Mayyim Hayyim Living Waters Community Mikveh and Education

aka Mayyim Hayyim   |   Newton, MA   |  http://www.mayyimhayyim.org

Mission

Mayyim Hayyim’s mission is to reclaim and reinvent one of Judaism’s most ancient rituals–immersion in the mikveh–for contemporary spiritual use; to teach about this resource to all who are interested; and to make the mikveh a sacred space that is open and accessible to all Jews and those who are becoming Jews.

Ruling year info

2001

Chief Executive Officer

Carrie Bornstein

Main address

1838 Washington St

Newton, MA 02466 USA

Show more contact info

EIN

31-1753931

NTEE code info

Single Organization Support (X11)

Jewish (X30)

Religion Related, Spiritual Development N.E.C. (X99)

IRS filing requirement

This organization is not required to file an annual return with the IRS because it is a religious organization.

Communication

Blog

Programs and results

What we aim to solve

SOURCE: Self-reported by organization

In 2000, best-selling author Anita Diamant outlined her vision for a community mikveh. Diamant made the case for a mikveh that “encourages the prayers of the heart in Jews of every denomination and description. A mikveh that would respect the choices and modesty of everyone who visits. A mikveh that would be beautiful in design and decoration — a welcoming and inviting place, from the minute you walk through the door."

Mayyim Hayyim makes mikveh accessible and meaningful for the full diversity of our people for the first time in Jewish history. A local treasure and an international model since 2004, Jews from around the US and Israel routinely stop at Mayyim Hayyim to tour, learn, and immerse. And whoever calls, or walks through our doors, or sends an email receives a thoughtful response and a warm welcome.

Our programs

SOURCE: Self-reported by organization

What are the organization's current programs, how do they measure success, and who do the programs serve?

Mikveh Immersion

Mayyim Hayyim meets a broad range of needs. In addition to traditional purposes, new uses include celebrations for milestone events such as a graduation, the end of a period of study, or an important birthday or anniversary. Immersion in the mikveh can also signify a new start in the aftermath of pain and trauma. Immersion provides an opportunity to mark the end of formal grieving or the beginning of healing from events such as suffering a miscarriage, undergoing chemotherapy, completing a year of bereavement, and recovering from divorce, rape or abuse. The goal is for visitors to the mikveh to emerge refreshed and renewed, ready for life’s next gifts.

Population(s) Served
Adults

The majority of visitors to Mayyim Hayyim never get wet. Every year, more than 2,500 students of nearly every age and background attend some 100 education programs. Groups come in-person or learn online virtually from synagogues, day schools, college and university groups, book clubs, non-profit organizations, and fellowship programs. Programs have attracted visitors from all over the United States, Canada, England, Israel, the former Soviet Union, and South Africa.

All Mayyim Hayyim curricula are interactive, stress student participation and encourage open discussion in a safe, welcoming environment. All programs welcome the participation of people regardless of marital status, religious affiliation, sexual identity, or Jewish literacy.

Population(s) Served
Adults

One of Mayyim Hayyim’s seven founding principles is Hiddur Mitzvah, the rabbinic teaching that Jewish life should be beautiful. Our art gallery is one of the ways we take this mandate seriously – and joyfully.

The Mayyim Hayyim gallery opened in January of 2006 with a juried show that featured 23 regional artists, who submitted work on the theme, “Everything Begins in the Water.”

The gallery has since hosted over 40 exhibits, featuring local artists like Nancy Schön, creator of the famous “Make Way for Ducklings” sculpture. The exhibits have featured various media, from pottery to video installation, photography to blown glass.

Mayyim Hayyim is a proud member of CAJM, the Council of American Jewish Museums.

Population(s) Served
Adults

The Rising Tide Open Waters Mikveh Network is working to make mikveh immersions possible for everyone in the Jewish community.

The Rising Tide Network was founded to inspire, strengthen, and support individuals and communities in opening the doors to the mikveh, making the experience as inclusive and accessible as possible. We believe that providing for the spiritual needs of the full diversity of the Jewish people will help create a more vibrant, welcoming, and inclusive community for all.

