Florida Mikvah Installs Hydraulic Lift For The Disabled

7

Print Friendly, PDF & Email

mikvah.jpgHallendale Beach, FL: The first Mikvah with a hydraulic lift in the southeastern United States — and one of only a few in the world — could be completed within weeks. It will be the first Mikvah of any kind in Hallandale Beach.

R’ Raphael Tennenhaus, executive vice president of Chabad of South Broward, said, “We’ve been informed in confidence that certain people have opted not to go to the Mikvah because of the embarrassment.” He explained that for people with multiple sclerosis or other forms of paralysis getting in and out of the Mikvah was just too much of an ordeal.

“Hydraulic lifts will really make it much more private and dignified,” said Tennenhaus, whose Shul will be running the new $750,000 facility.

There are numerous mikvahs at synagogues in South Florida, including those in Boca Raton, Boynton Beach, Coral Springs, Fort Lauderdale, Hollywood, Weston, Plantation and Lauderhill.

But R’ Sholom Grossbaum, a consultant who has worked on numerous Mikvaos throughout the world, said the only mikvahs he knows of with hydraulic lifts to accommodate the handicapped are in Jerusalem, Monsey, N.Y., and Brooklyn.

(Source: Sun-Sentential)




7 COMMENTS

  1. The Pittsburgh mikva has a lift as well. It wasn’t installed because of a need for it, rather it was installed to ensure that nobody was prevented from moving to the community or living in the community because their disability prevented them from going to the mikva. Kol Hakavod to the Pittsburgh community!

  2. This is wonderful. There are others in the country as well. I personally saw a beautiful mikeveh in Atlanta that is also equipped with a lift for the handicapped. We have been talking about that here as well.

  3. The beautiful new Mikveh in Monsey has a lift. As someone who spent two years using a wheel chair, (before I was married and baruch hashem now I have mostly healed) I was very moved to see that. Not only for the women who need it, because all women should have access to mikveh, but for what it says to the rest of us. 1) mikveh is that important- all women need to keep it & 2) we are all responsible for making that possible.

    I looked into putting a conventional lift in our local mikveh, but it was not physically possible, not without going through an outside, load-bearing wall and expanding into a neighbor’s property. Or rebuilding the whole thing. WAY beyond our means.

    But I had some compromise ideas to make it more accessible to partly disabled women. And even usually-able bodied women can be temporarily very limited. This is reminding me to pursue my ideas.

    With Yiras Shemayim most women somehow find the strength to go through amazing challenges to keep Hashem’s laws, but there are some women who are very, painfully sensitive, and there are also potential BT’s testing the waters of our community, literally.

    How do we know lack of accessability is not damaging their ability to grow closer to Hashem?

    Perhaps Elul is a good time for all of us to work on this. If not a lift, more hand rails on the mikveh steps, grab bars “everywhere”, in-shower stools, special shomrot sensitivity training, advertising the mikveh’s willingness to do more if it is possible.

    Although it can be tedious for us (I still consider myself disabled), women with disabilities are familiar with their own limitations, know what they need and usually have very clear and often creative suggestions about meeting those needs– which they are willing to share… if we are willing to really listen to them respectfully and try to follow through. (not just waste their time)

    A lift, wide doorways, etc. is best, by far. But doing nothing is not the only other choice. Here is another opportunity to bring Ahavas Yisroel into the new year.

    Thank you for the story, and a big Kol HaKavod to the communities that have built these mikvehs.

  4. The beautiful recently renovated mikva in the Choral Shul in the center of Moscow also has a lift for invalids.
    It is also built to meet highest standards in aesthetics and kashrus.
    In case you are traveling to Moscow or know someone who is, the mens mikva is open each morning from 8 – 10 and on Friay from 8 until an hour before shabbos. The womens is open each evening, there is no need to make an appointment except for Friday night.
    During the summer it is open from one hour before Tzeis Hakochavim for two hours, and in the winter it is open from 7 PM- 9 PM.
    There is also a mikva in the chabad shul in the marina roscha neighborhood with similar opening times.

  5. Bet Shemesh in Israel has had such a Mikve for several years now.

    It was a result of the hard work of Harav Spector Shlit”a and has literally transformed people’s lives.

    B”H there are several communities that have now started to cater for the needs of the handicapped.