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Jewish Community Center

Nishmah – Programs for Women

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Through a number of diverse and inspirational programs, Nishmah brings together Jewish women from different denominations who otherwise may have never met. Together, these women learn from each other, connect and form bonds through faith and friendship. Nishmah creates the foundation for these Jewish connections that form outside the walls of a synagogue environment.

For more information about Nishmah’s programs for women, contact Shira Kraft, Director of Nishmah, 314.442.3111.

Fill Miriam's Cup

Ilene Joseph Salon Series
Nishmah’s Salons are intimate, open, facilitated discussions on topics of interest to us as Jewish women. Preselected pieces of media, such as articles or videos, incite and frame the conversation. The theme for this year’s series, Women Lifting up Women, explores what it means to harness collective, female energy and propel each other forward. The Salon Series is named in memory of Ilene Joseph (z”l), one of Nishmah’s founders and a passionate supporter of the series.

Register Online

Finding Ourselves in Torah

With Rabbi Jessica Shafrin
Together we delve deep into the words of Torah, gleaning insights to influence our lives. Starting at Bereshit, from the very beginning, we listen to the voices of female Torah scholars and our own, joining classic wisdom with modern life. Women of all ages and denominations are welcome to this open space for communal learning.

Register Online

Continues on the 3rd Tuesday of each month
Remains class dates: February 19, March 19, April 16, May 21
The J, Staenberg Family Complex
$36 for the series

Contact: Shira Kraft, 314-442-3111

Nerot: Young Women of Nishmah

Women in their 20s & 30s

We are excited to build a cohort of young women among the Nishmah community. Nerot offers specialized enhancements to existing Nishmah programming and mentorship and learning opportunities geared specifically to women in their 20s and 30s. If you are interested in getting involved, let us know! Check out the Nishmah at facebook.com/nishmahstl for upcoming events or contact Shira for more information.

Contact: Shira Kraft, 314.442.3111

Immerse: St. Louis Mikvah Project

Immerse: St. Louis Mikvah Project

Nishmah’s trained, volunteer mikvah guides facilitate welcoming, transformative and compassionate immersions for Jewish women seeking mikvah experiences of all forms. At Nishmah, we understand that moments of celebration, growth, transition and grief need a Jewish expression. We look to honor profound changes and acknowledge new stages of life by helping you connect spiritually to the ancient Jewish tradition of the ritual bath.

What is Mikvah?

Ritual immersion is an ancient part of Jewish tradition, noted in the Torah and in later Rabbinic sources. Even today, immersion in a mikvah is an act required by Jewish law for converts to Judaism, brides, and women observing “niddah”, the practice of immersing monthly following menstruation.

Mikvah has also been used for other non-requisite, spiritual purposes throughout Jewish history. For example, by men prior to Shabbat and the holidays or by women in the ninth month of pregnancy.  Ritual immersion in a mikvah – a gathering of living water (mayyim hayyim) – marks a change in status. Immersions can mark life transitions such as weddings, births, healing from illness or trauma, significant birthdays, divorce, pregnancy loss, fertility struggles, and mourning.

What do we do?

Nishmah’s mikvah guides, in collaboration with the Sylvia Green Memorial Mikvah, welcome women in our community seeking meaningful immersions. An assigned guide will work with you to facilitate a supportive, safe immersion experience from start to finish. In addition, we provide suggested readings, blessings and a framework for one’s personal experience. Our goal is to connect you to this ancient Jewish tradition in a manner that feels relevant and significant to your life in the present.

Inquire About Experiencing the Mikvah