Our Team

 

Ariele Mortkowitz

founding director

Ariele Mortkowitz is passionate about the ways women interact with their faith and their community and has dedicated herself to the pursuit of fulfilling female Jewish spiritual and communal experiences. As a volunteer mikvah guide for the past 14 years, Ariele saw how the mikvah ritual could augment an individual’s spiritual journey and create a space for personal connections, leading her to create the Agam Center in 2016. As its founding director, Ariele established the Agam Center as an expansion of what a mikvah can be to a community, creating a Jewish communal home for women's spirituality, wellness, education, and connection. Her work garnered international attention and furthered the conversation about women’s spaces in organizational Judaism. Further committed to creating more spaces for women in Judaism, Ariele is excited about launching SVIVAH, where she gets to "collect" inspirational teachers, healers, counselors, and guides devoted to improving the lives of women and then share them with the audience of Jewish women that has been waiting for them. Ariele is a frequent presenter on modernizing mikvah and female-focused ritual and spirituality. She is a questioning perfectionist who thinks “status quo” is a bad word. She has a background in the Jewish nonprofit world with a focus on strategic planning, organizational growth, and staff training. She is part of the Clal Glean START cohort where she received a certificate in Spiritual Entrepreneurship from Columbia Business School. Ariele is also a JOFA/Yeshivat Chovevei Torah/Yeshivat Maharat-certified premarital teacher. Originally a “Jersey Girl”, Ariele moved to DC with her husband, David Hain, in 2004 where they live with three little people who ask the best questions. Ariele wishes she had more time to read more good books, plays a mean game of Uno, and loves to cook too much, ensuring that there is always room for one more at her table.