In 1969, when the Highland Park/Edison Jewish community was still quite small and the nearest Mikvah was located in Elizabeth, New Jersey, Rabbi Eliezer Kaminetsky Shlit”a and several members of Congregation Ohav Emeth felt that a Mikvah in Highland Park was essential – both to serve the community and to facilitate its growth.
Mr. Herman Weisberger, the president of Ohav Emeth, took the initiative to locate, buy, and renovate a property on South First Avenue with the help of his brother, Alex Weisberger, and with the assistance of Tivador Rieder, the Gabbai of Ohav Emeth, and several other members of the community. A noted architect and Talmid Chacham, Yitzchak (Bushie) Friedman, a son of the Boyaner Rebbe, drew the original sketches for the layout of the Borot, the Bor Hatevilah, and the preparation rooms, based on his plans for the West Side Mikvah in Manhattan, which had been constructed under the supervision of Rav Moshe Feinstein זצ”ל.
The Highland Park Mikvah was originally constructed through the valiant efforts of Rabbi Kaminetsky shlit”a with the guidance and supervision of the Helmetzer Rebbe, Rav Chananya Yom Tov Lipa Deutsch,זצ”ל who was an expert in Mikvaos, using the principles of both Hashakah and Zeriah. Rav Deutsch made multiple visits to the Highland Park Mikvah during its construction and in subsequent years.
Rabbi Kaminetsky supervised the Halachic aspects of the Mikvah from the time of its construction in 1969 until the Vaad Harabonim of Raritan Valley* assumed responsibility in 2010.
In 1997, Eleanor Webber, who served as president of the Mikvah for many years, spearheaded the renovation of the Mikvah including the Bor Hatevilah, the preparation rooms, and the waiting room. After the renovations were completed, Rav Moshe Bick Shlit”a, a noted Mikvah expert, inspected all aspects of the Mikvah and found them satisfactory. Rav Bick reinspected the Mikvah on April 25, 2013, and declared his satisfaction with its operation.
Two decades after the renovation and after continued growth of the community, we are currently in the process of updating the Mikvah again. It will be luxurious and spa-like throughout – with a redesigned waiting area and foyer, five preparation rooms, one Kallah room with a Jacuzzi, and an exquisite immersion room.
*Vaad Harabonim of Raritan Valley
Rabbi David Bassous
Rabbi Reuven Drucker
Rabbi Yeedle Eichenstein
Rabbi Gedaliah Jaffe
Rabbi Eliyahu Kaufman
Rabbi Yaakov Luban
Rabbi Steven Miodownik
Rabbi Abraham Mykoff
Rabbi Effy Unterman