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Bet Mishpachah is Washington's only Egalitarian Synagogue Embracing a Diversity of Sexual and Gender Identities, founded in 1975 by members of DC's LGBTQ+ community.

Welcome.  Bet Mishpachah is a congregation for gay, lesbian, bisexual, asexual, trans and queer Jews, our families, friends and allies and all who wish to participate in an inclusive, progressive, egalitarian, and mutually supportive community.

We normally hold services every Friday night at 8:00 pm and on the second and fourth Saturdays of every month at 10:00 am at the  Edlavitch DC Jewish Community Center (EDCJCC), 1529 16th St NW, Washington, DC, but are conducting services virtually while the EDCJCC is closed due to the COVID 19 response.  Scroll down for more information.  

     Bet Mishpachah publishes a weekly email of upcoming events.  To sign up for this email click here.   

     Our Rabbi, Jake Singer-Beilin, guides our spiritual path, and leads or co-leads half of our Shabbat                 and holiday services.

 

COVID 19 Related Updates and Programming Adjustments

Virtual Programming:  Bet Mishpachah Shabbat services and programming which normally take place at the EDCJCC will be conducted virtually as long as the EDCJCC is closed.  Please refer to our weekly email, This Week and Beyond, for Zoom Meeting Access or contact communications@betmish.org.   

Amazon Smile and PayPal Giving Fund:  Bet Mishpachah is now registered with Amazon Smile and PayPal Giving Fund.  Both of these will provide additional financial benefit Bet Mishpachah without costing anything additional to the purchases you make from Amazon and the donations you would otherwise make through PayPal.  Please see the red box below for Amazon Smile and our donations page for PayPal Giving.  

Siddurim Still Available - Copies of Bet Mishpachah's Siddur, Shavat va-Yinafash, are still available for a suggested donation of $40.  Whether for your own personal reflection and prayer or for our virtual services, please contact president@betmish.org​​​ to arrange for your own personal copy​​​​.  

Bet Mishpachah Post Office Box:  The post office box is checked only occasionally, so there will likely be a lag in processing checks.  Therefore, we recommend all payments and donations be made through PayPal or contact treasurer@betmish.org to make arrangements.

Interest-Free Loans:  The Hebrew Free Loan Association of Greater Washington is now offering $1,500 interest-free loans to eligible borrowers.  If you have been financially impacted by COVID-19, visit  www.hebrewfreeloandc.org/covid19  to apply.

The Richard A Kopely Memorial Emergency Assistance Fund: The purpose of the fund is to provide short-term, emergency financial assistance to people in need, through small grants or loans.  If you are in need, or know someone who may benefit from a loan or grant from this fund, please contact president@betmish.org .

Bet Mishpachah is Now A Recipient of Donations Through Amazon Smile

Amazon Smile was created by Amazon as a way for those who shop Amazon (and who doesn’t – especially now) to give to their favorite charity.  Every time someone enrolled in Amazon Smile shops, .5% goes to the charity of their choice. Bet Mishpachah is now enrolled in Amazon Smile, so now you can shop and have .5% of what you buy come to your favorite synagogue.  Amazon Smile is the same Amazon you know – same products, same prices, same service – but now you can have a part of your purchase price donated to Bet Mishpachah. To enroll, visit Amazon Smile.  Enter your user name and password as you would normally do.  At the next screen “Start Picking Your Charity,” enter Bet Mishpachah, hit “select,” click “Yes, I understand that I must always start at smile.amazon.com to support Bet Mishpachah,” the START SHOPPING and support Bet Mishpachah with every purchase.

Rabbi Emeritus Bob Saks in the News

I've Been Blessed with Many Teachers:  Reflections of 50 Years in the Rabbinate

Each year the Central Conference of American Rabbis honors members of their organization who were ordained 50 years ago or more.  In advance of CCAR Convention 2020, March 22-25 in Baltimore, Rabbi Bob Saks reflected on his many teachers and their many lessons.  His words are especially important in these days.  

Click here to be directed to the article

A Night of Learning - Let's Celebrate Shavuot

Join Bet Mish and TLS (Tikkun Leil Shabbat) for a night of learning on Wednesday May 27th from 7:00 to 9:30 pm.  There will be 3 learning sessions of about 45 minutes each.  Rabbi Jake's class, Reading Genesis Through a Gender-Expansive Lens, will be offered in the first session.  There will be two learning sessions per time slot, so you will have a choice for each.  Details of each learning session and how you will access the programming will be provided via email, but definitely reserve this time slot for next Wednesday!

Synopsis of Rabbi Jakes's Class: According to the Torah, who was the first human and what was that person like? Going beyond the traditional way of reading our creation story, we find that the text itself allows for a more nuanced view of sex, gender, identity and expression. Using rabbinic texts as our guide, Rabbi Jake will guide our examination of ancient Jewish views regarding gender that have their basis in our core texts. It’s not just about male and female, folks! 

The Bet Mishpachah Book Group

The bookgroup continues to meet virtually during this time of social distancing.  Our next discussion will take place via Zoom on Sunday, May 24, at 4:00 p.m.  We'll be discussing "Outwitting History: The Amazing Adventures of a Man Who Rescued A Million Yiddish Books" by Aaron Lansky.  Lansky is the founder and President of the Yiddish Book Center in Amherst, MA, and the recipient of a MacArthur "genius" fellowship. Lansky was a 23-year-old graduate student in 1980 when he came up with an idea that would take over his life and change the face of Jewish literary culture: He wanted to save Yiddish books. With few resources save his passion and determination, Lansky and his fellow dreamers traveled from house to house, dumpster to dumpster, saving Yiddish books wherever they could find them—eventually gathering an improbable 1.5 million volumes. Our discussion is open to all Bet Mish members. Simply email bookgroup@betmish.org for the Zoom address and password.

Virtual Pride Shabbat

Please join us on Friday, June 19, 2020 at 8 pm for services where we will be celebrating Pride.  Bet Mishpachah's Rabbi, Jake Singer-Beilin, will be co-leading along with Robyn Helzner, a wonderfully talented musician and singer.  Details for Zoom access will be provided in our weekly email.  Pride Shabbat will take the place of the regularly scheduled Mizmor Shabbat originally scheduled for June 12th.  June 12th Erev Shabbat will not be a Mizmor Shabbat.   Please direct questions to our Community Affairs Director.

 

High Holy Day Planning

Many of you are probably wondering what we are planning for the High Holy Days.  At this time we have not made a decision and don’t expect one until the first week of July.  Having said that, it looks increasingly likely that we will conduct services virtually.  If we go virtual, we are still looking to engage Rabbi Ben Shalva as cantor, and will be looking into upgraded technology to improve both the audio and visual appeal of services.  

Congregational Calendar

Thu, May 28 2020 5 Sivan 5780