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Aggieland Mikvah Will Educate Students, Serve Locals

Chabad Serving Texas A&M—U.S.’s Largest College—Builds Unique Mikvah Educational Center

Chabad at Texas A&M University—which has the largest student body of any college in the United States—has long educated students about the importance and sanctity of the mikvah. But the university is located in College Station, Texas, 100 miles from the nearest mikvah, so introducing students to this mitzvah required four hours of driving from Aggieland—as the area is known—to Houston. Nevertheless, Manya Lazaroff, who directs Chabad at Texas A&M University with her husband, Rabbi Yossi Lazaroff, would often make the trek, because she recognized the impact it had on students when they saw what a mikvah is.

“As a sophomore in college, I had learned about Mikvah for the first time. I remember thinking that it was beautiful for ‘them’ but certainly not realistic for me,” said Chloe, a student at the time. She attended a mikvah class and tour with Manya Lazaroff two years later. “The way she explained the powerfully divine concept of Mikvah, along with the moving tour, truly transformed my outlook on marriage and intimacy. Right there at the Mikvah tour, I promised myself that I would only date a man who would be willing to make our marriage holy through the mitzvah of Family Purity.”

Eight years later, she and her husband are keeping this mitzvah, and they have three children together.

Rabbi Sholom Ber Schuchat Advises as Work on the Mikvah Immersion Pools Progresses

For the sake of the hundreds of students just like Chloe who come through Chabad at Texas A&M each year—and for the sake of the Jewish families who call College Station home—the Lazaroffs realized that College Station needed a mikvah

On February 1, 2023, the Lazaroffs broke ground on a $1.2 million state-of-the-art mikvah, which will include not only beautifully-appointed immersion pools and preparation rooms, but a classroom as well, which will be used for regular courses in this sacred cornerstone of Jewish life.

“In my five years of learning and growing from Chabad and the Lazaroffs at Texas A&M, I was able to visibly see the impact that mikvah has on my life,” said Talia Voskoboynik, an alumna of the school. “After learning about Family Purity with Manya, I developed my own special connection with the mitzvah, which now tangibly brings blessings to myself and my marriage.”

Rendering of the Aggieland Mikvah

The mikvah will also serve a growing contingent of local families who have long waited for its construction.

Samantha Olive grew up in College Station. While studying at Texas A&M, she learned about mikvah with Manya Lazaroff, and decided that this was a mitzvah she wanted in her marriage. She got married in 2022, and lives in College Station with her husband, Ethan. Samantha says she quickly realized how important the Aggieland Mikvah will be. 

“Already it’s been proven difficult, as we don’t get back to College Station until after 11 p.m.,” she said. “I am committed to this mitzvah, but I could see the long drive being an obstacle for women keeping or taking on the mitzvah of mikvah.”

Lindsey Guindi, who lives in College Station with her husband and two children, began using the mikvah later in life. “I would always be nervous and stressed about having to drive late at night to an area I wasn’t familiar with. Mikvah shouldn’t cause anxiety,” she said. “Mikvah helped me connect on a different level with my husband, and fulfill a mitzvah that is beautiful and emotional. Every woman in every community should have this opportunity.”

Soon, every woman in College Station will have that opportunity .

On the rooftop, rabbis discuss the channels that will bring the needed rainwater into the mikvah
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