Mayyim Hayyim Living Waters Community Mikveh and Education

aka Mayyim Hayyim   |   Newton, MA   |
GuideStar Charity Check

Mayyim Hayyim Living Waters Community Mikveh and Education

EIN: 31-1753931


Mayyim Hayyim’s mission is to reclaim and reinvent one of Judaism’s most ancient rituals–immersion in the mikveh–for contemporary spiritual use; to teach about this resource to all who are interested; and to make the mikveh a sacred space that is open and accessible to all Jews and those who are becoming Jews.

Ruling year info


Chief Executive Officer

Julie Childers

Main address

1838 Washington St

Newton, MA 02466 USA

Show more contact info



Subject area info


Population served info

Children and youth


Jewish people

NTEE code info

Single Organization Support (X11)

Jewish (X30)

Religion Related, Spiritual Development N.E.C. (X99)

IRS subsection

501(c)(3) Public Charity

IRS filing requirement

This organization is not required to file an annual return with the IRS because it is a religious organization.



Programs and results

What we aim to solve

SOURCE: Self-reported by organization

In 2000, best-selling author Anita Diamant outlined her vision for a community mikveh. Diamant made the case for a mikveh that “encourages the prayers of the heart in Jews of every denomination and description. A mikveh that would respect the choices and modesty of everyone who visits. A mikveh that would be beautiful in design and decoration — a welcoming and inviting place, from the minute you walk through the door."

Mayyim Hayyim makes mikveh accessible and meaningful for the full diversity of our people for the first time in Jewish history. A local treasure and an international model since 2004, Jews from around the US and Israel routinely stop at Mayyim Hayyim to tour, learn, and immerse. And whoever calls, or walks through our doors, or sends an email receives a thoughtful response and a warm welcome.

Our programs

SOURCE: Self-reported by organization

What are the organization's current programs, how do they measure success, and who do the programs serve?

Mikveh Immersion

Mayyim Hayyim meets a broad range of needs. In addition to traditional purposes, new uses include celebrations for milestone events such as a graduation, the end of a period of study, or an important birthday or anniversary. Immersion in the mikveh can also signify a new start in the aftermath of pain and trauma. Immersion provides an opportunity to mark the end of formal grieving or the beginning of healing from events such as suffering a miscarriage, undergoing chemotherapy, completing a year of bereavement, and recovering from divorce, rape or abuse. The goal is for visitors to the mikveh to emerge refreshed and renewed, ready for life’s next gifts.

Population(s) Served

The majority of visitors to Mayyim Hayyim never get wet. Every year, more than 2,500 students of nearly every age and background attend some 100 education programs. Groups come in-person or learn online virtually from synagogues, day schools, college and university groups, book clubs, non-profit organizations, and fellowship programs. Programs have attracted visitors from all over the United States, Canada, England, Israel, the former Soviet Union, and South Africa.

All Mayyim Hayyim curricula are interactive, stress student participation and encourage open discussion in a safe, welcoming environment. All programs welcome the participation of people regardless of marital status, religious affiliation, sexual identity, or Jewish literacy.

Population(s) Served

One of Mayyim Hayyim’s seven founding principles is Hiddur Mitzvah, the rabbinic teaching that Jewish life should be beautiful. Our art gallery is one of the ways we take this mandate seriously – and joyfully.

The Mayyim Hayyim gallery opened in January of 2006 with a juried show that featured 23 regional artists, who submitted work on the theme, “Everything Begins in the Water.”

The gallery has since hosted over 40 exhibits, featuring local artists like Nancy Schön, creator of the famous “Make Way for Ducklings” sculpture. The exhibits have featured various media, from pottery to video installation, photography to blown glass.

Mayyim Hayyim is a proud member of CAJM, the Council of American Jewish Museums.

Population(s) Served

The Rising Tide Open Waters Mikveh Network is working to make mikveh immersions possible for everyone in the Jewish community.

The Rising Tide Network was founded to inspire, strengthen, and support individuals and communities in opening the doors to the mikveh, making the experience as inclusive and accessible as possible. We believe that providing for the spiritual needs of the full diversity of the Jewish people will help create a more vibrant, welcoming, and inclusive community for all.

Our network is committed to fostering and strengthening open mikva’ot all over the United States, and indeed around the world, so that no Jew has to travel far to experience everything that the mikveh experience offers.

