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Mon, Jul. 2nd, 2007, 11:34 am
onanothertopic: List of open-minded mikvaot (community, Conservative, Reform, liberal, interdenominational)


UPDATE (10/08/2008): No time to add new entries in Chicago, Syracuse, NY, and Brighton, UK. Email us for info. G'mar chatimah tovah, may you finish up the holidays with a seal of approval!

This list includes some mikvaot in non-Orthodox synagogues or community centers, some run by interdenominational committees, and some that state explicitly that they are open to all Jews for both traditional and innovative rituals. That said, this list is for reference only. None of the mikvaot listed are affiliated with Open-Minded Mikveh.

Many of the facilities below are located in accessible buildings, but the immersion pool itself may not have a lift. Mayyim Hayyim is fully accessible. The Orthodox Union, to its credit, maintains a list of accessible mikvaot.

Download a copy of the brachot (blessings) for immersion here (PDF) or here (Word). Includes transliteration; easy to waterproof.

Many thanks to dianesowo, hatam_soferet (Jen Taylor Friedman), neskatan, purplehamsa, tezliana, thesynergizer, tobeginagain, wotyfree, wrenb, R. David Bockman of the Croton Jewish Center in Bergenfield, NJ, R. Joshua Heller of Atlanta's B'nai Torah (no relation to Rachel, our moderator), R. David Kay of Orlando's Ohev Shalom, and Naomi Malka of Adas Israel in Washington, DC.

Email us with questions or suggestions. May you have brachah ve-hatzlachah, blessing and success.



Argentina


Buenos Aires: At Comunidad Amijai (Masorti).



Canada


Calgary, AB: At the Calgary Jewish Academy, a community day school.


Winnipeg, MB: The community mikveh is at the Asper Jewish Community Campus.
From the link above: "[O]pen to all members of the community for a variety of purposes, including taharat ha-mishpacha, tevilat kelim, and conversions."

St. John's, NF: At Beth El Synagogue (Conservative).
Note that many Canadian Conservative synagogues are rather more traditional than their U.S. counterparts.

Ottawa, ON: At the Soloway Jewish Community Centre.


Ottawa, ON: Not currently functioning at Congregation Beth Shalom (traditional).


Toronto, ON: The Thornhill Community Mikveh is operated by Temple Kol Ami (Reform).
Opened in 1994. See Geraldine Sherman's article in Toronto Life.

Regina, SK: At Beth Jacob Synagogue (egalitarian).


Saskatoon, SK: At Congregation Agudas Israel (Conservative).



Chile


Santiago: At the synagogue of the Comunidad Israelita Sefaradi (Masorti/Conservative).
The synagogue has a small museum. See also Santiago's main Jewish community site.


France


Paris: Under construction at the Maayan Centre (Liberal/Reform).
See the article about Paris' liberal community in Reform Judaism Magazine.


Germany


Berlin: At the Synagoge Oranienburger Strasse (Masorti).
Email the committee at mikwe@berlin-juedisch.de. See more about the mikveh here, at the Berlin Jewish community's main site.


Israel


Kibbutz Ha-Naton (Nazareth): This Masorti (Conservative) kibbutz has Israel's only non-Orthodox mikveh, to my knowledge. [Edit: the site's down.]
Dedicated in 1993. See here for words from Shoshana Michael-Zucker, one of the kibbutz's founding members.

Tel Aviv: The Jewish Cultural Center of the Masorti Movement, now in the fundraising stage, is slated to include a mikveh.



Mexico


Acapulco: At the Hyatt Regency (December through March only).
I include this listing for the record, because the mikveh is manifestly in a hotel, not a synagogue. The hotel's synagogue and mikveh are administered by Maguen David of Mexico, the Syrian community. (The Syrian rabbinate has a long-standing edict against marrying converts of any denomination.) This may be an option if one is a tourist and/or a hotel guest, as there is no other mikveh (except the ocean!) in Acapulco, and no other mikveh in Mexico outside an Orthodox synagogue, as far as I know.



Poland


Krakow: At the Hotel Eden.

Unlike some hotel mikvaot, this one appears to function more or less independently. Several Conservative/Masorti conversions were performed there in 2002.


United Kingdom


Cardiff, Wales: Rumo(u)red to exist; perhaps affiliated with the Cardiff New Synagogue. Must inquire.


London: At the Sternberg Centre for Judaism/Leo Baeck College (U.K. Reform/Liberal).

Call the office at 020-8349-5657. Open during office hours by appointment; bring your own rabbi and/or attendant.


