City Mikvah Project Honors Wicker Park Rabbi's Dad: Groundbreaking PHOTOS

WICKER PARK — The City Mikvah, a private subterranean bath for married Jewish women, kicked off recently with a ceremonial groundbreaking that raised $50,000 for the ambitious construction project, set to be completed in 2016.

Rabbi Yosef Moscowitz, leader of the Bucktown Wicker Park Chabad Jewish Center at 1630 N. Milwaukee Ave., presided over the gathering on Thursday, which was timed to coincide with the first anniversary of his father's death, for whom the mikvah is dedicated.

Building permits for the construction of the mikvah — just north of Wicker Park's Milwaukee, Damen and North Avenues intersection and next to the Northwest Tower— have not yet been issued yet by the city, according to records.  

Rabbi Moscowitz said the ground breaking was a ceremonial dedication for "Mikvah Mei Daniel." Actual construction is scheduled to begin once permits are issued, he said.

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New Mikvah in Old Chicago Neighborhood a Magnet for Young Families

Old directories indicate that there was once a functioning mikvah in Bucktown, a Chicago neighborhood just northwest of the Loop—the city’s central business district—now known for its older single-family homes, new builds with edgy architecture and converted industrial loft spaces.

But as the Jewish community shifted north to the suburbs, Jewish Bucktown faded into the hazy past, and so did the mikvah.

Decades later, right across the street from the site of the original mikvah (now a defunct bath house), a group of supporters gathered last week to sip cocktails, nibble on sushi and carved meats, and break ground for a brand-new entity, “The City Mikvah–Mei Daniel.”

The mikvah will be located in the lower level of the Bucktown Wicker Park Chabad Jewish Center on Milwaukee Avenue, right across from the former bath house.

The evening was a festive one, as young people—each of whom had donated $1,000 to the mikvah fund—celebrated the latest milestone in the growth of their community, which began when Rabbi Yosef and Sara Moscowitz founded the center in 2006. Since then, they acquired the 15,000-square-foot, three-story premises that includes a synagogue, event spaces, a communal lounge area known as “The Living Room” and the rabbi’s residence.Click  HERE to continue reading!