“I cannot explain how proud it made me feel, competing to the most famous Jewish song in front of Germans, Russians, and people all over the world,” she told the women gathered at the Westminster Hotel in Livingston on May 29 for the eighth annual Mikvah Chana fund-raising event.Mikvah Chana seems to be a state of the art mikvah:
In pants and long skirts, v-necks and high-cut dresses, in pumps and flats, representing the spectrum of Jewish denominational life in the area, over 600 women had come to support the Livingston mikva, or ritual bath. Representatives of the facility said it would take several weeks for them to determine how much money was raised. The event was cochaired by Dara Orbach, the great-granddaughter of Annette (Chana) Felsen, after whom the ritual bath is named, and Toba Grossbaum.
Mikvah Chana, in a house built on North Livingston Avenue, would have stunned Jewish grandmothers of yore. It offers fluffy towels and robes, a soothing fountain, a spiral staircase, a dome-shaped ceiling, and even selections of kosher chocolates on the way out.Congratualtions to Aly for her continued involvement in the community.
"Mikvahs in the past were in basements of synagogues, and dingy," said Rabbi Zalman Grossbaum of Chabad of Livingston. "Today's mikvahs have really gone to a whole new level. They are presented as top of the line, prettier than people's homes -- that's saying a lot for a Livingston mikvah -- and presented with dignity and importance."
Indeed, many of the new mikvahs have unashamedly used their spa-like features for publicity as their numbers have risen from 200 nationally in the 1960s to more than 400 now, according to the Web site mikvah.org.