Sitting at the top of our staircase, straining to pick up nuggets of conversations from my mother and her friends during their mah jongg game, I vividly recall an animated discussion about mothers and grandmothers and something called a mikvah. It was my first exposure to the Jewish ritual bath, and all I could grasp was that it didn’t sound like anything I’d want to do.
Things have changed. For more than a decade, immersion the mikvah has seen a surge in popularity as a venue for spiritual discovery. Responding to the trend, Atlanta now has MACoM, the Metropolitan Atlanta Community Mikvah, a modern mikvah open to Jews across the spectrum of observance.
At MACoM we honor tradition, but we also invite innovation. The mikvah is available for creative Jewish expressions that acknowledge personal milestones and journeys — significant birthdays, healing from pregnancy loss, marking the onset of menopause, or celebrating an anniversary of being cancer free. I love the way MACoM provides a safe, welcoming, and inclusive space for all members of the Jewish community to find spiritual meaning, healing, and renewal.
There was a need for a place like MACoM. It is the only mikvah across three states that welcomes all men and women interested in converting to Judaism. We also serve as a sacred space for the entire Jewish community. This year alone we expect to host close to 30 events with local partners like The Jewish Fertility Foundation, Hadassah, Women of Weber, and Atlanta Jewish Music Festival.
The mikvah is a unique gateway to Judaism. For those who convert to, or are adopted into Judaism, immersion in this special pool of water is the act that makes them part of our people. If only I had understood that when I was listening at the top of my mother’s stairs!
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