Jewish Journal

Tag: Mikvah

View the most popular tags overall?

  • Venezuelan Jews authenticate 19th-century mikvah

    June 23, 2016 | 9:36 am

    Venezuela’s Jewish community has certified the authenticity of a 200-year-old mikvah, or ritual bath, found in 2013 during restoration work on a museum.

    The president of the Institute of Cultural Heritage of Venezuela, Omar Vielma, said the finding in Coro near the Alberto...

  • Israel’s Chief Rabbinate agrees to mikvah immersion without attendant

    June 22, 2016 | 8:32 am

    The use of an attendant during mikvah immersion in Israel will be changed from mandatory to optional.

    Israel’s Chief Rabbinate and Ministry of Religious Services agreed on the change in a filing Wednesday with the Supreme Court. The state religious bodies were responding to a...

  • More men making monthly mikvah dunks

    December 14, 2015 | 1:15 pm

    Mikvah night has an unusual meaning in the Ozur Bass household.

    As for many observant Jewish women, it’s the night each month that Janet Ozur Bass immerses in the mikvah ritual bath following menstruation. Once she emerges from the water, husband and wife may resume the physical...

  • Yom Kippur Guide 5776 / 2015: Forgive and be Forgiven

    By Rabbi Yonah Bookstein

    September 21, 2015 | 1:27 pm

    This is an expanded version of an article which appeared in the Washington Post in Oct. 2011.

    Yom Kippur is the Most Awesome Day in the Jewish calendar.

    Concluding the “Ten Days of Repentance,” also known as the “Days of Awe,” Yom Kippur is a day where few Jews venture further...

  • Read Rabbi Barry Freundel’s full apology letter

    September 10, 2015 | 10:02 am

    Rabbi Barry Freundel is serving a 6 1/2 year prison sentence for voyeurism for secretly filming 52 women in the shower room of the mikvah adjacent to Kesher Israel, the prominent Orthodox Washington synagogue he led for some 25 years. On Wednesday, he published this apology letter...

  • A New Tradition is Born

    By Susan Esther Barnes

    September 2, 2015 | 1:00 am

    The mikvah has a long history among the Jewish people. Along with a cemetery and a synagogue, it was one of the first things to be built in any new Jewish community. Examples of mikvaot are found in many ancient ruins of places where Jews used to live.

    However, the mikvah fell...

  • After Freundel scandal, Washington Jewish women reclaim mikvah with mural

    August 21, 2015 | 1:14 pm

    When prominent Washington rabbi Barry Freundel was arrested last year for secretly videotaping dozens of women using the mikvah adjacent to his Orthodox synagogue, the sense of sacredness of the ritual of mikvah immersion was shattered for some local Jewish women.

    Local artist...

  • Voyeurism is a form of sexual assault

    November 10, 2014 | 2:36 pm

    With all the conversations surrounding the allegations against my congregation’s former rabbi, Barry Freundel, no one is saying what desperately needs to be said — that voyeurism is sexual assault and that eliminating sexual assault in our communities should be the direction of our...

  • For prospective Orthodox converts, process marked by fear and uncertainty

    October 28, 2014 | 1:06 pm

    Tzipporah Laura LaFianza and her family have been living as Orthodox Jews for four years now. They reside in a heavily Jewish suburb of Washington, go to shul every Shabbat and keep a strictly kosher kitchen.

    But they’re not Jewish — yet.

    A prospective Orthodox convert,...

  • Becoming Whole

    By Susan Esther Barnes

    July 24, 2013 | 1:00 am

    The letter from my attorney came a few weeks ago. It said I had discharged all my duties as the executor of the estate of my father, alav hashalom. It was expected. It was a relief. It was a blow.

    For more than two years, the administration and distribution of my father’s estate...

  • Becoming Jewish: Tales from the Mikveh

    By Susan Freudenheim

    May 8, 2013 | 11:18 am

    Late on a recent Wednesday afternoon, Judith Golden and Suzanne Rosenthal perched at their desks in a small room in the depths of American Jewish University (AJU). It was a quiet day on campus; only a trickle of students occupied the new community library, the classrooms were...

  • An example to her children

    January 9, 2013 | 11:55 am

    Fourteen years ago, Catherine and Bruce Penso’s oldest daughter, Leah, was ready to become a bat mitzvah. But before her big day, Leah told her parents that she wanted to go to the mikveh and formally convert. 

    Catherine and her younger daughter, Rebecca, decided to join Leah in...

  • Finding Judaism through music

    November 16, 2012 | 2:01 pm

    For Chris Hardin, converting to Judaism was a family affair. 

    In November 1994, Hardin, then 38, stepped into the mikveh. That day, his daughter and wife did the same. 

    Hardin’s conversion process began when he met his future wife, Jennifer, on a cruise ship. He was directing...

  • Oprah tours a traditional Jewish mikvah

    By JewishJournal

    February 17, 2012 | 11:06 am

    During a Hasidic woman’s menstrual cycle and for seven days after, she and her husband are not allowed to touch…at all. At the end of the two weeks, she’s required to immerse herself in a mikvah, a ritual bath, where she is spiritually cleansed. Watch as Oprah goes inside a community mikvah and learns about this Jewish custom.

  • Sundance: Helen Hunt as a sexual surrogate

    By Naomi Pfefferman

    January 23, 2012 | 12:18 am

    When “The Surrogate” has its world premiere at the Sundance Film Festival on Jan. 23, audiences will view Helen Hunt in her remarkable turn as Cheryl Cohen Greene, based on the real-life sexual surrogate who helped quadriplegic Mark O’Brien (John Hawkes) lose his virginity back...

