April 19, 2024
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First Mikvah in Monroe, NJ, Expected to Open in the Spring

Chabad House of Monroe is in the process of collecting rainwater and expects to open the community’s first mikvah in the spring. The $250,000 mikvah is complete and was built with funds raised through a local fundraising campaign and the assistance of Brooklyn-based Mikvah USA, founded in 2004 by Rabbi Yitzchok Bistritzky. It has helped establish dozens of mikvahs in communities throughout the country.

“Giving money toward a mikvah brings special blessings,” said Chabad Executive Director Rabbi Yehuda Spritzer, who declined to say how much of that total was raised locally and how much Mikvah USA contributed. Rabbi Spritzer said the project began about 18 months ago with securing the proper building permits from the township for the approximately 1,000-square-foot structure, which is located on the lower level of Chabad House on Applegarth Road.

“We were able to raise the money very quickly,” said Rabbi Spritzer. “When we took this mikvah effort public, people were enthusiastic. They were very eager to help and were very generous.”

Although the majority of Monroe’s Jewish community lives in its many adult communities, he said it was needed for visiting relatives and friends as well as for other religious reasons.

“It is written that every town should have a mikvah,” noted Rabbi Spritzer. “Its importance cannot be overemphasized. Our sages tell us every town that does not have one should go to extremes to build one even if it has to sell a Torah.”

The 109th mitzvah commands immersion in the waters of a mikvah to cleanse from any impurities. Besides younger women needing to immerse themselves in its waters monthly, Rabbi Spritzer said those who have never gone to a mikvah should go once in their lifetimes. Those converting to Judaism also must visit a mikvah, as well as women getting married. Some chasidim also immerse themselves daily.

There currently are mikvahs in some area communities, including Highland Park, East Brunswick and Twin Rivers in East Windsor.

“We do get phone calls asking if we have a mikvah,” said Rabbi Spritzer. “Now we will be able to tell them we have a beautiful, well-designed mikvah in a nice setting.”

An exact opening date depends on the amount of rain that can be collected in the coming months. Once it opens those wishing to use it will be able to discreetly call to make an appointment.

By Debra Rubin

 

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