The joy of a mitzvah and a sense of rejuvenation were felt in the heartland of America, as a large crowd gathered on Sunday, May 10th, to celebrate the completion of the renovated mikvah in Overland Park, Kansas.
Overland Park is Kansas’ second most populous city, and there are approximately 18,000 Jews in the region. Over three decades ago, all segments of the community joined to build a mikvah there, under the auspices of the local Orthodox Congregation, BIAV.
Over the years, the mikvah remained a vital connection to Judaism for Jews of various levels of observance. When the mikvah’s age and constant use took a toll on its appearance, Rabbi Rockoff contacted Mikvah USA. The community desperately needed the Mikvah to be fresh and inviting, but they had no way of collecting the necessary funds on their own.
Sure enough, Mikvah USA dedicated itself to this project and made this beautiful mikvah a reality. At the celebration, a cross section of the community came to tour the mikvah and share in the joy. An anonymous donor from the Northeast sponsored the renovation as a merit for healthy children. Rabbi Rockoff led the assemblage in an emotional recital of Tehillim on behalf of this special couple.
A special Mikvah USA delegation travelled from New York to participate in this occasion. Rabbi Baruch Cywiak, Director of Special Projects of Mikvah USA, who was among the attendees, expressed his amazement at the dedication Rabbi and Rebbetzin Rockoff show for their community and taharah in particular. “You are really blessed to have such wonderful leaders,” said Rabbi Cywiak. “Make sure to take advantage of this wonderful opportunity.”
A modern, inviting mikvah will no doubt do for Overland Park, b’ezras Hashem, what it does for all other Jewish communities: make Torah and mitzvos more pleasant and inviting for everyone.
One local community member, a chozer b’ teshuva, addressed the gathering and offered words encouragement for all local Jews, as per their individual path – elaborating upon how a mikvah can be a force for far reaching spiritual development.
That has indeed been proven, time and time again.
(Shimmy Blum – YWN)