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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 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.  (SCROLL DOWN FOR PROGRAMMING AND SERVICE ADJUSTMENTS).

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.

IMPORTANT UPDATES & COVID 19 RESPONSE:  PROGRAMMING AND SERVICE ADJUSTMENTS

Updated April 6:  Bet Michpachah Shabbat services and programming which take place at the EDCJCC will be cancelled as long as the EDCJCC is closed.   Important information and adjustments to programming will be listed in this space and updated in the weekly congregation email.  

  • Access information for our Mizmor Shabbat Service featuring Robyn Helzner on  April 10 and Shabbat morning service on April 11 will be provided in our weekly email, This Week and Beyond.  To sign up for this email click here, otherwise contact communications@betmish.org for access information.
  • As a reminder, Bet Mishpachah's Siddur, Shavat va-Yinafash is available for a suggested donation of $40 each.  During this time of self-isolation, you may find it a comfort to have a Siddur at home for reference, personal reflection and prayer.  Of course, the logistics of getting the Siddurim out to congregants may be a little more difficult in light of Coronavirus, but if you are interested, please email president@betmish.org.  If more people had their own Siddur during this time while we are leading virtual services, rather than having the text on the screen, we could focus on the service leader while folks follow along at home.  

  • The Bet Mishpachah post office box will not be checked during April.  Please do not mail checks during this time.  All payments and donations should be made through PayPal on our website or contact treasurer@betmish.org 

  • GLOE will host a virtual 2nd Night Seder on April 9 at 6:00 pm.  Scroll down to get more information and instructions on how to register.

  • "When your loved one dies . . . will you know what to do?"  This is the title of the Bet Mishpachah Bereavement Brochure which has just been approved by the Bereavement Support Committee.   It explains traditional Jewish customs and practices.  It tells what resources are available, whom to contact in arranging a funeral and/or burial and what services Bet Mishpachah can provide.  It also suggests what advanced planning should be done prior to an immediate crisis.  Admittedly, the current pandemic environment has resulted in less-than-ideal changes.  For example, Bet Mishpachah has stopped providing Shiva services.  For an update regarding current DC area funeral home and cemetery practices, see the recent issuance of the Jewish Funeral Practices Committee of Greater Washington.  For immediate guidance contact the Rabbi at rabbi@betmish.org and the Bereavement Support Committee at bereavement@betmish.org

  • Interest-Free Loans:  The Hebrew Free Loan Association of Greater Washington is offering $1,000 interest-free loans to eligible borrowers.  If you have been financially impacted by COVID-19, visit www.hebrewfreeloandc.org/covid19 to apply.

  • The Shabbaton and Congregational Dinner scheduled for May 8-9 is postponed to a date TBA.  The Bet Mishpachah Pride Service on June 12th is also postponed and will be rescheduled to coincide with the new date Capital Pride is rescheduled.

Keep in mind that Rabbi Jake is available for pastoral counseling and if anyone should feel the need to reach out, he can be reached at rabbi@betmish.org.   He may be a source of comfort during what is a difficult time for all of us.   Also, please also consider reaching out, more than ever, to your chosen family in this Bet Mishpachah.  Just because we cannot be together in person doesn't mean we cannot be together in spirit.  

Virtual 2nd Night Community Seder with GLOE on April 9

This year, Jewish Life & Learning and GLOE - the Kurlander Program for GLBTQ Outreach and Engagement, have joined forces to bring our community seders to the safety of your homes.  Our community seder will be the same open, welcoming, pluralistic celebration of freedom you’ve come to expect from the EDCJCC - but this year it’s virtual!  Throughout the seder, there will be opportunities for sharing in small groups, building community, and reflecting together or individually. When it comes time for the meal, we will take a break in small “tables” of 10 or fewer people to allow for socializing. When you register, you will be able to request to be at an EntryPointDC (20s and 30s young professionals) table table or a GLOE table.

Click here to be directed to the article and to register

Rabbi Emeritus Bob Sacks 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

Opportunity for Bet Mishpachah Members - Hineni Fellowship

The Hineni Fellowship’s mission is designed to empower LGBTQ Jews to take on volunteer leadership positions in Jewish organizations and institutions throughout the Jewish community. The Fellowship includes high quality intensive retreats, webinars, study sessions and meetings with LGBTQ leaders from both within and beyond the Jewish community in ways that educate, inspire and creatively challenge our participants to bring their Queer Jewish outlooks and insights to American Jewish life.

Click here to be directed to the article

Zoom Presentation with Theater J Director April 24th

Save the Date, Friday, April 24 at 1:30 pm -  Join us via Zoom for a presentation entitled A Backstage Look at Jewish Theater with Theater J Artistic Director, Adam Immerwahr.  If you are interested, please email social-event@betmish.org.

Join Theater J artistic director Adam Immerwahr for a candid,  behind-the-scenes exploration of our nation’s largest and most prominent Jewish Theater, Theater J.  From how seasons are chosen to how the productions are shepherded onto the stage, learn about the questions, challenges, and opportunities in producing Jewish theater for a diverse audience in the nation’s capital.  How are scripts selected, artists chosen, designs created, and production elements assembled?  What makes a play Jewish, and what makes a production Jewish?

Adam Immerwahr is the 4th artistic director in Theater J’s history, having served in that role since 2015.  He has also served as the associate artistic director of Tony Award-winning McCarter Theatre (Princeton, NJ) and the resident director of Passage Theatre (Trenton, NJ).  Adam served on the producing team of multiple productions that have transferred to Broadway and Off-Broadway, including the world premiere of Christopher Durang's Vanya and Sonia and Masha and Spike (which won the Tony Award for Best Play).   As a director, his work has been seen across the world, from Aspen to Zimbabwe.  He has directed off-Broadway and at many of the nation’s premier regional theaters, such as McCarter Theatre, Walnut Street Theater, Cleveland Play House, and others.  He is a recipient of both the NJ Theatre Alliance “Applause Award” and the Fairleigh Dickinson University / Center for Nonprofits “Emerging Nonprofit Leader Award.”  He currently serves on the board of the Alliance for Jewish Theater.

Mizmor Shabbat Musical Services 

We hope to be able to continue, virtually, Bet Mishpachah’s popular, lively and uplifting Mizmor Shabbat musical services on the 2nd Friday of every month through the spring.  The following professional musicians will be leading singing with their guitars at Erev Shabbat services on:  

April 10, 2020 - Robyn Helzner

May 8, 2020 - Rabbi Ben Shalva

June 12, 2020 - Robyn Helzner

Mark your calendars now and plan to join us for these special musical services filled with lots of singing and         ruach (spirit).   Now that the musically talented Rabbi Jake has joined our congregational family, we’ll have even more services with a skilled song-leader / guitarist every month. 

The Psalmist wrote:  “Shìru l’Adonai shir chadash, shìru l’Adonai kol ha-àretz” — “Sing unto G-d a new song, sing unto G-d all the earth!”  We look forward to having you join Bet Mishpachah in uplifting song at our musical services.

Strategic Planning

Members and non-members, we want to hear from you! Please click here for more information about our Strategic Planning initiative and how you can help.

Congregational Calendar

Wed, April 8 2020 14 Nisan 5780