United States


Alabama (Birmingham): At Temple Beth-El (Conservative).


Alabama (Montgomery): At Agudath Israel-Etz Ahayem (Conservative/Sepharadi).


Arizona (Scottsdale): At Congregation Beth Israel (Reform).
Opened in 2007. Constructed under the guidance of R. Ben Zion Bergman of the American Jewish University in Los Angeles and R. Yaacov Love of New York's Yeshivat Chovevei Torah. See this article about the interdenominational cooperation out there.

Arkansas (Little Rock): At Agudath Achim (traditional).
It's hard to know what "traditional" means, so plan accordingly.

California (Los Angeles): At the Conservative-affiliated American Jewish University, formerly the University of Judaism.
Call (310) 471-4061. This is perhaps the oldest "liberal" mikveh, established in 1981.

California (Los Angeles): The Los Angeles Community Mikveh and Education Center (LACMEC) is raising funds for an unaffiliated community mikveh.
See the L.A. Jewish Journal's article, or read the press release (on PDF).

California (Oakland): At Beth Jacob Congregation (Orthodox).
In a letter to j., the Jewish news weekly of Northern California, R. Mark Bloom of Temple Beth Abraham writes: "[Beth Jacob's mikveh] truly functions as a community mikvah. Conservative, Reform and Renewal rabbis all conduct our conversions there. Every year I take a group of men there before Yom Kippur. Many of the brides I marry visit the mikvah the week of their wedding. We have used it for other Jewish ceremonies as well. We are grateful that Congregation Beth Jacob is so welcoming to the broad Jewish community, allowing all of us the opportunity for physical and spiritual immersion."

California (Orange County): Under construction at Congregation Eilat (Conservative).
There is said to be an existing liberal mikveh somewhere here. Here is a list of local synagogues.

California (San Diego): In the planning stages at Congregation Beth Am (Conservative).


California (San Fransisco): Mikveh Israel B'nai David (pluralist, see articles here and here).


California (San Jose/Los Gatos): At the JCC of Silicon Valley.
Under the supervision of R. Ben Zion Bergman and Chabad. See the articles here and here.

Colorado (Colorado Springs): At Temple Shalom (Conservative).


Florida (Orlando): At Congregation Ohev Shalom (Conservative).
Call the synagogue office at (407) 298-4650.

Georgia (Atlanta/Sandy Springs): At Congregation B'nai Torah (Conservative).
Call the synagogue office at (404) 257-0537, or, as a backup, R. Joshua Heller at (404) 788-7357. From R. Heller: "Open to all comers. Appointments are required, bring your own attendant."

Georgia (Augusta): At Adas Yeshurun (Conservative).


Hawaii (Pearl Harbor Naval Station): At the Aloha Jewish Chapel.
The Jewish chaplain rotates (sometimes Orthodox, sometimes not), but once you get permission to tovel on base, the mikveh lady should pose no problem. While waiting, you can chill with the Commander of the United States Pacific Fleet.

Illinois (Chicago/Wilmette): The Community Mikvah of the Conservative Movement is at Beth Hillel Congregation Bnai Emunah.
Call (847) 256-4699.

Illinois (Rock Island): At the Tri-City Jewish Center (Conservative).
Sadly, Amtrak has no Rock Island Line to facilitate tevilah bi-zmanah.

Iowa (Sioux City): At Congregation Beth Shalom (Conservative).
Call them at (712) 255-1990. Beth Shalom remains, impressively, without a website.

Kansas (Overland Park): At Kehilath Israel (traditional).
Their rabbi, R. Herbert Mandl, is "right-wing" Conservative, for lack of a better description.

Kansas (Wichita): At Ahavath Achim Hebrew Congregation (traditional).
It's hard to know what "traditional" means, so plan accordingly.

Maine (Portland): At Congregation Shaarey Tphiloh (Orthodox).
The mikveh page makes it clear that the mikveh is funded by the Federation and open to the entire community. Good for them.

Maryland (Baltimore): At Beth El Congregation (Conservative).
Call the synagogue at (410) 484-0411.

Massachusetts (Boston/Newton): Mayyim Hayyim is not affiliated with a synagogue or movement.
Opened in 2004. They've done wonderful things to put liberal mikvaot on the map, but one can see from this list that there were many pioneers before them.

Boomers! TV has an interview with Anita Diamant, one of the founders, which includes a clip of an immersion.


Massachusetts (Elsewhere): Email me for more information.


Michigan (Detroit/West Bloomfield): At Temple Israel (Reform).


