the chocolate location on the web! (Not to worry – we’ll make sure you’re able to raid it next time you’re in!)

  4. mayyimhayyim says:

    And these lists are fantastic – keep ’em coming!

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