Using the Mikvah
Your Vision of Using the Mikvah
We welcome members of the Jewish community to use the Mikvah in ways that are meaningful. The Mikvah is used for marking transitions. These traditionally include adoptions, getting married, and converting to Judaism, but the Mikvah can also be used for marking other transitions, such as completing a chemo cycle, marking a divorce, and other big changes.
If you would like to discuss how you envision using the Mikvah in your Jewish journey, or need assistance in finding a rabbi, please contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org or contact the Northern California Board of Rabbis.
Preparing to Use the Mikvah
During your preparations, feel free to call on the Mikvah attendant or the clergy attending the Mikvah with you for guidance with any questions you may have.
- Remove jewelry, contact lenses (bring your glasses to view preparations clearly), false teeth, false eyelashes, false nails, and band-aids.
- Remove make-up and skin lotions. Pay special attention to mascara and eyeliner.
- Remove nail polish. Cut, file, and clean finger and toenails.
- Brush teeth: No particles of food should remain between teeth. Use unwaxed dental floss, only if you are sure it will not get caught. Rinse mouth with water.
- Bathe with warm water. Wash your entire body thoroughly. Use soap and washcloth or loofah sponge.
- Give careful attention to the following: ears and earring holes, nose, corner of eyes, eyelashes, eyebrows, entire breast, navel, genital area (externally and internally), underarms, elbows, knees, back, soles of feet, under chin, between toes, thighs, and other folds of the skin (this is Halacha).
- Smooth hard skin and calluses. Soften and remove dry scabs provided bleeding will not occur.
- Remove protruding splinters.
- Wash hair with shampoo, without conditioners.
- Shower or rinse thoroughly with a non-moisturizing soap or body wash.
- Blow nose.
- Comb all hair while still wet.
- Check your body, visually and by touching, to ensure that it is free of intervening substances.
- Use the bathroom, if necessary, and be sure to wash all areas to ensure absence of toilet tissue and re-comb pubic hair.
- Do not dry yourself.
- Signal to the Mikvah attendant that you are ready.
- Put on a robe and slippers while you wait for the Mikvah attendant who will discreetly lead you to the Mikvah for a private immersion, to pronounce it kosher, and to answer any questions you may have.
- If preparations are made at home, shower, and recomb your hair at the Mikvah.
A Note about our Facilities
The front door has a code for entry.
We have two changing rooms, allowing for two parallel appointments.
We also have a conference room that can be used for small gatherings, classes around Mikvah use, and Batei Din. Please let us know when scheduling the Mikvah if the conference room is needed.
Fees and Scheduling
Evening appointments are reserved for monthly immersion.
• For 30-minute evening appointments, the suggested donation is $30.
Daytime appointments are for one-time rituals that require clergy be present.
• For a conversion appointment, the suggested donation is $125. There is a family cap of $250 requested when 2 or more family members are converting together.
• For life cycle events, including bridal appointments, healing rituals, and other special one time uses, contact your rabbi or email us at email@example.com.
The suggested donation is $54-$72.
The SF Mikvah offers educational and informative tours for groups or individuals wishing to explore the important Mitzvah of Taharat Ha’Mishpacha. We can also help you facilitate an event relating to Mikvah, such as a Jewish Women’s Circle event, Rosh Chodesh gathering, guest speaker, lecture, or class pertaining to Mikvah, or other event of your choosing. Please email us to find out more information on tours and events.