Dynamic and Inclusive

Many local Jews embrace dynamic and inclusive expressions of Jewish tradition . .

Amy Schwartzman

1998: When Amy Schwartzman became Senior Rabbi of Temple Rodef Shalom, a Reform congregation in Falls Church, Virginia, the congregation became the largest led by a woman rabbi. The Reform movement began ordaining women in 1972, followed by the Conservative movement in 1985.

Courtesy of Temple Rodef Shalom.

Bet Mishpacha Torah scrolls

1975: Founded in 1975 to embrace a diversity of sexual and gender identities, Bet Mishpachah congregation now has several hundred members. Its Torah mantles are decorated with rainbows, a symbol of pride for the gay and lesbian community. They are inscribed with a verse from Genesis 9:13: “When I see the rainbow, I will remember My covenant.”

Photograph by Joel Wind.

Amy Schwartzman
Bet Mishpacha Torah scrolls