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Bet Mishpachah offers a full range of traditional and non-traditional life cycle events, with rabbinical as well as communal support.  We want to celebrate with you in your times of joy, and console you when you are bereaved.

As part of our commitment to innovative liturgy, feminist theology, and LGBT ritual, we are also open to developing new ceremonies to meet our community’s needs.  So if you are interested in marking a coming out, a gender transition, a healing from trauma, or some other important milestone, please let us know.

The life cycle events the congregation has commemorated include:

  • Welcoming children

pidyon ha-ben ceremony for a baby boyRabbi Laurie Green officiates at a pidyon ha-ben ceremony for a baby boy.

    • Events include baby naming ceremonies, b’rit mila (circumcision), b’rit bat (covenant ceremony for a daughter), and pidyon ha-ben/bat (redemption of the first born).
    • For information and to make arrangements for one of these events, contact the rabbi or the VP/Religious Affairs.
  • Bar and Bat Mitzva ceremonies for both teenagers and adults
  • wedding contract for a newlywed coupleRabbi Emeritus Bob Saks signs a ketuba (wedding contract) for a newlywed couple.Weddings and Kiddushin ceremonies: Bet Mishpachah has long offered commitment ceremonies (or Kiddushin).  Same-sex weddings became legally recognized in the District of Columbia in 2010 and in Maryland in 2013.
    • Whether you are looking for a civil marriage license, a Jewish ceremony or both, our rabbi can assist you. Rabbi Green officiates for interfaith couples, opposite-sex couples, same-sex couples, out-of-town couples and many others. For information, contact her.
  • Funerals: The congregation and the rabbi are available for assistance and comfort. 
    • Members can inform the congregation of a death by sending an email to bereavement@betmish.org.
    • Bet Mishpachah is a member congregation of the Jewish Funeral Practices Committee of Greater Washington, and congregants can arrange for funerals at participating funeral homes. Rabbi Green is available to officiate at services.
    • Shiva services can be conducted in the homes of members.The congregation has developed its own liturgy for shiva services conducted in houses of mourning.
  • Conversions: Counseling and learning are available for persons considering conversion.  Bet Mishpachah welcomes Jews by choice and their family and friends.  For further information, contact the rabbi.

A great way to celebrate or remember a life cycle event in your life or the life of someone you care about is to sponsor an oneg on Friday night or Kiddush lunch on Saturday afternoon.  To do so email oneg@betmish.org.