Mishkan Chicago, a non-denominational spiritual Jewish community in Chicago, launched its first ever wellness center, Maggie's Place, at its northside Ravenswood office. Maggie's Place, which opened in February, is dedicated to building community through a holistic approach to wellness-social, spiritual, mental, and emotional-through Jewish learning, leadership opportunities, social community, and access to social services and resources.
The center was inspired by the life of Maggie Miretzky, a young Jewish woman whose life was cut short amidst a battle with mental illness. Maggie was known for her generous spirit and worked in service to others as a practicing doula. "She would bend over backwards to help her family and friends-to make brighter the lives of those who knew her," says Sharon Kahan-Miretzky, Maggie's mother. Maggie's Place was created to pay tribute to Maggie's memory, establish her legacy and continue her life's work of helping others.
Maggie's family has boundless aspirations for the center. "While we are starting here at Mishkan, the idea is to inspire every community to focus on mental health and wellness," says Kahan-Miretzky. The center will promote wellness from the inside out, providing access to support groups, meditation, yoga, themed Shabbat dinners, workshops, and social drop-in nights.
Maggie's Place is helmed by Ellie Spitz, director of Community Engagement and Wellness for Mishkan. Spitz is a trained social worker who can provide referrals to therapists, vocational and social services, and support groups in addition to creating original programming.
While all are welcome at Maggie's Place, the center will have a special focus on supporting mental health and wellness in young adults, who face challenges unique to their age cohort.
You don't have to be Jewish or a member of Mishkan to visit the center. Maggie's Place is a social hub that creates new ways to meet people, build friendships, and provide support to all people regardless of background or affiliation.
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Rachel Gray Alexander is Marketing & Communications Manager for Mishkan Chicago.