Population(s) Served

Where we work


Annual compilation of the most inspiring and innovative Jewish organizations 2017


Annual compilation of the most inspiring and innovative Jewish organizations 2015


Women and Girls Supplement 2016


Annual compilation of the most inspiring and innovative Jewish organizations 2014


Annual compilation of the most inspiring and innovative Jewish organizations 2013


Annual compilation of the most inspiring and innovative Jewish organizations 2012


Annual compilation of the most inspiring and innovative Jewish organizations 2011


Annual compilation of the most inspiring and innovative Jewish organizations 2010


Annual compilation of the most inspiring and innovative Jewish organizations 2009


Annual compilation of the most inspiring and innovative Jewish organizations 2008


Annual compilation of the most inspiring and innovative Jewish organizations 2007


Annual compilation of the most inspiring and innovative Jewish organizations 2006


Annual compilation of the most inspiring and innovative Jewish organizations 2005


Annual compilation of the most inspiring and innovative Jewish organizations 2018


Affiliations & memberships

Upstart Venture Accelerator 2021

Our results

SOURCE: Self-reported by organization

How does this organization measure their results? It's a hard question but an important one.

Number of overall donors

This metric is no longer tracked.
Totals By Year
Population(s) Served

Jewish people, Parents, Families, Children and youth

Related Program

Mikveh Immersion

Type of Metric

Output - describing our activities and reach

Direction of Success

Holding steady

Goals & Strategy

SOURCE: Self-reported by organization

Learn about the organization's key goals, strategies, capabilities, and progress.

Charting impact

Four powerful questions that require reflection about what really matters - results.

Maintain and operate a kosher mikveh serving the Jewish community.

Provide a welcoming, beautiful place for both traditional and creative mikveh uses.

Support a welcoming, beautiful place for converts to Judaism and their extended families.

Foster new uses for mikveh for the 21st century Jewish community (e.g. healing rituals following illness or loss).

Provide information and welcome those interested in observing the mitzvah (commandment) of niddah, monthly immersion in the mikveh.

Promote meaningful and successful volunteer experiences at all levels of the organization as an integral component of our organizational culture. Recognize and promote the unique interests of men in traditional and contemporary mikveh practice and promote the participation of men in all aspects of Mayyim Hayyim.

Provide educational resources regarding the uses of mikveh, including curricula, teacher training, and presentations by staff and volunteers.

Serve as an example of an innovative and pluralistic Jewish institution that collaborates with local, regional and national organizations to provide meaningful resources and personal experiences to all interested Jews, and those becoming Jewish.

Establish Mayyim Hayyim as a national / international resource for education and professional training for reclaiming mikveh.
Encourage artistic expression as a means of achieving Mayyim Hayyim's various goals.

Secure the financial future of Mayyim Hayyim by operating in a fiscally responsible manner and through such means as debt reduction, annual fund, and endowment development.

1. Broaden the impact of our programming
-Expand our education center to offer robust programming to diverse audiences around the world
-Inspire more people to innovate and make meaning in their own Jewish lives
-Lower barriers to immersion
-Create pipelines for new partnerships and programs
-Use storytelling and the arts to illustrate the power of immersion

2. Build the field of open mikveh
-Continue to build a vibrant network of open mikva’ot with ample opportunities for learning and collaboration
-Amplify a set of values that represent best practices of open mikveh
-Build an onramp for communities without mikva’ot
-Help direct funding to partners in the network

3. Design a strong “irrigation system” to nourish and sustain this work
-Navigate growth through a new organizational model & expanded governance structure
-Scale our culture prioritizing connectedness between and among staff and board; focus on diversity, equity, and inclusion
-Promote financial sustainability though revenue generation and elevating national profile

How we listen

SOURCE: Self-reported by organization

Seeking feedback from people served makes programs more responsive and effective. Here’s how this organization is listening.

done We shared information about our current feedback practices.
  • How is your organization using feedback from the people you serve?

    To identify and remedy poor client service experiences, To identify bright spots and enhance positive service experiences, To make fundamental changes to our programs and/or operations, To inform the development of new programs/projects, To identify where we are less inclusive or equitable across demographic groups, To strengthen relationships with the people we serve

  • Which of the following feedback practices does your organization routinely carry out?

    We collect feedback from the people we serve at least annually, We aim to collect feedback from as many people we serve as possible, We take steps to ensure people feel comfortable being honest with us, We look for patterns in feedback based on demographics (e.g., race, age, gender, etc.), We look for patterns in feedback based on people’s interactions with us (e.g., site, frequency of service, etc.), We engage the people who provide feedback in looking for ways we can improve in response, We act on the feedback we receive

  • What challenges does the organization face when collecting feedback?

