After 80 Years: Jewish Chernihiv Builds New Mikvah

Eighty years after the destruction of Chernihiv’s mikvah and its Jewish community by the communist regime and the horrific Holocaust, a brand new state-of-the-art mikvah is currently being built in the Ukrainian city populated by over 4,000 Jews.

Headed by Rabbi Yisroel and Aliza Silberstein, the Jewish community of Chernihiv is steadily growing with over 4,000 Jews enjoying a thriving Jewish life. The community runs programs and special activities for every age and interest, including Jewish education, religious services, cultural events, humanitarian aid, and much more for the region’s Jews.

Currently, the closest functioning mikvah is located 150 km away. During the snowy Ukrainian winters, such a trip can be treacherous and extremely difficult for the local Jewish women.

“The women in our community are anxiously waiting for an accessible mikvah,” explains Mrs. Aliza Silberstein. “Even if someone chooses to do the 3-hour drive they will need to brave the icy roads. The new mikvah will service the Jewish community of Chernihiv and surrounding towns and will provide many Jewish women a first-time opportunity to observe the laws of family purity.”

“One recent Friday night,” Rabbi Silberstein added, “Anya – a young member of our community – needed to use the Mikvah. Rather than wait until after Shabbat for the long, late trip to Kyiv, Anya chose to use the cold river. It took her over an hour to walk there and find a private spot until she immersed herself in the cold waters. “This Mitzvah needs to be more accessible to every other woman here!”, she told us and we agree. This is how important this initiative is.”

To learn more and support the building of the new Mikvah, please click here.

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