Missouri (St. Louis): On the Millstone Campus of the J.C.C. of St. Louis.


Nebraska (Omaha): At the Rose Blumkin Jewish Home.

Mrs. Blumkin, a"h, "founded the Nebraska Furniture Mart in 1937...and continued selling carpet there well past her 100th birthday."

Nevada (Las Vegas): At Temple Beth Sholom (Conservative).


New York (Albany): Affiliated with Temple Israel (Conservative).
Read an account of its construction here.

New York (Ithaca): At Temple Beth El (Conservative).


New York (New York City): Email me with questions about mikvaot in the five boroughs.


New York (Suffolk County/Commack): At the Y.M.H.A./Y.W.H.A. (no website).
Call (631) 462-6075 for an appointment. Founded in 1987; see the NYT article.

Although the day-to-day management is probably Orthodox, it's located in a health club. So if you're allowed into, lehavdil, the locker room (or even if not), it should not be too difficult to advocate for unencumbered mikveh use.


New York (White Plains): The Brandt Family Mikveh at Temple Israel Center (Conservative).
Call the office at (914) 948-2800 to make an appointment with Robin Friedman, the coordinator. I myself just visited. Robin is very friendly and laidback, and the mikveh is beautiful. Built in 2003.

Marjorie Ingall, now of the Forward, pays a visit here. She went with her friend Lynn Harris, who writes about her very moving experience here.


North Carolina (Greensboro): At Beth David Synagogue (Conservative).


Ohio (Cleveland Heights): The Charlotte Goldberg Community Mikvah at the Park Synagogue (Conservative).
Dedicated in 2000.

Ohio (Dayton): At Beth Jacob Congregation (traditional).


Ohio (Youngstown): The community mikveh is attached to Temple El Emeth (Conservative).
This mikveh is a separate entity run by an interdenominational committee. Temple El Emeth's site invites people to contact any local rabbi. See the local Federation's list of rabbis.

And is that a little green (plastic) frog sitting on a buoy in the water? Scroll down and take a good look.


Oklahoma (Oklahoma City): At Emanuel Synagogue (Conservative).
Constructed under the supervision of R. Asher Weil of Chicago's Telshe Yeshiva.

Oklahoma (Tulsa): At Congregation B'nai Emunah (Conservative).


Oregon (Eugene): HomeMikveh.org.
Located in a yurt, with tea nearby. Who needs this overwrought (if gorgeous) New York stuff?

Oregon (Portland): The Jewish Ritualarium is a true community effort, with the support of Beit Midrash Eitz Chaim and many others.
The mikveh is in the home of Lillian Corcos; call her at (503) 224-3409.

Pennsylvania (Allentown/Lehigh Valley): The Lehigh Valley Community Mikvah is run by an interdenominational committee.
Per Congregation Sons of Israel's site, "immersion is open to any Jew, whether for niddah use, conversion or any other purpose."

Pennsylvania (Newtown/Bucks County): At Congregation Shir Ami (Reform).


Pennsylvania (Philadelphia/Wynnewood): At Temple Beth Hillel-Beth El (Conservative).
The site has excellent pictures of the collection system (scroll down).

Pennsylvania (Williamsport): At Ohev Sholom Synagogue (traditional?).


Rhode Island (Providence): Behind the Jewish Community Center.
Call (401) 621-9119 for an appointment. Funded by the Federation and a private donor; see the article here. "May be used by men and women of any religious denomination."

South Carolina (Columbia): At Beth Shalom Synagogue (Conservative).


Tennessee (Memphis): At Beth Sholom (Conservative).
A true kiddush Hashem (sanctification of God's name) and an inspiration to us all.

Texas (Dallas): At Tiferet Israel (traditional).
Although this is not an Orthodox congregation ("Conservadox," perhaps?), their sensibilities are rather old-school, so moderate your approach accordingly.

Tiferet Israel also sponsors an annual Kosher Chili Cookoff. Daughter of Israel! Be sure to floss afterward, as something may get stuck in your teeth and invalidate your immersion. Or perhaps it is preferable to dunk before such a holy event.


Texas (El Paso): At Congregation B'nai Zion (Conservative).


Texas (El Paso): Funds are being raised for an unaffiliated community mikveh. See the El Paso Times article here (on PDF).


Texas (San Antonio): At Congregation Agudas Achim (Conservative).


Utah (Salt Lake City): At Congregation Kol Ami (Conservative).


Virginia (Richmond): At Temple Beth-El (Conservative).


Washington, DC: At Adas Israel (Conservative).

