Half-Time Pulpit Rabbi
Bet Mishpachah is an unaffiliated synagogue founded in 1975 by members of the LGBTQ community of Washington, D.C., where the metropolitan Jewish community has grown to 300,000 Jews. We are looking for a half-time pulpit rabbi to start on July 1, 2019, when our current half-time rabbi of 6 years will leave for a full-time position.
We hold Shabbat services every Friday night and on the second and fourth Saturday mornings of each month. We have about 200 members who come from a wide variety of religious backgrounds, plus an active cadre of lay service leaders and darshanim. Our service style, religious practices and observances range from Renewal through Reform, Reconstructionist and Conservative traditions and innovations. We emphasize active participation by congregants during services and new and updated liturgy (in both Hebrew and English), as well as new music. We have a song-leader/guitarist for a Mizmor Shabbat musical service 1 Friday night per month who also serves as our Hazzan for the High Holy Days (HHD), plus a superb professionally led 8-voice Choir who sing for the HHD and occasionally during the year.
In December 2017 Bet Mishpachah proudly published the second hard-cover edition of our progressive, innovative, LGBTQ-affirming siddur, Shavat va-Yinafash (480 pages). We have also published our own five-volume machzor, called Chadeish Yameinu, and a service booklet for shiva & memorial services, Ha-Makom Y’nachem.
Since 1997 we have held our Shabbat services at the Edlavitch Jewish Community Center of Washington, D.C., in the heart of the lively Dupont Circle / Logan Circle neighborhood (10 blocks north of the White House). While the JCC is being renovated this year, we are temporarily meeting just across 16th Street, NW at Foundry United Methodist Church. Our congregation is financially stable and has substantial reserves. In late 2017 we held a highly successful fundraiser and gala dinner-dance to celebrate publication of our new siddur, which lists 67 benefactors.
Our rabbi’s responsibilities include:
* Plan and lead or co-lead 2 or 3 Friday evening Shabbat services per month, including giving the d’rasha. A pleasant singing voice and the ability to lead the congregation in singing are appreciated.
* Plan and lead or co-lead a Shabbat morning service every 1 to 2 months, including chanting (or reading) from the Sefer Torah and leading a participatory Torah discussion.
* Lead or co-lead 2 to 3 additional Shabbat services on special occasions, e.g., Board Installation Shabbat, Volunteer Appreciation Shabbat, and our community-wide joint Pride Shabbat service, held at the historic Sixth and I Street Synagogue downtown.
* Work with the High Holy Day (HHD) co-chairs to plan a full program of HHD services.
* Lead or co-lead one evening and one morning HHD service, plus Mincha/N’ila.
* Deliver a d’rasha at the two other major HHD services.
* Lead or co-lead services and/or teach classes for selected Festival/holiday services and/or programs, e.g., Purim, Shavu-ot and Sukkot.
* Serve as a member of our Religious Affairs and Liturgy Committees and advise them on best practices for the congregation’s religious services and observances.
Education and Programs
* In coordination with our Education Committee, plan and conduct 10 adult education classes each year, including multi-session and/or single-session courses.
* Lead a study session on Yom Kippur afternoon.
* Lead a class in late summer for members to prepare for the HHD.
* Provide a class on HHD themes and liturgy for HHD service leaders and darshanim at 1 or 2 HHD planning meetings during the summer.
* In coordination with our Religious Affairs Committee, plan and present a series of classes to train new lay service leaders and darshanim and to improve the skills of our current lay service leaders and darshanim.
* Help arrange outside speakers and scholars for our annual spring Shabbaton, for special Shabbat services, and for other programs, and help plan and/or conduct ad hoc classes and seminars.
* In coordination with our Social Action Committee, help plan and lead engaging experiential Social Justice programs and activities.
* Write an article for each issue of our bi-monthly newsletter and provide appropriate copy for the congregation’s website, weekly email broadcasts, and social media.
Life Cycle Events
* Help the congregation establish new policies and ceremonies to observe and celebrate a wide range of life-cycle events.
* Help plan for and officiate at members’ life-cycle events.
Short-Term Pastoral Care and Conversion
* Provide short-term pastoral care and counseling to members, including making appropriate referrals for longer term pastoral care and counseling.
* Provide initial guidance and instruction to members seeking to convert to Judaism and make appropriate referrals for longer-term instruction.
Strategic Direction and Membership
* Help guide the congregation’s long-term strategy for new, improved, and expanded programs and for overall organizational development and growth.
* Help attract new and especially younger people to attend our programs and join our congregation, and help increase volunteer participation.
* Represent Bet Mishpachah at and play an active role in the wider Jewish, rabbinic and LGBTQ communities and organizations in the DC Metro area.
Salary range: $55,000 to 75,000 based on skills and experience.
Please send a letter of interest and resume to: Larry.Neff@comcast.net.
Thanks very much for your interest in our half-time position at Bet Mishpachah.
Chair, Rabbi Search Committee
Unaffiliated synagogue founded in 1975 by members of the LGBTQ community. 200 members.
Prefer 2 or more years experience.
Paid annual, sick and parental leave.
Professional expense account.
Larry Neff, chair
Rabbi Search Committee
About Bet Mishpachah
See detailed position description above.