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Ashkenazi Jewish women are at unusually high risk for breast and ovarian cancer.
In traditional communities today, however, few take the license to stray from commanded immersion.
At traditional mikvaot, the spotlight is on a woman’s fertility and sexuality.
But for Jewish women with breast cancer, treatment means not only the end of their childbearing years, but also a deeply altered relationship to their physical and sexual selves.
The night before Goldberg began chemotherapy, her friend Chaya Topas invited her to Mikvah Chaim, one of a wave of new mikvaot reimagining immersion in the United States.
This mikvah revolution centers around mikvah, allowing patrons to come to the mikvah for any occasion that is holy to them, Biblically-commanded or not.