Ritual bath (circa 1654)
Visiting hours: Weekdays 9:00 am – 4:00 pm
Saturdays 9:00 am - 2:00 pm, mid-December to mid-April
The Mikvah, or ritual bath for purifying the body, was developed by the original Sephardic Jews that built the Nidhe Israel Synagogue in 1654. The bath is located near the Synagogue and dates back to the same period. It was unearthed during an archeological investigation in 2008 that was searching for the original Rabbi’s House.
During the dig, a staircase of original marble was exposed, leading down to a pool of water, which turned out to be the 17th century ritual bath. Measuring approximately 8 ft. x 4 ft., the bath has a granite tile floor with coral stone walls featuring alcoves where lamps would have been placed. The bath is fed by an active underground spring.
Thousands of artifacts were unearthed during the excavation, including pieces of Staffordshire slipware, a shoe buckle, old smoker’s pipes, and a jeweler’s stone mold. Many have been identified, categorized and some are on display in the Nidhe Israel Museum.
Visitors to the Nidhe Israel Museum get access to view the historic Mikvah as part of their tour.