By Sarah Skinner / sarah@atljewishtimes.com

Calm, surrounded by water and totally alone. You reflect, you pray, you let the waters soothe and cleanse, revive and renew. You walk out a new person, lighter and more in touch with yourself.

My first experience with the mikvah happened just a few weeks ago after the opening of the Metro Atlanta Community Mikvah, or MACoM, an independent, nondenominational facility on the campus of Congregation B’nai Torah in Sandy Springs.

MACoM offers a beautiful experience. The volunteers are cheerful and knowledgeable, very helpful to a first-timer like myself, and the water is clear and warm.

The mikvah is connected to two nice changing rooms to ensure complete privacy and allow for a more intimate and personal experience. The volunteers, however, are just around the corner to help you with anything you need.

Many of the volunteers also are donors to the project, each having particular reasons for support and a vested interest in the community’s enjoyment of the new facility.

“This is the first nondenominational mikvah open to the Atlanta Jewish community,” said one volunteer and donor, Adrienne Boyer. “It’s an opportunity to unite people from all sects of Judaism — to renew and refresh themselves during a new cycle in their lives.”

There are many reasons, both personal and religious, to go to the mikvah, making it a sanctuary and a place of revitalization. It is MACoM’s accessibility, however, with the painstaking effort to be a place of openness and acceptance, that makes it a unique and important addition to the nontraditional Jewish community in Atlanta.