The Center City Jewish community has experienced tremendous growth in the last few years, both in number as well as in the quality of Jewish life. Part of this exciting development involves an effort to build a Mikvah (Jewish ritual bath) in the City. Jewish tradition states that a Mikvah is a vital element of a Jewish community, to the extent that it should be established before any other communal structure, even before a shul, a school, or an eruv. Thank God, Center City has shuls, schools and an eruv, but we do not yet have a Mikvah.
Rabbi Menachem Schmidt Shlit’a has laid the foundation for a Mikvah in Center City by generously dedicating the Vilna shul building for the site of the Mikvah, saving the project hundreds of thousands of dollars and making the possibility of building a Mikvah in the near term much more likely.
Local community leaders have been working with a wonderful organization called Mikvah USA, whose sole purpose is to assist American Jewish communities with their efforts to build a Mikvah in their particular community. In addition to giving planning assistance, Mikvah USA has connected our community with generous donors ready to make large donations which would cover much of the approximately $400,000 price tag. However, we have recently been informed by Mikvah USA that these donors need to see serious support from the Center City community before committing to these pledges. Mikvah USA has specifically asked the Mekor Habracha community to raise $50,000 towards the project, of which we have raised about $15,000 to date. Despite the significant pressure this poses on all of us, particularly difficult considering the tight time frame, we now have a real opportunity to bring this project to fruition. If we are not successful, it could take many years before we have this kind of opportunity again.
Aliza Sadiky has graciously agreed to head our shul’s Mikvah committee to coordinate our efforts toward the Mikvah project. The committee will conduct an emergency meeting on Thursday, May 15 at 6:30 PM at the shul. Everyone in the community is welcome and encouraged to attend this meeting.
Committee members will also be calling members of our community to ask for pledges. We appreciate your courtesy if you receive a call, even if you cannot make a pledge at this time.
If you are able to help this important cause, you may do so by giving to the shul the same way we currently do, by check, via PayPal or via Network for Good with a memo indicating that you would like the funds to be sent to the Mikvah account. This information can be found here. The shul will hold the money until the funding is confirmed. You can also donate directly to the Mikvah by following the instructions on the Mikvah website. Pledges (which may be paid over two years) may be emailed to email@example.com.
We sincerely hope that the Center City Mikvah will soon become a reality, and that we will witness the continued success of our wonderful community.