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Supporting the Community Mikvah

 In Building

Last year, the community mikvah at Beth Jacob Congregation was in dire need of repair and improvement. Thanks to a grant from Federation and Foundation and additional fundraising from the community, a beautiful, well-functioning, up-to-code community mikvah is now serving hundreds of members of the Jewish community from the Peninsula to Sacramento and Stockton.

A mikvah is a Jewish ritual bath. Immersion in the mikvah marks many Jewish milestones. Some Jewish women go to the mikvah before getting married, and each month to mark the end of their menstrual period. Mikvah immersion is also generally required as part of the process of converting to Judaism.

Renovation of the Beth Jacob mikvah was a major undertaking. It included remodeling the room adjacent to the mikvah; replacement of the shower, sink, vanity and tiles next to the mikvah; and new tiles, lighting, paint, pool and railings in the mikvah space itself. A year later, the East Bay community has a beautiful space for life’s most significant spiritual moments.

This community mikvah is particularly special because it is used by all members of the Jewish community, regardless of affiliation, or ability to offer a contribution. As Rabbi Gershon Albert said, “The renovation of the Beth Jacob community mikvah is a testament to this community’s ability to gather together and support the essential infrastructure of Jewish life. To my knowledge, it is one of the few community mikva’ot in the country to be used by the wide spectrum of our diverse community, and opens the millenia-old rituals of mikvah observance to Jews of all stripes for family purity, conversion, preparations for prayer, immersion of dishes, and for other spiritual purposes.”

Rabbi Menachem Creditor spoke about the importance of the community mikvah in this Facebook live post, in which he emphasized the East Bay Jewish communal unity exemplified by the community mikvah:

Immersive Love: Commiting to an Inclusive Jewish Community

Posted by Menachem Creditor on Friday, January 5, 2018

 

The community mikvah is an essential resource in the East Bay. Many leaders and individuals stepped up to support the renovation in different ways. Federation and Foundation are proud to be part of this process.

Interested in learning more about the mikvah? Come to the Mysteries of the Mikvah class with Rabbi Gershon Albert at Beth Jacob Congregation, Thursday, January 17 7:30-9:30 pm. More information here.

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