Mikvah Immersed in Community
OpinionMACoM Makes an Impact

Mikvah Immersed in Community

The Metro Atlanta Community Mikvah will celebrate two founding rabbis at a gala March 16.

Caryn Hanrahan

Caryn Hanrahan is the president of the Metro Atlanta Community Mikvah

The inviting waters of MACoM.
The inviting waters of MACoM.

What a difference two year makes.

Transitioning from a satisfying career as a nurse-midwife to a more family-centered time left me fluid, like water. I became more responsive to the ebbs and flow of the day instead of a planned schedule.

My timeline paralleled another change in the Atlanta Jewish Community. The intrafaith community mikvah located at Congregation B’nai Torah faced infrastructure problems and needed to be renovated. While B’nai Torah was undergoing capital renovation, a few brave souls thought that the Atlanta Jewish Community was ready for a true community and reimagined mikvah.

Into this open space of necessity and vision, MACoM (Metro Atlanta Community Mikvah) was born.

Macom in Hebrew means “place,” and MACoM is a place for all of Jewish Atlanta to gather.

MACoM found inspiration in Mayyim Hayyim, Boston’s community mikvah, which opened in 2004. Best-selling author Anita Diamant rallied the Boston community to create a destination for Jews across the spectrum of observance and affiliations. Mayyim Hayyim continues to create waves in the world of community mikvaot.

Caryn Hanrahan

Diamant traveled to Atlanta to share her vision in January 2015, and MACoM has not looked back since. The new mikvah opened its doors to the public in November 2015, and, like a stream finding its way, MACoM slowly carved out a space in an ever-changing landscape.

In the spirit of openness and inclusivity, MACoM has welcomed Jews to explore their own connection with the divine. Spiritual curiosity is a wonderful catalyst, and Atlantans (as well as folks from surrounding states) have visited MACoM for many reasons.

Some come to celebrate pregnancy, while others find solace as they struggle with infertility. Some come at the beginning of treatment for cancer, and others come to mark the end of treatment or a period of remission. Some observe the ancient practice of immersing before holidays, and some observe the practices associated with niddah (the laws related to women’s monthly immersion).

Whatever the reason, MACoM can help one connect with the challenges and rewards we all face on our spiritual journey.

Every great Jewish community deserves a sacred place for spiritual and emotional renewal. Each immersion provides the individual a way to connect with inner holiness, be it of the mind, body or soul. Those of us who have helped build MACoM know what a community treasure has been created.

Our small stream is becoming deeper, wider and stronger. We move into our second year of operations with an increased desire to share our story with the community at large. We will tell this story at our first community gathering next month.

Please join us as we celebrate our journey at the Georgia Aquarium (where else?) on March 16. For tickets and more information, visit our website, www.atlantamikvah.org, or, better yet, come by for a tour.

MACoM, at 700-A Mount Vernon Highway, Sandy Springs, is open to all those looking for a Jewish connection. The water is warm and inviting; you just need to step in.

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