Letter to the Editor: Mikvaot in San Diego
Editor, San Diego Jewish World
In your article “Community Mikvah to locate on Tifereth Israel grounds” (September 22, 2009) you write “Although there are three mikvaot operated under Orthodox auspices in San Diego, none are available for conversions by the other movements. This means that many people who convert to Judaism under Conservative auspices, for example, now must go to American Jewish University in Los Angeles, where they meet with a beth din (three-member rabbinical court) and then immerse in a ritual bath. Some ritual immersions have taken place alternatively in the Pacific Ocean.”
Not one of the three Mikvaot that are operated Orthodox auspices are available for conversion to anyone.
Your statement ‘…none are available for conversions by the other movements’ is misleading and divisive.
The mikvaot are used by married women and for toiveling vessels. No conversions are done in any of them.
On Erev Yom Kippur they are open to the public and can be used by anyone in the community, married or single. There are separate hours for men on Erev Yom Kippur as well.
People who convert to Judaism under Orthodox auspices must also travel to Los Angeles to meet with a Beth Din there and immerse in a mikvah there.
You make a fair comment. But it should be noted that the chief difference was that for the Orthodox community, the decision not to have conversions in the mikvah was a matter of their leaders’ choice. — Donald H. Harrison, editor