The effort behind establishing a mikvah in Oceanside, New York, began over 50 years ago. Located in a residential area, the neighbors at that time were not interested in welcoming a non-residential property into the community. “Can’t you use your own tub?” some remarked. However, Rabbi Moishe Gottesman, one of the original founders of the Oceanside Jewish community and former principal of HANC, was determined. Neighbors contested the religious community’s building permit application at a zoning hearing. Rabbi Gottesman and twenty-five 12th-grade HANC students attended the hearing. “Your Honor,” Rabbi Gottesman said as he approached the judge. “I have a visual. I would like the people who will be using this mikvah in the next few years to stand up.” The presence of these respectful young adults convinced the judge. “Permit granted,” he ruled.
It took a quarter of a century to establish a mikvah in Oceanside. Now, however, after over 25 years of continued use, it needed to be rejuvenated. As Jennifer Stein noted, “This mikvah required a youthful, fresh look and feel. We currently have a new, booming, young community, and we needed a complementary new mikvah.”
The entire Oceanside community helped in the mikvah’s renovation and redecoration, and on Sunday morning, June 14, a ribbon ceremony took was held for the new and improved Oceanside mikvah. Mikvah USA-America’s only organization for the establishment of mikvaos through construction, funding, and education-was a sponsor of the project. In addition to keynote speakers Mrs. Sora Brazil, Rebbitzen Shani Lefkowitz, and Rebbitzen Abby Lerner, another presenter, Mrs. Sondra Gottesman, vice-president of the Oceanside Mikvah Association and a guiding force of the mikvah since its inception, remarked how thankful she was that Mikvah USA could rebuild Oceanside’s “mikvah in despair.” After all, over 200 families of this growing community can now enjoy using their new and improved mikvah.
The Oceanside mikvah building is dedicated in memory of Mrs. Judy Williams, a’h, a great advocate in setting the foundation for Oceanside’s flourishing community and bringing ruchniyus to K’lal Yisrael. The mikvah room itself is donated in the merit of Rebbitzen Peshy Brudny, a’h, a great woman of valor and an inspirational educator.
Mikvah USA supports communities’ needs for mikvaos through construction, funding, and education-bringing mikvah projects, like that in Oceanside, to fruition.