The mission of Mikveh Bess Israel is to provide the Jewish community with a safe and sacred space for cleansing and purification.
Mikveh Bess Israel was founded by European immigrants in 1852 as part of their effort to develop permanent Jewish roots in the Hartford Area. A century later, Holocaust survivors saw in the mikveh a source of renewal in their adopted home. Their generation incorporated the mikveh as a nonprofit organization. Although the mikveh has relocated a number of times since its inception, each transition has furthered the mission of the mikveh to provide the Jewish community with a safe and sacred space for cleansing and purification.
The Greater Hartford community mikveh remains the source spring of enduring Jewish life today. The obligation of building a mikveh has been recognized as essential for many centuries. this responsibility connects the present day generation back to valiant men and women who faced great financial, physical and religious challenges in order to safeguard this key institution. It also links us forward to future generations of Jews who will use this community mikveh to maintain the integrity of Jewish family life and will bring Jews by choice into our community through ritual immersion. Mikveh Bess Israel serves the entire spectrum of the Jewish community, including Orthodox, Conservative and Reform Jews.
Sustaining the Mikveh for Jewish Hartford
The maintenance of Mikveh Bess Israel is the responsibility of Jews across all of Greater Hartford. This center of cleansing waters is central to the continuation and growth of a vibrant and thriving Jewish community. By creating a sacred place where our Jewish heritage can be experienced firsthand–dating back to the very founding of this community entity–we enable our families to pass on traditions that have sustained our people for generations.
Mikveh Bess Israel will celebrate its rededication in the spring of 2014. With a distinguished history of 162 years, we are ready for the challenges of the future.
Having adapted to many changes in Jewish life and in American society, our community mikveh testifies to the fact that the essential secret of Jewish renewal was never lost or forsaken in the Greater Hartford area.
As heirs to this important legacy, we shoulder the responsibility of ensuring that the mikveh will enliven future generations as fully as our predecessors had envisioned. By endowing the future of Mikveh Bess Israel, members of our community will ensure that these holy waters will continue to bridge individuals to their identity, to their history, and to each other.