[Originally posted on October 20, 2014]
By Sara Luria
Last Monday, ImmerseNYC was profiled in The Jewish Week.
On Tuesday, mikveh was back in the news – but for all the wrong reasons.
Over the past week, as we have watched the story of the horrible violation of trust by a male rabbi at a mikveh in the DC area unfold, the modern mikveh movement and its allies have engaged powerfully in a conversation about the implications of this scandal.
Check out these articles to get a sense of our community’s reaction:
Why Rabbi Freundel Story Makes Me Physically Ill, by Rabbi Danya Ruttenberg
Breaking the Mikveh Monopoly, by Carrie Bornstein
Private But Not Secret: Sharing Mikveh Stories, by Rachel Rosenthal
It’s Time to Put Women in Charge of the Mikveh, by Beth Kissileff
Give the Mikveh Keys to Women, by Chana Henkin
A bill of rights for Jewish Converts, by Bethany Mandel
Why We Shouldn’t Be Surprised, by Rabbi Haviva Ner David
Mikveh Needs To Be A Safe Place, by Sharon Weiss-Greenberg
In this mikveh moment, ImmerseNYC is proud to be building a community of people dedicated to the re-imagination of mikveh – a place of renewal for all Jewish people, a pluralistic space in which Jews of all genders, denominations and affiliations are welcome and safe.
Next week, in addition to holding 1-2 facilitated conversations as spaces for our community to share their fears and concerns about this crisis, ImmerseNYC will be training 20 Jewish leaders to facilitate peer-led conversations all over New York City on mikveh experiences and life transitions.
This recent news cycle has resurfaced what we’ve been hearing all along—that there are so many stories in our community that are not being told.
Through these conversations, we are inviting our community to join together to share stories of joy, struggle, loss, and celebration for the sake of deepening our connections to one another, in addition to our work of deepening Jewish ritual experiences at the mikveh.
Mikveh may soon move out of the headlines but we are committed to this important, Jewish-community-transforming work for the long haul.
With faith that after trauma, there can be healing, and with appreciation for your dedication and support,