Text of memo to mikvah patrons

October 28, 2014

Memo to: Mikvah Patrons

From: Taharath Israel Mikvah Association

Subject: Privacy Policies at the Mikvahs


In light of recent events on the East Coast in which the privacy of Mikvah patrons was grievously compromised, we wish to outline the following provisions which are and will be put in place at the Sylvia Green Memorial Mikvah on the Millstone Campus and at the Rivkin-Zuckerman Mikvah in University City. We wish to assure Mikvah users of our steadfast commitment to upholding the highest level of privacy and security at the Mikvahs.


  • The identity of the women who visit the Mikvah is treated with the highest degree of confidentiality. No person, either male or female, except for the Mikvah attendant on duty, is ever privy to that information.
  • Mikvah appointments are made by leaving a confidential message on the Mikvah’s voicemail system. The system was designed with a separate mailbox for each day of the week. This enables the caller to leave her name and number in the mailbox of the day she wishes to attend the Mikvah. Only the attendant on duty on that specific night can collect the voicemails left in that mailbox and follow up to return the calls. 
  • If a Halachic question arises while a woman is at the Mikvah, the attendant will contact the woman’s Rabbi, or either Rabbi Greenblatt or Rabbi Landa. On such occasions, the Mikvah attendant does not disclose to the Rabbi the identity of the person attending the Mikvah.
  • Effort will be made to stagger Mikvah appointments in a way that will better ensure privacy for each Mikvah patron.
  • If a Mikvah patron needs to be driven to the Mikvah, whether by a male or a female driver, it is requested that they be dropped off and picked up at a location sufficiently distant from the Mikvah so that complete privacy for other patrons can be maintained. 
  • The employees who work in the Vaad Hoeir are instructed, particularly in the winter months, to vacate the building well in advance of the earliest Mikvah appointment.
  • The Kelim Mikvah will be available for use only Monday thru Thursday during the Vaad’s hours of operation which is 8:00 am to 3:45 pm, and on Fridays 8:00 am to 11:30 am. We regret that for security reasons the Kelim Mikvah will no longer be accessible on Sundays. 


  • At the advice of security experts, trees and brush have been cleared from a large area in the back of the Millstone Campus Mikvah. Additional lighting and surveillance cameras that can monitor the parking lot, areas surrounding the building and the interior entrance vestibule have been installed. The Mikvah attendant is able to monitor a Mikvah patron from the time she leaves her car until she reaches the door of the Mikvah and is admitted into the building.
  • During hours of operation the Mikvah will be accessible to users by combination code. At all other times the Mikvah will be key-locked.  The combination code will be changed and will be given to Mikvah patrons at the time their appointment is made. The combination access code will not be made available on the Mikvah’s voicemail system.
  • Access to the Mikvah for men will be limited to several hours on Friday afternoon when an attendant will be present. 
  • Out of an abundance of caution electronic sweeps of the building will be conducted periodically to detect the presence of any unwanted devices.
  • For added security, a panic button will be installed at the Mikvah.


  • The Rabbis who are responsible for maintaining the ongoing Halachic integrity of the Mikvahs are the Rabbanim Achraim of the Vaad Hoeir, Rabbi Greenblatt and Rabbi Landa. Chana Huber is the Mikvah Coordinator, and the Executive Director of the Vaad Hoeir, Rabbi Zuravin, oversees the building’s security. The Mikvah attendants are Shirley Franklin, Shari Glestein and Sarah Miriam Goldson. If you ever have any privacy or security concern, please share it with at least two of the aforementioned people. If need be, this can be done anonymously i.e. via U.S. Mail.
  • Within the next several weeks we will be installing, G-d willing, new heating and filtering systems at each of the Mikvahs and replacing the tiles in the Mikvah pools at the Millstone Mikvah. These improvements are made possible through the generosity of the Vaad Hoeir and an organization in New York called United Mikvah. These are the first of a series of steps that will significantly enhance the experience at the Mikvah. We hope to be able to report more good news in this regard in the near future.
  • This memo represents the beginning of a process to review the safety and security at the Mikvahs in light of the recent disturbing revelations. It was prepared by the Rabbanim Achraim, Rabbis Greenblatt and Landa. It has been reviewed and enjoys the support of the congregational Rabbis, the Mikvah coordinator and attendants, the President and Executive Director of the Vaad Hoeir, as well as a number of Mikvah patrons. In the coming days and weeks the congregational Rabbis, Mikvah personnel and community members will have opportunities to consult more fully and to develop a more detailed and permanent compliment of privacy and security arrangements at the Mikvahs.