Queer Mikveh Project

$10,000 goal

Campaign created 11 months ago
Created June 26, 2018
Because the healing waters are always available to us.

Because reviving Jewish ritual for modern life mends our world.

Because supporting queers is good for every BODY.

Mikveh is a powerful Jewish water ritual of transformation and healing.

It is often not accessible to queer and transgender people because these spaces are segregated by gender. That's why we are making a film and facilitating queer mikveh ritual to happen.

We are educating the greater community about queers doing mikveh.

We are supporting and documenting queer artists and ritual leaders as they vision new interpretations of mikveh.

We (Rebekah Erev and Chani Bockwinkel and a gaggle of other queers! Read on to find out more about us.) are researching queer mikveh that already exist and visioning and creating new experiences of queer mikveh by making a participatory documentary film. To us, a queer mikveh welcomes anyone, regardless of spiritual background or not ---- to join in using this Jewish water ritual technology. As Jews in diaspora we want to share and use our ritual practices for healing the land and waters we are visitors on, for the liberation of all beings.  

The Queer Mikveh Project the film follows several queer people looking to find home in spirituality through using mikveh, an ancient Jewish ritual of water immersion. Most generally accepted, formal mikvot exist primarily in synagogues. These spaces are segregated in their use by gender, in accordance with Jewish custom. If you are not a male or a female, if you are transitioning genders, if your sexuality isn’t accepted, if your body and spirit don’t conform to a binary gender norm, where do you go?

The Queer Mikveh Project boldly sets out to create transformative queer mikveh experiences drawing on ancient practice. It examines the traditionally gender segregated mikveh ritual and offers tools for those who feel isolated from their heritage.

At it’s core, it serves members of the Jewish community who are marginalized because of their sexual orientation and gender by creating inclusive mikveh spaces. The project is also an advocacy tool, introducing people to the history and relevance of mikveh as it relates to queer liberation. The project is more than the film, it's still to be determined the breadth it will cover. At this point we have been working on creating literature about queer mikveh, connecting with people all over Turtle Island (North America) who are creating queer mikveh and are in the beginning stages of planning a queer mikveh retreat. We hope this will be a launching ground for continued support for alternative and revived ritual practice throughout the world. 


 The money raised in this campaign supports the continued work on this project, including travel, research, and the creation of new art. As working artists, we depend on grants, commissions, and gigs to make our work. We don’t (yet) have another outlet to support the continuation of this project. This project is about people who are marginalized from many Jewish institutions, so it makes sense that funding it is also a grassroots endeavor.

In addition to funds collected for the film explicitly, our expenses in the crowd fundraiser include taxes and a percentage taken by gofundme.

In accordance with Jewish custom of tzedakah, in the spirit of reparations and using our cultural tools as Jews in diaspora for healing of the land and healing from colonization -- 12% of funds raised after expense (listed above) from this crowd fundraiser will be given to Sogorea Te' Land Trust, an Indigenous women-led organization in the San Francisco Bay Area. Most of the filming has taken place on Ohlone, Lisjan land in this area. 


If you are interested in Queer Mikveh Project swag like the towel designed by Lukaza Branfman-Verissimo and the Simple Queer Mikveh Guide written by Zoh Lev Cunningham and Rebekah Erev, with art from Nicki Green, please send us an email after you make your donation. Towels are $90 or above, Guides are $18 or above. 


Meet Us:

Rebekah Erev  (Director & Producer ) makes objects and creates public ritual as performance / ceremony. Erev’s work invokes the scholarship of re-remembering as relevant, immediate and anti-colonialist in it’s nature. Erev is an ordained kohenet, Hebrew priestess and self-published the  Moon Angels / Malakh Halevanah Oracle Deck. Erev has performed and participated in Open Engagement, HÄXÄN Festival and (Re)Visions Film Festival and shown work throughout the San Francisco Bay Area. They hold a Master in Teaching and over sixteen years of teaching experience. In 2014 Erev co-founded a two year collective, DIY Art School that met in public libraries.

Chani Bockwinkel (Director of Photography)  is a performer and filmmaker. She makes interdisciplinary-collaborative-feminist imagery for the stage, gallery, and internet.She works as a freelance documentarian for art organizations, non profits and self producing artists. Her work was most recently shown at: BRIC (NYC), Ponderosa (DE), Acre T.V. (IL), Destiny Arts (CA), INCITE/EXCITE (PA), somARTS (SF), QUEERSTIAN , (Amsterdam), BAMPFA (CA), and the Collage Festival (PA).

Other contributors:

Many people have been contributing to this project in many forms. Aliko Tree is working as a co-producer on the film. Orev Katz's work with MKV and Shekinah Creative Ministries has been a big inspiration for this project and has served as an advisor and is a current collaborator. Zohar Lev Cunningham's work with Gay Bath house is a big inspiration, they worked with Rebekah Erev to create the Queer Mikveh Zine (one of the perks).

Jhos Singer, Nicki Green and Ava Agree all are featured interviewees in the trailer and their words have deeply informed our creation. 

Nicki Green has been making art about mikveh for years and we are overjoyed to have her work in the film. Lukaza Branfman-Verrisimo has also lent her creative artistry to the film (Object Mikveh and design for the beach towel in the perks!). 

Remedios Martinez-Cantú, Nicki Green, Lukaza Branfman-Verissimo, Dori Midnight, Alex Rodriguez and Zohar Lev Cunningham have all co-facilitated queer mikvot (plural for mikveh) that we filmed. 

And lastly, anyone and everyone who has attended a queer mikveh we have organized are important contributors to this project!
+ Read More

$10,000 goal

Campaign created 11 months ago
Created June 26, 2018
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