Check out the mikveh's new site, call Naomi Malka, the coordinator, at (202) 841-8776 or (202) 362-4433, or email mikvah@adasisrael.org.

West Virginia (Charleston): At Congregation B'nai Jacob (traditional with an egalitarian minyan).
Located a few hundred feet from Tikvah's Kosher Bed and Breakfast. Charleston is on an Amtrak line.

Wisconsin (Madison): At Beth Israel Center (Conservative).
Closed for renovation. wrenb recommends that interested parties donate to the congregation's mikveh fund. There is also a Chabad mikveh in the area.

Fourth- and fifth-grade students from Randall Elementary record their impressions here. "They kill their meat in a fast, low-tech way."


Wisconsin (Manitowoc): At Anshe Poale Zedek Synagogue (traditional).
Open to Reform conversions. See the article here.

Wyoming (Cheyenne): At Mt. Sinai Synagogue (Conservative).
Fed by a stream. Read about Robbi Sherwin's visit here (scroll down).

Do note that a river-fed mikveh has different structural requirements than the usual rainwater mikveh. This one seems to use mechanical pumps. Check with an expert if this is of concern to you.



Finally, just for fun, maps showing which (red?!) states and countries have open-minded mikvaot:


community mikvah community mikvaot community mikveh conservative mikvah conservative mikvaot conservative mikveh family purity liberal mikvah liberal mikveh liberal mikvaot mikva mikvah single mikvah singles mikvah unmarried mikvaos mikvaoth mikve mikveh single mikveh singles mikveh unmarried mikvos mikvot mikvoth mikwa mikwah mikwe mikweh miqva miqvah miqvaot miqvaoth miqve miqveh miqvot mykwa mykwah mykwe mykweh niddah premarital sex progressive mikveh progressive mikvah progressive mikvaot reconstructionist mikveh reconstructionist mikvah reconstructionist mikvaot reform mikvah reform mikvaot reform mikveh shomer mitzvot taharat hamishpacha taharat hamishpachah mikvah unmarried mikveh unmarried mikvaot unmarried woman penuyah postdenominational mikveh postdenominational mikvah postdenominational mikvaot open mikveh open mikvah open mikvaot מקוה מקווה

Thu, Oct. 25th, 2007 08:08 pm (UTC)
wrenb

Wisconsin (Madison): At Beth Israel Center (Conservative).

This one is not functioning right now. If you live in the area, I highly recommend donating to the Beth Israel mikvah fund. Once they've got half the money raised the congregation will be able to begin construction to renovate the mikvah. In the meantime JBBs can use the Chabad mikvah in the same neighborhood.

Mon, Feb. 25th, 2008 03:25 am (UTC)
wotyfree

The one at Duke never actually got built.

Mon, Feb. 25th, 2008 03:25 am (UTC)
wotyfree

Which is unfortunate. How cool would an open-minded mikveh on a college campus be?

Mon, Feb. 25th, 2008 03:32 am (UTC)
onanothertopic

Too good to be true, I thought, when I saw the info. ;-( Thanks for letting me know.

Wed, Mar. 26th, 2008 05:14 am (UTC)
fair_haven

To the Orange County one...

While it says that Beth Jacob would be the only Orthodox mikvah in Orange County and wrote it in a way that implied liberal mikvaot, I believe Beth Jacob is more technically the first (only?) mikvah in Orange County - there aren't any open-minded mikvaot as far as I can tell (or I wouldn't have to drive to L.A. when I finally get done with conversion).

Eliat was talking about it but hasn't done it, and considering Eliat is struggling right now, I doubt there is an open-minded mikvaot in Orange County any time soon.

Wed, Mar. 26th, 2008 10:17 am (UTC)
onanothertopic

But the user I tried to contact implied in his journal that there was one there, not in L.A.. Eventually I'll get time to call around.

Sun, Jun. 8th, 2008 04:08 pm (UTC)
fair_haven

Indeed. I was only mentioning that as someone who went to synagogues in Aliso Viejo and in Murrieta, I am sure if there were open minded mikvot I wouldn't be told in both scenarios that an L.A. drive was necessary at the end of conversion. L.A. is a much longer drive than anywhere in Orange County, and if there was a congregation I could convert under and have a closer open minded mikvah I'm sure they'd have told me.

I know occasionally Beth El takes converts to perform the obligated mikvah trip to a natural body of water. Or at least, the rabbi there has done them that way in the past. But as for an actual place I'm sure I haven't heard of it. If the user knows of a liberally minded mikvah, I am definitely all-ears for its location in Orange County.