Posted on June 22, 2017 / by Sophie Aroesty

For the volunteers of ImmerseNYC, guiding people through visiting a mikveh is as meaningful for them as it is for those going under the water. [Peninah] Engel referred to being a guide as “the most rewarding spiritual experience that I have in my life,” saying that she doesn’t have the outlets that many other people seem to use for fulfillment. “I’m not a shul member, I’m not a parent… This is my that,” she said. “I feel like I’m like I’m good at it, I feel that it’s something I can offer to others, and I see it making a difference in other people’s lives.

3 Decision-Making Models That You Need to Know

March 23, 2017 / by Pippi Kessler

... There are so many ways well-intentioned group decision-making can go wrong. Have you ever been stuck in a 5-hour meeting that stopped being relevant to you after 5 minutes? Or have you ever felt the frustration that can come with discovering you were excluded from a decision-making meeting about something that impacts your life? Either way, your feelings of upset are real....


Brock Turner, Donald Trump, Omar Mateen: Our Deepest Spiritual Challenges

June 14, 2016 / by Rabbi Sara Luria

... The healing moments we shared together at the mikveh, moments overflowing with the sacred power of love and connection, rippled out into the queer communities of Amelia and her friends on Sunday afternoon.

Against hate, let us model peace in our intimate and public relationships so that our children will deeply understand peace. Against defensiveness and the urge to build walls, let us experience openness and vulnerability in our Jewish communities so that we can learn how to cultivate those experiences for our wider world....

Answering the Call to a Life of Commitment

In New York, Women Forge a New Path to the Mikveh

January 28, 2016 / by Debra Nussbaum Cohen

Stay Strong for Your Startup

February 9, 2016 / by Cyd Weissman

If you've never stepped into a mikveh (Jewish ritual bath), I can tell you from experience it is an exercise in vulnerability more intense than just leaving your clothes in the locker room. The full nakedness of immersion comes from letting go of the protections layered around your heart and spirit. Stepping down into the living water requires you to be strong enough to be vulnerable, open to whatever rushes in... 

Special Section to The Jewish Week
June 3, 2015

36 Under 36 / 2015

Meet the Millennials Who Are Remaking The Jewish Community 


Reclaiming The Mikvah: Rabbi Sara Luria, 32


Simple Love

Posted on February 13, 2015  / by Rabbi Sara Luria

...We will need plenty of complex strategies to reinvent and transform Jewish communal life for our time. Yet, I believe a significant part of the success of these strategies lies in striving to create simple, quiet, profound experiences of kindness and love among colleagues and in our workplaces.

NYC Reform Rabbi Reclaims—and Reimagines—The Ritual Bath

Rabbi Barry Freundel scandal propels a wider discussion on mikveh practices in every Jewish denomination

January 16, 2015  /  by Miriam Groner

NEW YORK — When I met Rabbi Sara Luria over coffee on a cold fall afternoon last month in Brooklyn, she had just returned from training a group of Hebrew Union College students in Manhattan, teaching them how a mikveh, or ritual bath, could be used in the communities they will go on to preside over ... Her role, as she puts it, is to “put mikveh on their radar”—to encourage the students to experience it for themselves, but also to expand their notion of what mikveh is, and can potentially be used for.

But what’s unique about her vision is that it’s markedly different from the one traditional, Orthodox Judaism has been promoting for years...

In a Scandal, New Attention to Mikvahs

October 24, 2014  /  by Mark Oppenheimer

...Sara Luria, a Reform rabbi who runs ImmerseNYC, which uses an Orthodox mikvah in Manhattan but provides its own, specially trained guides, said that Rabbi Freundel’s arrest affirmed her sense of calling. “My first thoughts were, ‘Thank God we’re doing what we’re doing,’ ” Rabbi Luria said...

NYC Takes The Plunge

October 13, 2014 / by Elicia Brown / Special To The Jewish Week

When Rabbi Sara Luria talks about mikveh, you’ll want to listen.

You might find God, she says. You might sing. You might pray. You might suddenly be overcome by an acceptance and celebration of your naked body, even if you’ve spent your entire life thus far critiquing its fleshier parts. You might feel “held” by these ritual pools, supported as you experience a transition between before and after...

1 Year, 7 Lessons

Posted on July 22, 2014  /  by Rabbi Sara Luria

...I’m also the founder of ImmerseNYC, a nonprofit start-up in the New York Jewish community. In my experience, founders are often told to have a “thick skin” and not “take things personally.” Ha.

I thought it might be helpful to share 7 lessons I have learned on the job in my first year as a full-time founder/executive director...

Reclaiming the Ancient Girls’ Club

Posted by Sally McGraw on February 4, 2014  /  Written by Tehilah Eisenstadt

Sally McGraw: Tehilah and I have talked a LOT about the mikva over the years, and because she has had a variety of experiences with the ritual herself and countless conversations with others in the Jewish community about its significance, I've asked her to write about this fascinating practice here. Although it has nothing to do with style, it has plenty to do with body image, womanhood, community, healing, strength, and so many other issues central to the mission of this blog. I'm sure you'll find her experiences and reflections as fascinating and inspiring as I did.

Next Wave: N.Y’s Community Mikveh

December 31, 2013  /  by Helen Chernikoff

...Rabbi Sara Luria wants to bring a Mayyim Hayyim-style mikveh to New York and has been working toward that goal since the spring of 2012, a year before she was ordained at Hebrew Union College-Jewish Institute of Religion. Her vision involves a construction project, daunting enough in the city’s hot and complex real estate market, but not only that. Like Diamant, she wants to enlarge the community’s vision of what mikveh can be.

“Our [mikveh] is going to be designed so that it meets Jewish people in their lived experience,” she said. “It’s another Jewish home for people … any transition can be set in a Jewish frame at our mikveh.”

A New Kind of Mikveh In New York City

Revitalizing the mikveh experience for a new generation of Jews

October 3, 2013 /  by Chavie Lieber  

...Huddled in the lobby of a mikveh, a Jewish ritual bath, the group is greeted by two guides from Immerse NYC, a new program in New York City dedicated to enhancing the Jewish mikveh experience by promoting it as a tool for religious purposes other than marriage purity and conversions... The group, ranging from ages 24 to 54, is as diverse a crowd as Immerse NYC aims to target: women who, without this new program, would not necessarily be visiting a mikveh at all.

NYC, Immersed.

A POEM by Sara Luria

I decided to call my mikveh project, launched a month ago, ImmerseNYC. Oh New York—my birthplace, my home—I didn’t mean it quite so literally. When I said I wanted to introduce New Yorkers to the transformational potential of water, this is not what I had in mind...

The New York Community Mikveh Project

Posted on October 3, 2012  /  by Sara Luria

...We need a community mikveh in New York City, for the brides who don’t even know that slowing down in that last week is a possibility. We need a community mikveh in New York to be an expressly welcoming space for conversions, and an intimate space to observeniddah (monthly immersion). We need a community mikveh in New York where men can immerse after their last round of chemotherapy, where women can mark weaning their children, where a Bar Mitzvah boy can come to celebrate his life transition...