Lexington Miqvah Foundation

Our mission is to build a small, attractive, egalitarian, kosher miqvah facility in the Central Kentucky area. We want to be able to enjoy the convenience of a local facility to observe mitzvot and to commemorate both private and public lifestyle events, broaden our spirituality, and connect with our ancestors in an unbroken line of observance stretching back to antiquity - and on into the future!

We wish to participate in the growing spiritual trend that is sweeping the nation to reclaim and reinvent one of Judaism's most ancient rituals - immersion in the miqvah - for contemporary spiritual use. We will teach about this resource for all men and women who are interested in new ways to express their individuality, and make the miqvah a sacred space that is open and accessible to all Jews including Reform, Conservative, Orthodox, Reconstructionist, Unaffiliated, and Secular, including those in the process of becoming Jews.

In order to fulfill this mission, we have these goals in mind:

1. Provide a welcoming, beautiful place for traditional and creative miqvah uses.
2. Foster new ceremonial uses for the miqvah relevant to the 21st century Jewish community.
3. Provide information and accessible hours for those observing the mitzvah of niddah.
4. Recognize and promote the unique interests of men and women in traditional and contemporary miqvah practice.
5. Provide educational resources (both classes and teaching materials) regarding the uses of the miqvah.
6. Secure the financial future of the facility by operating in a fiscally responsible manner and through such means as debt avoidance, annual fund, and endowment development.

The Bluegrass area has been without a community miqvah for many years now. Join the Lexington Miqvah Foundation in this historic opportunity to being both tradition and a modern spiritual practice back to the area.

Sunday, March 23, 2014

Conversion Issue in no danger of being resolved soon.

The issue of what constitutes a proper conversion and a proper intent to convert has been a growing problem in recent years, as many people who have made aliyah continue to find out the hard way. Having a conversion in America by a non-ultra-orthodox Rabbi will qualify you to make aliyah. However, many American Jews think that means they are considered Jewish in Israel. They are not. Only conversions performed by American Rabbis on an approved list by the Israel Rabbinate are accepted, and few Modern Orthodox and no other non-ultra-orthodox Rabbis are on that list. The problems in Israel are even greater - the ultra-orthodox Rabbinate has complete control of all matters of family law: marriage, divorce, adoption, custody, etc. Even Jews in Israel are caught in their power, many choosing to go abroad to marry so at least the Israeli government will register them as married. If they cannot prove several generations of having no converts and several generations of religiously observant Jewish mothers and grandmothers and great-grandmothers, even Jews born in Israel cannot satisfy the Rabbinate. Jews from America, whether natural born or converts, have little chance of having their documentation accepted, presuming they can even come up with several generations worth in the first place. Part of the problem for American Jews, especially Reform Jews, is that they failed to be immersed in a miqvah as part of their conversion process. Having a miqvah conveniently located in Lexington could alleviate this problem for local Jews by Choice who may wish to make aliyah in the future. The other aspect is that the Reform Religion is not accepted as Judaism by the Rabbinate in Israel, due to the failure of Reform Jews to adhere to the premise of matrilinear descent and the premise that Torah observance is a required element of the Jewish religion. Many American Jews object to the Rabbinate's position. The Rabbinate, however, does not care. To try and deal with this problem as it pertains to marriage and conversion, the Israeli government has considered giving people paths other than the Rabbinate for marriages and conversions. Civil marriage has been considered. A more secular conversion board has been considered. But the Rabbinate has not been willing to cede any of their power to control family issues. http://failedmessiah.typepad.com/failed_messiahcom/2014/03/as-new-conversion-bill-advances-chief-rabbis-threaten-to-refuse-to-follow-it-and-to-not-recognize-jewish-567.html#more You may be thinking this has nothing to do with you. And perhaps neither you nor any of your descendants will have to deal with the authorities in Israel. But you can't know that for sure. It is in American Jews' best interest to be aware of what is going on and to lobby the Knesset to be mindful of the interests of Jews in America and around the world who may want to make aliyah someday. Maybe even you or your kids. We will keep you posted on developing events. Shalom!

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