July 23, 2024
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July 23, 2024
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Over 600 Women Honor Miriam Greenspan and Growth of Mikvah

Teaneck–About 650 women came together this week to celebrate one of the pillars of Jewish life–the mikvah. The attendees of the Fifth Annual Women’s Event paid tribute to Miriam Greenspan, who has served as president of the Teaneck Mikvah Association for almost 15 years.

Abbie Leibowitz, a former Mikvah Association board member, praised Greenspan’s hard work and accomplishments in expanding the Windsor Road mikvah and opening the Friday night satellite on the South Side. She especially noted that Greenspan’s door was always open for the many Teaneck Mikvah Association meetings.

“I like coming to this event,” she said, “because I like to see all these women supporting the mikvah.”

The Women’s Event, held at Congregation Keter Torah, began with a reception, followed by dinner in the main ballroom, catered by Five Star caterers. The tables contained candelabra centerpieces and challot at each place setting as a reference to this year’s theme–the three unique mitzvot for women: candle lighting, challah and mikvah. The evening concluded with dessert and a raffle drawing.

During the dinner, Alisa Levy, a Mikvah board member, introduced Greenspan. “This year we celebrate the many physical and developmental changes of the mikvah,” she said. “This evening is a tribute to our outgoing president, Miriam Greenspan, who has served the mikvah for close to 15 years … I really enjoyed working with you and this is a well-deserved honor.”

Greenspan talked about the history of the mikvah and the hard work it took to make things happen. She announced that three current board members have new positions–Nomi Rotblat, Levy and Ruchi Tiger. Rotblat will serve as the new president, Levy will be the chief operating officer and Tiger will act as treasurer.

She also thanked members of the community who have devoted themselves to the mikvah’s success, including Juliette and Stuart Rothschild, previous presidents of the Mikvah Association; Bryna Malitzky, the Mikvah’s administrator; Eli Kolb, contractor for the mikvah; Menachem Schechter, Mikvah Association board member; and Miriam Feman, the Head Mikvah Shomeret.

Greenspan did not pass up the opportunity to make one more appeal for donations to the mikvah. She reminded the audience of the mikvah’s Friends of the Mikvah campaign: a $360 donation which allows donors monthly use of the mikvah for one calendar year.

She acknowledged the generous contribution by the Lindenbaum, Jacobowitz, Guttman, and Katz families in honor of their parents, Florence and Joseph Appleman, to the mikvah building, which now bears their name. “This donation was critical,” she said, “and it enabled us to substantially pay down our mortgage.”

During a video about the mikvah’s history, Greenspan remembered that it was at the Katz’s bat mitzvah that she went “schnorring” for the mikvah and raised $100,000, so that the expansion project could begin.

The retrospective video also highlighted the groundbreaking year of the Teaneck mikvah in 1978, when Teaneck was a small community of only 100 families with no kosher restaurants.

In the early years, the mikvah saw about 25 patrons a week and had been built to accommodate 40 women a week. Now the mikvah handles about 40 women a night. The Windsor Road Mikvah now includes 18 preparation rooms, four Mikvaot, special handicap accessible facilities, an exclusive preparation room for brides and a new Keylim Mikvah. In addition, the The South Side Mikvah, which opened its doors last February, boasts five dressing rooms, four rooms with a bathtub/shower combinations and a fifth which is handicapped accessible with a large walk-in shower. The facility has one Bor and one Mikvah.

In the video, Adeena Mayerfeld, Mikvah Association board member, stated, “Early on, Miriam had envisioned what the impact of a beautiful spa-like mikvah would have on the Teaneck community.”

This vision has not been lost on the women of the community. Rebecca Lopkin, who attended the Women’s Event, said it is precisely the spa-like environment that she likes best about the Teaneck mikvah.

By Tova Domnitch

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