By COLlive reporter
The new Mikvah Mei Chaya Mushka of Crown Heights is set to open for use in time for 22 Shvat, the yahrtzeit of Rebbetzin Chaya Mushka Schneerson in whose name the Mikvah will be called, COLlive was told.
It’s no secret that Crown Heights is in desperate need of another Women’s Mikvah, with the existing one already quite overwhelmed by the growth of the Crown Heights community.
The new Mikvah is being built with the hope of easing this problem which is an urgent necessity, says Director of the Mikvah committee, Moshe Pinson.
But it won’t be an easy feat.
The plans call for 8 preparation rooms and 2 mikvahs with sophisticated and luxurious design by Maggie Rogatsky of Haute Couture Design.
And generous support had already been secured from Feivish Pewsner, Rabbi Avraham Hecht, Dovid Smetana, the Bistrizky family and the Sperlin family.
Still, more funds are needed.
It will be the most “luxurious and state of the art Mikvah ever built in the world,” Maggie Rogatsky said. “People will be using our Mikvah as a prototype for beautiful facilities for many years to come.”
The reasoning behind the high-end expense, Pinson explains, is that aside from being used by the Crown Heights community, the Mikvah is critical for the thousands who visit the neighborhood each year.
“We need an exceptional Mikvah to create a Kiddush Hashem for visitors who are just finding out about the special Mitzvah,” he told COLlive.
“We want them to say, ‘Wow, this is so beautiful, I want to take part in this Mitzvah too.’ Since it bears the Rebbetzin’s name, every aspect of what we build must be of the highest caliber so as to bring honor to the Rebbe and the Rebbetzin.”
And along with the goal of making it beautiful, the Mikvah committee, which includes Yingy Bistritzky, Zalman Skoblo, Feivish Pewsner and Dovid Smetana, wanted it to also be of the most Mehudar.
Various local Rabbonim – Rabbi Avrohom Osdoba, Rabbi Yaacov Schwei, Rabbi Shlomo Segal, Rabbi Yosef Braun and more – have each inspected and approved the Mivkah at the site.
“They each gave Bracha and Haskama, and urged all to participate in the building,” stated Pinson, who took on the tedious role of fundraising for the project.
In fact, he says that at one point, he was told by the contractor that $75,000 would be needed the same day to continue the work.
“I was about to leave for Brazil, to fundraise there,” he recalls. “I didn’t want to stop the work, so I gave him the Mikvah fund’s last $25,000 and a friend agreed to let me use his credit card for $50,000 if I would pay it back within 30 days.”
As it so happens, his round of visits in Brazil didn’t result as he had hoped. “It turned out to be disappointing. I did not raise enough to cover the $50,000 loan.”
When he returned, he heard from the contractor that the credit card company didn’t allow the large transaction charge to go through. “After much negotiation, a few days after I returned, I finally got the charge to go through,” he said.
On that same day, he got a call from a member of the committee reporting about a $50,000 check “from an anonymous donor.”
Pinson added, “Later on that week, he called me again, and said he had an additional $100,000 from the same anonymous donor. It is miracles like this that show us every day the Rebbe is with us in this mission.”
He finds the aim to be completed by 22 Shvat symbolic since they are short $470,000, which is the numerical value (gematria) of the Rebbetzin Chaya Mushka’s name.
“We need families to take upon themselves to donate $1,000, or whatever amount they can, to close the deficit and make this dream of an edifice of nachas to the Rebbe and Rebbetzin a reality.”
To donate: http://www.mikvahcm.com/