Our network is committed to fostering and strengthening open mikva’ot all over the United States, and indeed around the world, so that no Jew has to travel far to experience everything that the mikveh experience offers.

Population(s) Served
Adults

Where we work

Awards

Annual compilation of the most inspiring and innovative Jewish organizations 2017

Slingshot

Annual compilation of the most inspiring and innovative Jewish organizations 2015

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Women and Girls Supplement 2016

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Annual compilation of the most inspiring and innovative Jewish organizations 2014

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Annual compilation of the most inspiring and innovative Jewish organizations 2013

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Annual compilation of the most inspiring and innovative Jewish organizations 2012

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Annual compilation of the most inspiring and innovative Jewish organizations 2011

Slingshot

Annual compilation of the most inspiring and innovative Jewish organizations 2010

Slingshot

Annual compilation of the most inspiring and innovative Jewish organizations 2009

Slingshot

Annual compilation of the most inspiring and innovative Jewish organizations 2008

Slingshot

Annual compilation of the most inspiring and innovative Jewish organizations 2007

Slingshot

Annual compilation of the most inspiring and innovative Jewish organizations 2006

Slingshot

Annual compilation of the most inspiring and innovative Jewish organizations 2005

Slingshot

Annual compilation of the most inspiring and innovative Jewish organizations 2018

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Goals & Strategy

SOURCE: Self-reported by organization

Learn about the organization's key goals, strategies, capabilities, and progress.

Charting impact

Four powerful questions that require reflection about what really matters - results.

Maintain and operate a kosher mikveh serving the Jewish community.

Provide a welcoming, beautiful place for both traditional and creative mikveh uses.

Support a welcoming, beautiful place for converts to Judaism and their extended families.

Foster new uses for mikveh for the 21st century Jewish community (e.g. healing rituals following illness or loss).

Provide information and welcome those interested in observing the mitzvah (commandment) of niddah, monthly immersion in the mikveh.

Promote meaningful and successful volunteer experiences at all levels of the organization as an integral component of our organizational culture. Recognize and promote the unique interests of men in traditional and contemporary mikveh practice and promote the participation of men in all aspects of Mayyim Hayyim.

Provide educational resources regarding the uses of mikveh, including curricula, teacher training, and presentations by staff and volunteers.

Serve as an example of an innovative and pluralistic Jewish institution that collaborates with local, regional and national organizations to provide meaningful resources and personal experiences to all interested Jews, and those becoming Jewish.

Establish Mayyim Hayyim as a national / international resource for education and professional training for reclaiming mikveh.
Encourage artistic expression as a means of achieving Mayyim Hayyim's various goals.

Secure the financial future of Mayyim Hayyim by operating in a fiscally responsible manner and through such means as debt reduction, annual fund, and endowment development.

How we listen

SOURCE: Self-reported by organization

Seeking feedback from people served makes programs more responsive and effective. Here’s how this organization is listening.

done We shared information about our current feedback practices.
  • How is your organization collecting feedback from the people you serve?

    Electronic surveys (by email, tablet, etc.), Paper surveys, Constituent (client or resident, etc.) advisory committees,

  • How is your organization using feedback from the people you serve?

    To identify and remedy poor client service experiences, To identify bright spots and enhance positive service experiences, To make fundamental changes to our programs and/or operations, To inform the development of new programs/projects, To identify where we are less inclusive or equitable across demographic groups, To strengthen relationships with the people we serve,

  • With whom is the organization sharing feedback?

    Our staff, Our board, Our funders, Our community partners,

  • Which of the following feedback practices does your organization routinely carry out?

    We collect feedback from the people we serve at least annually, We aim to collect feedback from as many people we serve as possible, We take steps to ensure people feel comfortable being honest with us, We look for patterns in feedback based on demographics (e.g., race, age, gender, etc.), We look for patterns in feedback based on people’s interactions with us (e.g., site, frequency of service, etc.), We engage the people who provide feedback in looking for ways we can improve in response, We act on the feedback we receive,

  • What challenges does the organization face when collecting feedback?

