Bet Mishpachah is an unaffiliated synagogue in Washington, D.C., founded in 1975 by members of the LGBTQ community. We are looking for a half-time pulpit rabbi to start after our current half-time rabbi leaves for a full-time position, most likely in June 2018 or in June 2019.
We hold Shabbat services every Friday night and on the second and fourth Saturday mornings of each month. We have about 200 individual members (recently up from 175) who come from a variety of religious backgrounds, plus an active cadre of lay service leaders. Our service style, religious practices and observances range from Renewal, through Reform, Reconstructionist and Conservative traditions and innovations, with an emphasis on active participation by congregants and on new and updated liturgy (both Hebrew and English) as well as new music. We have a song-leader/guitarist for a musical service one Friday night per month who also serves as our Hazzan for the High Holy Days (HHD), plus a superb 8-voice Choir that sings for the HHD and occasionally during the year.
In December 2017 Bet Mishpachah proudly published the second hard-cover edition of our progressive and innovative 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). We are financially sound and stable and have substantial reserves; we recently held a highly successful fundraiser to celebrate publication of our new Siddur.
Our rabbi’s responsibilities include:
Lead or co-lead two Friday evening Shabbat services per month (a pleasant singing voice is appreciated).
Lead or co-lead one Saturday morning Shabbat service per month, including chanting (or reading) from the Sefer Torah and leading a Torah discussion.
Lead or co-lead an additional Shabbat service on special occasions.
Work with the High Holy Day (HHD) co-chairs to plan a full program of HHD services.
Lead or co-lead one morning and one evening HHD service.
Deliver a d’rasha at two HHD services.
Lead or co-lead and/or teach for selected Festival services and/or programs.
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.
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.
Provide a class on HHD themes and liturgy for HHD service leaders and darshanim at one or two HHD planning meetings during the summer.
In coordination with our Religious Affairs Committee, plan and present a series of programs to train new lay service leaders and darshanim and to improve the skills of our current lay service leaders and darshanim.
Help plan for and/or conduct ad hoc classes and seminars, including outside speakers and scholars for Shabbat services and other speaker programs, and for our annual spring Shabbaton.
Write an article for each issue of our bi-monthly newsletter and provide 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 life-cycle events.
Help plan for and officiate at members’ life-cycle events.
Strategic Direction and Membership
Help guide the congregation’s long-term strategy for new and expanded programs and for organizational development and growth.
Help attract new and especially younger members to our congregation and help increase volunteer participation.
Short-Term Pastoral Care and Conversion
Provide short-term pastoral care and counseling to members, including making appropriate referrals for longer term care and counseling.
Provide initial guidance and instruction to members seeking to convert to Judaism and make appropriate referrals for longer-term instruction.
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
Rabbinic ordination from a recognized seminary. Prefer 2 to 4 years experience as a pulpit rabbi, but will consider others.
Paid vacation, family & sick leave.
Professional development & expenses fund.
Founded in 1975 by members of the Washington LGBTQ community. 200 members (individual); financially stable and secure. Recently published the second hard-cover edition of our own progressive and innovative Siddur (480 pages).
Chair, Rabbi Search Committee
About Bet Mishpachah
See detailed position description above.