On October 20 a ceremonial groundbreaking was held for the new Portland Community Mikvah, a collaboration of the Jewish Federation of Greater Portland and Oregon Board of Rabbis.
Mikvah is a Jewish ritual bath used for traditional purposes such as a component of a conversion to Judaism process, and ritual family purity. Contemporary purposes are numerous but all have in common the idea of marking a transition or milestone in one’s life. This is an ancient Jewish tradition with contemporary innovations in usage where the waters provide an opportunity to celebrate, mark a transition or heal. The facility is a resource for learning, spiritual discovery, and creativity where women and men of all ages and backgrounds can mark milestones.
The project consists of a beautiful waiting area, preparation rooms, and ritual bath. There will also be separate “dish Mikvah” available to make dishes and cookware kosher. Some of the unique aspects of the project include collecting rain water to fill the bath as well as many other traditional construction practices to adhere to the kosher laws and traditions.
There has been a Mikvah in Portland for 100+ years. This new Mikvah is located on the Schnitzer Family Campus and will be accessible for traditional and contemporary usage for the greater Portland Jewish community. Fundraising is still ongoing for construction and perpetual care. We anticipate a spring 2017 opening!