    It is difficult to get the people we serve to respond to requests for feedback, It is difficult to find the ongoing funding to support feedback collection, Staff find it hard to prioritize feedback collection and review due to lack of time,

Financials

Mayyim Hayyim Living Waters Community Mikveh and Education
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Operations

The people, governance practices, and partners that make the organization tick.

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Connect with nonprofit leaders

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lock

Connect with nonprofit leaders

Subscribe

Build relationships with key people who manage and lead nonprofit organizations with GuideStar Pro. Try a low commitment monthly plan today.

  • Analyze a variety of pre-calculated financial metrics
  • Access beautifully interactive analysis and comparison tools
  • Compare nonprofit financials to similar organizations

Want to see how you can enhance your nonprofit research and unlock more insights? Learn More about GuideStar Pro.

Mayyim Hayyim Living Waters Community Mikveh and Education

Board of directors
as of 02/08/2022
SOURCE: Self-reported by organization
Board chair

Elisha Gechter

Diane Black

Anita Diamant

Sheri Ades Falchuk

Amy Fleming

Jamie Kotler

Rachel Saphire

Peter Shapiro

Elisha Gechter

Dalia Wassner

Karen Wolfson

Keith Stern

Carol Targum

Deb Gaffin

Miriam Berkowitz-Blue

Jordan Namerow

Jaimee Shalhevet

Dara Steinberg

Board leadership practices

SOURCE: Self-reported by organization

GuideStar worked with BoardSource, the national leader in nonprofit board leadership and governance, to create this section.

  • Board orientation and education
    Does the board conduct a formal orientation for new board members and require all board members to sign a written agreement regarding their roles, responsibilities, and expectations? Yes
  • CEO oversight
    Has the board conducted a formal, written assessment of the chief executive within the past year ? Yes
  • Ethics and transparency
    Have the board and senior staff reviewed the conflict-of-interest policy and completed and signed disclosure statements in the past year? Yes
  • Board composition
    Does the board ensure an inclusive board member recruitment process that results in diversity of thought and leadership? Yes
  • Board performance
    Has the board conducted a formal, written self-assessment of its performance within the past three years? Yes

Organizational demographics

SOURCE: Self-reported; last updated 2/7/2022

Who works and leads organizations that serve our diverse communities? GuideStar partnered on this section with CHANGE Philanthropy and Equity in the Center.

Leadership

The organization's leader identifies as:

Race & ethnicity
White/Caucasian/European
Gender identity
Female, Not transgender (cisgender)
Sexual orientation
Heterosexual or Straight
Disability status
Person without a disability

Race & ethnicity

Gender identity

 

Sexual orientation

Disability

We do not display disability information for organizations with fewer than 15 staff.

Equity strategies

Last updated: 02/05/2020

GuideStar partnered with Equity in the Center - an organization that works to shift mindsets, practices, and systems to increase racial equity - to create this section. Learn more

Data
  • We ask team members to identify racial disparities in their programs and / or portfolios.
  • We analyze disaggregated data and root causes of race disparities that impact the organization's programs, portfolios, and the populations served.
  • We disaggregate data to adjust programming goals to keep pace with changing needs of the communities we support.
  • We employ non-traditional ways of gathering feedback on programs and trainings, which may include interviews, roundtables, and external reviews with/by community stakeholders.
  • We disaggregate data by demographics, including race, in every policy and program measured.
Policies and processes
  • We seek individuals from various race backgrounds for board and executive director/CEO positions within our organization.
  • We help senior leadership understand how to be inclusive leaders with learning approaches that emphasize reflection, iteration, and adaptability.
  • We engage everyone, from the board to staff levels of the organization, in race equity work and ensure that individuals understand their roles in creating culture such that one’s race identity has no influence on how they fare within the organization.