A new mikvah (Jewish ritual bath) is being built in the heart of Buffalo Grove designed to accommodate Jewish women of all backgrounds.
"Mikvah observance is really for any Jewish woman regardless of affiliation or background," said Elisa Zehnwirth, who along with her husband, Rabbi Shimon Zehnwirth, is spearheading the project.
The Zehnwirths moved into the Buffalo Grove community a few years ago and started Torah Academy-a day school offering a Hebrew and Sunday school, adult education and one-on-one learning opportunities and community events-where Rabbi Zehnwirth serves as the founding head of school and Elisa as the early childhood director and preschool teacher. The obvious next step, they said, was to establish a mikvah for the community. Women in the Northwest suburbs currently have to travel up to 45 minutes to the nearest mikvah that will accommodate their needs.
"According to the priorities of Jewish family life, those are all important institutions but the mikvah really should be priority," Elisa Zehnwirth said. "So my husband, having started a day school, said okay now we really need to build a mikvah around here and make this a place for Jewish families to really grow and flourish and be connected to their Judaism in all aspects of Jewish life."
So the Mikvah Association of Buffalo Grove was born and with the support of New York-based organization Mikvah USA, which helps outlying communities establish their own mikvah, construction is currently underway for the facility which Zehnwirth says will be very beautiful and spa-like.
"We want it to be a luxurious type of experience for women," she said.
The Buffalo Grove Mikvah is expected to be completed sometime this spring.
For more information about the Buffalo Grove Mikvah or mikvah observance, email firstname.lastname@example.org.