Mental health campaigner helps launch new community mikveh
search

The latest Jewish News

Read this week’s digital edition

Click Here

Mental health campaigner helps launch new community mikveh

Jonny Benjamin backs the new Wellspring Project UK which aims to offer a new centre for wellbeing in Barnet.

Jonny Benjamin
Jonny Benjamin

Award-winning mental health campaigner Jonny Benjamin launched a new community mikveh in Barnet this week.

The Wellspring Project UK (previously Mikveh Project UK) provides immersion pools for the traditional ritual as well as complementary therapies.

More than 250 people from across the world joined an online launch event  to hear from activists in the field of mental health discuss the healing powers of the mikveh.

Benjamin spoke about his mental health struggles and the power of rituals to help with self-care. In a pre-recorded interview, he described the benefits of Wellspring as a space that offers an alternative to traditional mental health care. “Wellspring gives the opportunity to really be, to not feel rushed or pressured to get to a certain point. It’s so rare in this world for people to have the opportunity to really be and be held by people and the space around them, to find that place of deep care and love,” he said.

Example of a Mikveh – (White Stork Synagogue in Wroclaw, Poland. (Wikipedia/Stefan Walkowski))

The mikveh, which will be a space for people of all age, gender, faith or non-religious beliefs, will use rituals such as immersion to promote good mental health and recovery.

Miriam Berger, principal Rabbi of Finchley Reform Synagogue, who chaired the event, spoke about how the mikveh and its traditional ritual of immersion helped her heal following learning of her infertility.

She told the audience that she believes a mikveh should be open for all people and is important for promoting good mental health.

“When we’re dealing with mental health it needs to be seen as somewhere that is a public space – that it’s not a taboo, but also somewhere you can be completely private … to do something private in a public space. A place that welcomes you in but isn’t judging you.”

The event also featured author of ‘The Red Tent’, Anita Diamant and founding president of Mayyim Hayyim – Living Waters Community Mikveh and Education Center near Boston, Massachusetts. She talked about how the mikveh has always been used for non-traditional uses, whether by people visiting before surgery or in the last trimester of pregnancy.

Rabba Dina Brawer, founder of JOFA UK and the UK’s first female Orthodox rabbi, also joined from her home in the US.

Support your Jewish community. Support your Jewish News

Thank you for helping to make Jewish News the leading source of news and opinion for the UK Jewish community. Today we're asking for your invaluable help to continue putting our community first in everything we do.

Unlike other Jewish media, we do not charge for content. That won’t change. Because we are free, we rely on advertising to cover our costs. This vital lifeline, which has dropped in recent years, has fallen further due to coronavirus.

For as little as £5 a month you can help sustain the vital work we do in celebrating and standing up for Jewish life in Britain.

Jewish News holds our community together and keeps us connected. Like a synagogue, it’s where people turn to feel part of something bigger. It also proudly shows the rest of Britain the vibrancy and rich culture of modern Jewish life.

You can make a quick and easy one-off or monthly contribution of £5, £10, £20 or any other sum you’re comfortable with.

100% of your donation will help us continue celebrating our community, in all its dynamic diversity...

Engaging

Being a community platform means so much more than producing a newspaper and website. One of our proudest roles is media partnering with our invaluable charities to amplify the outstanding work they do to help us all.

Celebrating

There’s no shortage of oys in the world but Jewish News takes every opportunity to celebrate the joys too, through projects like Night of Heroes, 40 Under 40 and other compelling countdowns that make the community kvell with pride.

Pioneering

In the first collaboration between media outlets from different faiths, Jewish News worked with British Muslim TV and Church Times to produce a list of young activists leading the way on interfaith understanding.

Campaigning

Royal Mail issued a stamp honouring Holocaust hero Sir Nicholas Winton after a Jewish News campaign attracted more than 100,000 backers. Jewish News also produces special editions of the paper highlighting pressing issues including mental health and Holocaust remembrance.

Easy access

In an age when news is readily accessible, Jewish News provides high-quality content free online and offline, removing any financial barriers to connecting people.

Voice of our community to wider society

The Jewish News team regularly appears on TV, radio and on the pages of the national press to comment on stories about the Jewish community. Easy access to the paper on the streets of London also means Jewish News provides an invaluable window into the community for the country at large.

We hope you agree all this is worth preserving.

read more:
comments