This mikvah project has the financial and logistical support of the communities in Center City, Philadelphia, among them (in alphabetical order):
Historic Congregation B’nai Abraham was founded by Russian Jews fleeing from Czar Alexander II in 1874. The Congregation has been active at the same site it acquired in 1895, on Lombard Street between Fifth and Sixth Streets. Under the spiritual leadership of Rabbi Yochanon Goldman and Rebbetzin Leah Goldman, it strives to continue the traditions of its founders who followed the Orthodox understanding of Jewish rituals and Jewish life. Its warm and welcoming community is dedicated to reaching out—to inviting Jews of all backgrounds to gather together for study, prayer and friendship.
Rebbetzin Goldman directs the popular Center City Jewish Preschool, which has grown rapidly in less than a decade. Rabbi Goldman teaches a variety of Jewish Studies classes for adults, including programs from the Rohr Jewish Learning Institute.
Chabad of Center City, led by Rabbi Menachem Schmidt and the Vilna Congregation, is the main coordinator of the Mai Shalva Center City Community Mikvah.
Mekor Habracha began in 1999 as a community-led congregation in the Rittenhouse Square area of Philadelphia. Since its inception, it has attracted a diverse group of people ranging from students, young professionals, families, and empty nesters. For eight years the group met under the auspices of the Etz Chaim organization. In 2006, Rabbi Eliezer Hirsch was recruited from New York to lead the congregation, and since his arrival the congregation has grown and flourished. In 2008, the synagogue became an independent organization serving the Center City Philadelphia community.
Mikveh Israel, “The Hope of Israel,” was founded in 1740 and is an unparalleled American Jewish Institution. It has a two-fold tradition that is the synthesis of the Spanish-Portuguese Jewish ritual and the ongoing development of the American Jewish community. Located in Center City, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, at Fourth Street between Arch and Market, it is an active synagogue and proud progeny of a distinguished heritage and tradition.
The Vilna Congregation (founding member of the Center City Community Mikvah Corporation)
According to the Jewish Geneology Society of Philadelphia, the Vilna Congregation began as a Landsleit shul, a landsman shul for new Jewish immigrants in Philadelphia, in 1904. At this time, the Congregation held services in rented rooms until 1915 when the building on 509 Pine Street was purchased by the Shapiro Family. The Shapiro family was in the hardware business in the 1920’s, at which time the women members organized the Sara Shapiro Sisterhood. A small row-house synagogue, the synagogue was first led by Joseph Snapir until 1940. Many years later, Rabbi Menachem Schmidt became leader of the shul and currently holds services every Friday night for both the Vilna and Historic B’nai Abraham Congregations. On Shabbos morning and most high holy days, the Vilna shul holds a “late morning” minyan with a festive kiddish following services.