When I started working at Mayyim Hayyim back in November, all four of my children asked a lot of questions about what we do here and how the immersion process works. Since my kids are between the ages of 6 and 16, their questions were quite broad and varied. My younger son, Eytan, who is now 14, visited Mayyim Hayyim in fourth grade with his Religious School class and knew a lot more than the rest of the kids in the house.
Eytan has always been my most inquisitive child. He never accepts the status quo. He is always wrapped up in debate with the head rabbi at shul about some contentious issues in Judaism. I’m pretty sure he may have done some of that debating when he visited here, as Lisa Berman, our Education Director remembered him when she saw him on his visit four years ago. Since November, Eytan has expressed great interest in immersing. He knew he wanted a male mikveh guide, he knew he wanted a lot of freedom to pick a ceremony that was meaningful to him, and he didn’t want to be treated like a “kid.”
As his 8th grade promotional ceremony loomed in the distance, he decided that would be an appropriate and meaningful life transition to mark with an immersion. He’s been at his middle school since 5th grade and moving to high school is a huge deal. He was also looking to somehow mark the transition out of the school year and into the summer, his favorite time of year that he spends in Maine with his Jewish camp friends.
I cannot wait for his visit and to share this experience with him. It’s often really hard to take time out of the busy day-to-day logistics, to have those all-important, meaningful, and intentional moments. It is not often that I get to leave my wheelhouse of the “upstairs” at Mayyim Hayyim and enjoy the serenity of the “downstairs.” I so look forward to this celebration, and I am so relieved he found a sacred space to mark his growth at Mayyim Hayyim.
Lori Kramer comes to Mayyim Hayyim from an extensive background in non-profit administration. She previously worked at JCC of Greater Boston and JCC Camp Kingswood. She lives in Woonsocket, RI with her four kids and her husband.