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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 Book Group - The Liar

The Bet Mishpachah Book Group continues to meet virtually. Although we miss our wonderful pot luck suppers, we have continued our lively book discussions on Zoom, alternating fiction and non-fiction selections. At our next group meeting at 7:00 pm on July 30th, we'll be discussing The Liar by Israeli writer Ayelet Gundar-Goshen. The novel is a multi-layered story of an Israeli teenager, a TV talent show winner, and an elderly Moroccan-Israeli woman who get tangled in a web of lies. It is a fable of the complexities of the Me-Too era and the lure of lies and fame. Written with propulsive energy, dark humor, and deep insight, The Liar reveals the far-reaching consequences of even our smallest choices, and explores the hidden corners of human nature to reveal the liar and the truth-teller in all of us. An Elle Magazine 2019 Book of the Year, the novel was praised by critics ranging from the New York Times to People Magazine. Ms. Gundar-Goshen is a clinical psychologist, has worked for the Israeli civil rights movement, and is an award-winning screenwriter. All Bet Mish members are always welcome to join the discussions. For the Zoom details, please email bookgroup@betmish.org.

Virtual 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 looking ahead to 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.

Looking forward to the Hebrew month of Elul, we want you to know that at its recent board meeting (subject to the announcement that was expected from Mayor Bowser on May 29 about reopening DC), the Board along with the Rabbi, decided to hold High Holy Day services virtually. Nothing in the Mayor’s plans, or in the ongoing reality of the pandemic, supports a change in that decision. The Board decided to make the decision

now so that we can start planning accordingly.

 

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. Other congregations, such as CBST in NY and Rodef Shalom in Arlington, have already made the same cautious decision to hold the High Holy Days virtually.

 

Though we had hoped the tides would turn, it seems impossible to consider meeting safely in person as we have done for more than 35 years. Our community is large and strong, and last year at Friends Meeting House it was wonderful, warm, and filled with ruach and we had hoped to repeat that experience again this year. But, because

we are realistic, it will not be possible this year. Therefore, all High Holy Day services from Slichot to Yom Kippur, will be held virtually. All of our usual service leaders will be on the bima, including Rabbi Jake and Rabbi Ben Shalva, our Hazzan. Our first priority is the safety of everyone involved.

 

We have a few people who are willing to help work on potentially improving the technical aspects of our services. If you would like to help with that project, or work behind the scenes during services, please reach out to Barry

Friedman, administrationdirector@betmish.org.

 

Bet Mishpachah Board of Directors and Rabbi Jake Singer-Beilin

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.

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.   

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

Thu, July 9 2020 17 Tammuz 5780