For years, Fraidy Hecht of Kelowna, B.C., had to go to great lengths each month to fulfil the ancient requirement for religious Jewish women to immerse themselves in a ritual bath known as a mikvah. In the summers, Hecht could use the nearby lake, in a pinch; but in winter, it meant a five-hour road trip to Vancouver to find a mikvah—not just time-consuming, but occasionally treacherous when the weather is bad.
For the past 14 months, Chabad synagogues in several small Jewish communities across North America—including Kelowna, and also Saskatoon and Regina—have been fundraising in a joint campaign called “Bring Mikvah Home.” Kelowna’s is the first one ready. Last week, the Hechts officially inaugurated the new ritual bath with a ceremony and dinner for donors and members on Feb. 21.
On The CJN Daily, we’re joined today by Rabbi Shmuly Hecht, Fraidy’s husband, who explains why their mikvah is open to all the estimated 500 Jews in the Okanagan Valley area—not just Chabad members.
What we talked about:
- Why so many people converted to Judaism in Kelowna in 2021, on The CJN Daily
- Learn more about the Kelowna mikvah project on the Chabad Jewish Okanagan website
- What life is like for Jews in Kelowna, B.C., on Yehupetzville
The CJN Daily is written and hosted by Ellin Bessner (@ebessner on Twitter). Zachary Kauffman is the producer. Michael Fraiman is the executive producer. Our theme music is by Dov Beck-Levine. Our title sponsor is Metropia. We’re a member of The CJN Podcast Network. To subscribe to this podcast, please watch this video. Donate to The CJN and receive a charitable tax receipt by clicking here.