After Nearly Decade of Frustration, Forest Hills Community Welcomes Majestic New Mikvah
October 23, 2018
On Sunday, October 7th, over 1,000 men and women of the Forest Hills, Queens Bukharian community packed Forest Hills High School for the Chanukas Habayis ceremony welcoming a large, contemporary new mikvah – the community’s first.
The smiles and tears showcased just how meaningful this new edifice is for the thriving Beth Gavriel community. Under the leadership of Rabbi Ilan Meirov and Rabbi Yaniv Meirov, and the affiliated CHAZAQ organization, the community is experiencing a distinct spiritual renaissance – with countless families coming closer towards observance and providing their children a Torah true education.
Now this close-knit community has a first class mikvah of its own, located in the heart of the community, eager to welcome the growing ranks of taharah observers and encourage others to give it a try.
By no means was this a simple feat. Forest Hills community leaders initially launched the effort to build a mikvah nearly a decade ago, but for years there was no success in sight. Just last year – while discussing a Bukharian community project across the country – Rabbi Meirov shared Forest Hills’s predicament with Mikvah USA. The organization recognized the importance of this project and fully delved in, offering invaluable financial, logistical and halachic assistance – which quickly led to this joyous day, b’ezras Hashem.
The dais was filled by special guest dignitaries who came from far and wide to celebrate alongside local community members and their leadership. Guests included Rabbi Yitzchak Yisraeli shlit”a, Bukharian Chief Rabbi of the US and Canada; Rabbi Yitzchok Bistritzky shlit”a, Founder and President, Mikvah USA; Rabbi Doniel Lander shlit”a, Rosh Yeshiva, Yeshiva Ohr Hachaim, Queens; and Rabbi Paysach Krohn. Leading mikvah donors, including relatives of Reb Yaakov Glick a”h; Reb Elya Leib Rosenberg; and Reb Menachem Gershon Lebowitz; participated as well.
Representing Mikvah USA, Rabbi Bistritzky addressed the audience – stressing the organization’s mission to make taharah as accessible and pleasant as possible for every American yid. “Our ancestors had to break ice to use the mikvah,” he said. “We worked hard to build a mikvah that is beautiful and full of amenities. Please take advantage of it and spread taharah!”