Sherith Israel is embarking on a campaign to raise funds for a $140,000 renewal of its 60-year-old Mikvah. The Mikvah, originally built when Akiva School facilities were added to Sherith Israel’s sanctuary building, has served for decades as the Nashville community’s mikvah, open from its inception to members of all the other synagogues as well as to unaffiliated Jews.
“The Mikvah has been essential to Jewish communal life since Biblical times,” Rabbi Saul Strosberg said in a statement. “It is the first priority of a community, before even the acquisition of a Torah scroll, for it supports Jewish family life which is the foundation of the Jewish people. The Mikvah also plays a vital role in the completion of over a dozen conversions every year, not only those completing Orthodox conversions but also people from the other movements as well. And many brides immerse in the Mikvah, marking their transition into marriage.”
Fred Yazdian is overseeing the Mikvah renewal project, which includes updating the Mikvah’s plumbing, heating and electric systems, expanding its footprint in order to upgrade its amenities, and refreshing its finishes. After consultation with regular users, the Mikvah will include a custom-made mosaic designed by Daniella Pressner with the blessing recited upon immersion and will boast a farmhouse chic design.
Roberta Goodman is leading the fundraising effort. She said, “We are fortunate to have received a matching donation and our first five-figure check. While many of the regular users of the Mikvah are Sherith Israel members, we look to the broader Jewish community that also has benefited for decades from the open nature of the Sherith Israel Mikvah, originally under Rabbi Zalman Posner’s leadership and today under Rabbi Saul’s.”
For additional information, please contact the Sherith Israel office at (615) 292-6614 and ask for Rabbi Saul or Roberta Goodman at Roberta_Walter_Goodman@Yahoo.com. •