    It is difficult to get the people we serve to respond to requests for feedback, It is difficult to find the ongoing funding to support feedback collection, Staff find it hard to prioritize feedback collection and review due to lack of time


Mayyim Hayyim Living Waters Community Mikveh and Education

Financial data

SOURCE: Self-reported by organization

Mayyim Hayyim Living Waters Community Mikveh and Education

Revenue & expenses

Fiscal Year: 2022

SOURCE: Self-reported by organization

Contributions, Grants, Gifts $696,100
Program Services $80,569
Membership Dues $38,480
Special Events $0
Other Revenue $8,710
Total Revenue $1,213,520
Program Services $121,397
Administration $791,208
Fundraising $0
Payments to Affiliates $0
Other Expenses $0
Total Expenses $1,211,721

Mayyim Hayyim Living Waters Community Mikveh and Education

Balance sheet

Fiscal Year: 2022

SOURCE: Self-reported by organization

Total Assets $2,015,108
Total Liabilities $95,174
Fund balance (EOY)
Net Assets $1,919,934


The people, governance practices, and partners that make the organization tick.

Form 1023/1024 is not available for this organization

Chief Executive Officer

Julie Childers

Julie Childers is an executive leader in nonprofit management, strategy, and operations with experience in education, women and girls’ health, and Jewish philanthropy. She is past executive director of Our Bodies, Ourselves and former Vice President of Education at Planned Parenthood League of Massachusetts. Julie is also proud of her work at the Jewish Federation of Los Angeles supporting innovative organizations engaging young adults in Jewish life. With a Ph.D. in sociology from Boston College, she seeks to build synergy between the nonprofit and academic sectors through evidence-based practices to make a difference in people’s lives. Mayyim Hayyim holds a special place in her heart. With immersion at Mayyim Hayyim in 2006, Julie officially joined Klal Yisrael, the Jewish people, and it was one of the most meaningful moments of her life! Her Jewish journey began at Temple Israel of Boston in 2000 during which time she was a leader in the Riverway Project, an engagement initiative f

There are no officers, directors or key employees recorded for this organization

There are no highest paid employees recorded for this organization.

Mayyim Hayyim Living Waters Community Mikveh and Education

Board of directors
as of 07/21/2023
SOURCE: Self-reported by organization
Board of directors data
Download the most recent year of board of directors data for this organization
Board chair

Elisha Gechter

Anita Diamant

Amy Fleming

Rachel Saphire

Elisha Gechter

Dalia Wassner

Karen Wolfson

Keith Stern

Carol Targum

Deb Gaffin

Miriam Berkowitz-Blue

Jordan Namerow

Jaimee Shalhevet

Dara Steinberg

James Schwartz

Board leadership practices

SOURCE: Self-reported by organization

GuideStar worked with BoardSource, the national leader in nonprofit board leadership and governance, to create this section.

  • Board orientation and education
    Does the board conduct a formal orientation for new board members and require all board members to sign a written agreement regarding their roles, responsibilities, and expectations? Yes
  • CEO oversight
    Has the board conducted a formal, written assessment of the chief executive within the past year ? Yes
  • Ethics and transparency
    Have the board and senior staff reviewed the conflict-of-interest policy and completed and signed disclosure statements in the past year? Yes
  • Board composition
    Does the board ensure an inclusive board member recruitment process that results in diversity of thought and leadership? Yes
  • Board performance
    Has the board conducted a formal, written self-assessment of its performance within the past three years? Yes

Organizational demographics

SOURCE: Self-reported; last updated 7/21/2023

Who works and leads organizations that serve our diverse communities? Candid partnered with CHANGE Philanthropy on this demographic section.


The organization's leader identifies as:

Race & ethnicity
Gender identity
Female, Not transgender (cisgender)
Sexual orientation
Gay, lesbian, bisexual, or other sexual orientations in the LGBTQIA+ community
Disability status
Person without a disability

Race & ethnicity

Gender identity


Sexual orientation


We do not display disability information for organizations with fewer than 15 staff.

Equity strategies

Last updated: 02/05/2020

GuideStar partnered with Equity in the Center - an organization that works to shift mindsets, practices, and systems to increase racial equity - to create this section. Learn more

  • We ask team members to identify racial disparities in their programs and / or portfolios.
  • We analyze disaggregated data and root causes of race disparities that impact the organization's programs, portfolios, and the populations served.
  • We disaggregate data to adjust programming goals to keep pace with changing needs of the communities we support.
  • We employ non-traditional ways of gathering feedback on programs and trainings, which may include interviews, roundtables, and external reviews with/by community stakeholders.
  • We disaggregate data by demographics, including race, in every policy and program measured.
Policies and processes
  • We seek individuals from various race backgrounds for board and executive director/CEO positions within our organization.
  • We help senior leadership understand how to be inclusive leaders with learning approaches that emphasize reflection, iteration, and adaptability.
  • We engage everyone, from the board to staff levels of the organization, in race equity work and ensure that individuals understand their roles in creating culture such that one’s race identity has no influence on how they fare within the organization.