A brand-new mikvah was recently completed in Abuja, the capital of Nigeria, which will prove a welcome addition to Jewish life for Israelis stationed there for work. Rabbi Israel and Haya Uzan established Chabad Lubavitch of Nigeria in 2013, after visiting the #WestAfrican #nation to host prayer services, kosher meals and celebrations for the Jewish holidays.
It took a year-and-a-half to complete the brand-new mikvah in Abuja, the capital city in the middle of Nigeria. But it was completed and inaugurated the same day, a welcome addition in a place where Jewish amenities, and even visitors, are few and far between.
For the “Spa for the Soul” grand opening last month, women came in from #Lagos and #Ghana to celebrate the addition to Jewish life. The overall results, as attendees noted, were a boost in faith, a reinforcement of tradition and the encouragement of family purity.
The community, according to Haya Uzan, co-director of #Chabad #Lubavitch of #Nigeria with her husband, Rabbi Israel Uzan, is made up mostly of Israelis—about 50 families in #Abuja and 20 families in Lagos, the country’s largest city, some 467 miles away. They tend to live there for several years while employed at #Israeli-based companies in the fields of construction, agriculture, technology and security. (To that end, Israeli businessmen Eyal Misika, Avi Abecassis and Eli Goldar were integral in the mikvah’s formation.) Etti Ben Ayoun arrived in Nigeria three years ago. She says the first call she got was from Haya Uzan. Keeping a #kosher home , as she does, can be challenging in such an environment; a Chabad House and #mikvah are a boon to Jewish life there.
The Uzans, both originally from #France , settled permanently in Abuja in 2013 after visiting the West African nation to host services, meals and celebrations for the Jewish holidays.
Uzan worked with two French designers, who suggested Italian tile for the interior. A Corian wash basin and clear glass separate the mikvah from the preparation area, offering aesthetics that emit beauty and comfort. “We wanted the place to look relaxing and modern,” Uzan tells Chabad.org. “And we got it!” (Photo: Chabad Lubavitch of Nigeria)