July 19, 2024
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Teaneck Mikvah Event to Honor Miriam Greenspan

Teaneck–For years, the Teaneck mikvah, on Windsor Road in Teaneck, fell behind in making updates. As the community grew exponentially, the mikvah rooms suffered extensive wear and tear, and the quantity of rooms fell short of the standards held by many women who came to use the mikvah. During the summer months, where the time to use the mikvah was so short, women could wait a half hour or more before they were placed in a room. The board members of the Teaneck mikvah found that women chose other mikvahs over the Teaneck mikvah. “I knew that if I went to a mikvah where I could make an appointment, I would have my time slot right away, and have a nice, new room,” said one Teaneck resident.

More than 15 years ago, Miriam Greenspan, who was aware of the issues, took the reins in organizing the Teaneck, Bergenfield, New Milford and extended communities to get them to build a mikvah building that houses 18 preparation rooms, four mikvah pools for immersion, and a separate mikvah for toveling utensils. In order to minimize the inconvenience to the community during construction, Greenspan and her board planned two phases of construction, and the mikvah was open for operation the entire time. Said one happy patron, “Since the completion of the new building, I cannot even remember the last time I had to wait for a room.”

Once the Windsor Road mikvah was completed, Greenspan did not stop and relax. With a committee from the south side of Teaneck, she worked to get zoning approval, and then funding to build a Friday night mikvah accessible to the community south of Cedar Lane. This area has a large population of Orthodox families, and never had a mikvah in their area. The walk to Windsor Road was as much as three miles one way, so that these women could immerse on a Friday night.

As president of the mikvah for the last 10-plus years, she has kept the mikvah to the highest standards. The new mikvahs are clean and functional and beautiful. One guest from out of town sighed as she left the mikvah and said, “I wish I could shower here every night. I felt like I was at a spa.”

On Monday November 17, the community will have the opportunity to pay tribute to Greenspan at the Teaneck Mikvah’s Annual Women’s event. The evening includes a variety of spectacular raffle packages. Alisa Levy, a Mikvah board member, anticipates that this year’s event, as in the past, “will serve as chance for the women of the greater Teaneck, Bergenfield, and New Milford community to join together, enjoy each other’s company over a delicious dinner, recognize one of the pillars of our community, and support a cause which is so fundamental to the Jewish life of our community.”

This year’s dinner will also feature a retrospective video, highlighting the 40 years of the Teaneck mikvah, from its original groundbreaking in 1978, to the new mikvah groundbreaking in 2007. Most recently in 2014, the mikvah was blessed to receive the generous donation by the children of Florence and Joseph Appleman in honor of their parents, “The program is a celebration of the Mikvah Association, and its forty year history, culminating in the completion of this state of the art, beautiful facility, and the building of the mikvah on the south side of Teaneck,” said Nomi Rotblat, a board member. “It is also an opportunity to express the community’s hakarat hatov to the woman who is the driving force behind the mikvah, and to thank her for her vision, dedication, effective leadership, determination, and tireless efforts.”

The Teaneck Mikvah serves 1,000 patrons a month. Though many other communities have raised their usage fees, the mikvah makes every attempt to keep the price stable. Usage fees do not cover the mikvah’s expenses and the Teaneck Mikvah Association relies on raffle purchases and sponsorships of the annual event to help subsidize its expenses over the course of the year.

Please visit TeaneckMikvah.com/event to RSVP or donate.

By Jenny Gans

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