Open Waters: Mikveh For Everybody

Editor's Note: This blog post originally appeared on the Mayyim Hayyim Blog, The Mikveh Lady Has Left the Building.

When I brought my 7th grade Rosh Hodesh group to Mayyim Hayyim, we learned about the aquatic lift meant to help someone with a disability use the mikveh. When our educator, Lisa Berman, asked the girls “Why might someone with a disability use the mikveh?” one girl promptly answered, “The same reason anyone else would use the mikveh!”

Rosh Hodesh Participants. Courtesy of Mayyim Hayyim

For Transgender Jews, The Ritual Bath Is Fraught With Questions About Inclusion

07/26/2015 - 20:00

Converting to Judaism about a year ago, a transgender man in Washington, D.C., asked his rabbi a pointed question about the last step in the process, which calls for dunking naked in a ritual bath.

The Mayyim Hayyim mikvah in Newton, Mass. RNS

What One Israeli Couple Found While Undergoing A Home Renovation

07/01/2015 - 20:00

Jerusalem - An Israeli family experienced the surprise of a lifetime when, during a home renovation, workers discovered a 2,000-year-old Jewish ritual bath, called a mikvah.

Mikvah-Peeping Rabbi Sentenced To 6.5 Years

“I am horrified and disgusted by how I acted,” he told the court.

05/14/2015 - 20:00

Washington — Rabbi Barry Freundel was sentenced to six and a half years in prison for videotaping dozens of nude women at a ritual bath.

Peeping rabbi receives 6.5 years in jail. Via JTA

Law Student Sues Freundel’s Synagogue For Turning Blind Eye

12/02/2014 - 19:00

A third-year student at Georgetown University’s law school is suing Rabbi Barry Freundel’s Washington synagogue, the adjacent mikvah and her own law school for allowing Freundel’s alleged misdeeds to go unchecked.

DC Synagogue Fires Rabbi In ‘Peeping Tom’ Case

12/01/2014 - 19:00

Washington - The Modern Orthodox synagogue that Rabbi Barry Freundel presided over for 25 years has fired him after he was charged with spying on naked women as they prepared for a ritual Jewish bath.

Local Rabbis Sweep The Mikvah For Bugs

In wake of ‘peeping rabbi’ scandal, synagogues here ramp up security.

10/27/2014 - 20:00
Staff Writer

Rabbi Yoel Schonfeld, spiritual leader of Young Israel of Kew Gardens Hills, received an urgent phone call this week from a young woman in his community.

Mikvahs throughout the area are being checked for recording devices. Wikimedia Commons

Barry Freundel: A Rabbi's Perspective

10/21/2014 - 20:00
Jewish Week Online Columnist

Although I live in the world of words and communication is generally considered to be my strong suit, I, like so many others, am at a loss to adequately express my dismay, disgust, and profound sadness over the recent revelations of voyeurism at the mikvah in Washington, D.C. My dismay is only compounded by the fact that Rabbi Freundel, the popular and accomplished rabbi of the prominent Orthodox synagogue Kesher Israel who allegedly perpetrated this crime, was a college classmate of mine at Yeshiva University. We lived only a few doors down from each other in the dorm all those years ago. I knew him well then. It seems that no one really knew him all that well now.

Rabbi Gerald C. Skolnik

Ancient Mikveh Discovered In Spain

02/24/2014 - 19:00

MADRID  — A 15th century mikvah was discovered at the location of the last synagogue in the old Jewish quarter of Girona in Catalonia, Spain.

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