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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.

 

Bet Mishpachah and Capital Jewish Museum Collaboration:  LGBTQ Jewish Legacy in Washington, DC

Sunday, September 13th from 7:00 pm - 8:00 pm

It's been 45 years since the founding of Congregation Bet Mishpachah as the first LGBTQ synagogue in Washington, DC. As apart of that legacy, we are excited to announce a co-sponsored virtual panel event with the groundbreaking of the Capital Jewish Museum.  This public event will be focused on highlighting the history and contributions of Bet Mishpachah to the metropolitan area as well as to the greater LGBTQ Jewish community.   Featured panelists to include Jocelyn Kaplan, Larry Neff, and Stuart Sotsky, moderated by the Capital Jewish Museum.   Come virtually support the legacy of our congregation and its impact over the past 45 years.  Registration: Zoom details forthcoming

 

High Holy Day Services

We are in the midst of what we know to be challenging times. Unprecedented.  But we want to assure you that we are planning for our congregation’s most precious time of the year, the High Holy Days, with the intent of creating the most meaningful and spiritually fulfilling services as are possible now. Certainly, we are aware of the need, and we are looking forward to coming through as a holy community together.

On May 29 the Board, along with the Rabbi, decided to hold High Holy Day services virtually. While this is not the outcome that anyone had hoped for, nothing could have prepared us for this. But as a congregation and community experienced with plagues (HIV), taking care of each other and looking at the world around us, the Board felt that we could not safely be together without potentially risking the health of our service leaders, congregants and staff.  All of our usual service leaders will be on the bima, including Rabbi Jake and Rabbi Ben Shalva, our Hazzan. 

 

Service schedules are now posted on our High Holy Days page  and registration information will be posted here and in our weekly emails when details are finalized in late summer.   

 

Rabbi Jake's Fall Classes Announced

     Theodicy - Why Does Evil Exist? - Wednesday September 2, at 7:30: If God is good, how can there be so much suffering? Answers and musings regarding this eternal question are found throughout the Jewish tradition. From ancient texts to modern Jewish thinkers, we will explore how to make sense of a world that can be unfair, troubling, and filled with cracks in need of repair.

     White Fragility and Our Jewish Responsibility - Saturday October 24, following the Shabbat morning service and Kiddush: Now is a time of great reflection within the Jewish community regarding race relations, white privilege, and the mitzvah of tikkun olam. Using Robin DiAngelo's book, “White Fragility” as our starting point, we will discuss the Jewish values that guide us toward racial justice and examine what our community can do in order to be a positive agitator for change in our community. Read the book ahead of time; then come with an open heart and a highlighted copy!

     Lesser-Known Women in Biblical Times - Saturday November 1, following the Shabbat morning service and Kiddush: It is no secret that the Hebrew Bible is a collection of patriarchal literature. Male characters abound in the text. Of course, we know about the foremothers and a few other women, but what about the ones who we know little about? Let's explore female characters from biblical times who do not make it into the siddur - the misfits, the ones we have forgotten, or never even knew about. They are there; we just need to look for them!

     Women in Rabbinic Literature - Wednesday December 9, at 7:30: The Talmud and Midrash contain conversations of the rabbis, all of whom were men. However, in a male-dominated text, there are still women's voices to be found and lifted up. These women argued against the rabbinic leaders, destroyed wine barrels, and forged a righteous path, even when doing so was frowned upon. Discover who they were and what we can learn from their stories.

Classes will be held virtually.  Invitations will appear in the weekly email and our Facebook page,  www.facebook.com/betmish. Classes are always free for members and there is a suggested donation of $10 for nonmembers.  Donations can be made on our donations page.

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 until there is a consensus that it is safe to gather in person at the EDCJCC.  The reopening committee is working on ths issue.  Please refer to our weekly email, This Week and Beyond, for Zoom Meeting Access or contact communications@betmish.org.   

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 .

Congregational Calendar

Mon, August 10 2020 20 Av 5780