  • Historic mikvah to be displayed at Holland museum

    September 12, 2011 | 11:36 am

    A mikvah uncovered during construction will be restored in a museum as the oldest testament to Jewish life in Holland to date.

    The Jewish ritual bath will be restored this week in the Limburgs Museum in the city of Venlo, the same southeastern Netherlands city in which it was...

  • Siberian mikvah is dedicated

    June 29, 2011 | 11:07 am

    A new mikvah to replace one destroyed by the Soviets was dedicated in the Siberian community of Tomsk, Russia.

    The dedication of the ritual bath last week came just months after the grand reopening of Tomsk’s historic Choral Synagogue and its Rohr Sanctuary and Jewish Community...

  • From shul to the mikvah, transgender Jews seek place in Jewish life

    June 14, 2011 | 10:04 am

    Noach Dzmura has a master’s degree in Jewish studies, publishes widely on Jewish topics and is the communications director at his synagogue. In 2006, he received an award from the San Francisco Jewish Federation that funded a year’s study in Israel.

    He also was born a female.

  • New South Bay mikvah puts the ritz in the ritual bath

    By Adam Wills

    September 24, 2008 | 11:44 pm

    Women living in the Beach Cities need no longer travel to Long Beach, Lomita or the Pico-Robertson area to experience the tranquility of a mikvah.

    Mikvah Mei Menachem, a $350,000, 1,100-square-foot ritual bath facility set in north Redondo Beach on the expansive campus of Jewish...

  • Valley couple shares bimah for rite of passage

    By Nick Street

    May 8, 2008 | 6:00 pm

    When Lee Larsen and Bob Clarke met in the 1970s at the 8709 Bathhouse -- one of Los Angeles' best known gay social spots of the time -- they never imagined that they would one day share a very different kind of aquatic experience.

    "We were so high after our mikvah," Temple Beth...

  • Conversion for those raised Jewish? Rabbis address unique obstacles for patrilineal converts

    By Sue Fishkoff

    April 26, 2007 | 8:00 pm

    When David Levine stepped into the mikvah last year, he believed he was affirming what he already was, not converting to something new.

    "I was raised Jewish, was always told I was Jewish," said the 35-year-old, who did not want his real name printed. "I went to Jewish camps, even...
  • Mikvah: Calming Waters for a Chaotic Life

    By Amy Hirshberg Lederman

    September 7, 2006 | 8:00 pm

    The first time I saw a mikvah I had no idea what it was. My college roommate took me to a small building behind her synagogue that looked like a storage unit. We entered a dimly lit area where a small, green-tiled pool dominated the shabby room. It was hardly appealing, and I was...

  • Tajikistan Razes Its Sole Synagogue

    By Lev Krichevsky

    March 9, 2006 | 7:00 pm

    Tajikistan's government has begun demolishing the Central Asian nation's only synagogue, offering in exchange a plot of land far from where most Jewish community members live.

    The work started last month. So far, demolition crews have destroyed part of the synagogue's property,...

  • ‘Purity’ Director Comes Clean

    By Naomi Pfefferman

    July 15, 2004 | 8:00 pm

    "Six months after giving birth, and I'm still impure," says Anat Zuria, director of the controversial Israeli documentary, "Purity," as she glumly strides to the mikvah (ritual bath) on a cold, Jerusalem night.

    Zuria's intimate film explores the ambivalence some women feel about...

  • Menopause Goes Mainstream

    By Nancy Sokoler Steiner

    January 29, 2004 | 7:00 pm

    After years of being talked about in hushed tones as "the change of life" -- or not being talked about at all -- menopause is now in the spotlight. Two recent plays, "Is it Hot in Here ... Or Is it Me?" and "Menopause the Musical" literally put menopause center stage. A support group...

  • Go for a Holy Dip

    By Gaby Wenig

    October 23, 2003 | 8:00 pm

    Picture a woman floating submersed in a warm bath, the water enveloping her like the womb and bringing her to a renewed state of spiritual purity. That is the experience of the mikvah, the ritual bath of natural water where for centuries Jewish women have immersed themselves after...

  • My Mikvah Lady

    By Toby Klein Greenwald

    September 11, 2003 | 8:00 pm

    The 21st victim of the heinous bus bombing in Jerusalem last month was Rachel Weitz, 70.

    Her name probably flew by most of you. It almost flew by me, too, the first time I heard it on the 9 p.m. Saturday news. When I heard her name the second time that night, on the midnight news...

  • Mural, Mural on the Wall

    By Jewish Journal Staff

    December 21, 2000 | 7:00 pm

    A new mural joins the A-list of great Jewish murals in Los Angeles. At Kehillat Israel, the Reconstructionist congregation in Pacific Palisades, local artist and temple member Wanda Warburton-Peretz recently unveiled "The Jewish Holidays," a 16-foot by 8-foot mural depicting...

  • Living Waters

    By Julie G Fax

    January 20, 2000 | 7:00 pm

    The young woman held out her scrubbed fingernails to the attendant, ready for the final check for any specks of dirt before she descended the stairs into the warm, narrow pool of water.

    "You're shaking," said Sarah Levin, who for nearly 20 years has been a "mikvah lady," ensuring...

  • Thai Tikvah

    By Tom Tugend

    May 1, 1997 | 8:00 pm

    While that may sound like an old Jewish joke, it's an arrangement that well suits a community which feels at home in this overwhelmingly Buddhist nation but keeps a low profile.

    The three synagogues serve as a rough guide to the makeup of the permanent and transient Jewish...