1975, founded in Washington, D.C. as the Metropolitan Community Temple Mishpocheh.
1976, host the First International Conference of Gay & Lesbian Jews, convened in response to the UN resolution equating Zionism with racism. The emerging synagogues start this conference as a regular forum for communications and mutual support.
1978, elect our first Board of Directors, begin holding weekly services, and move to the first of a series of rented spaces.
1979, obtain our first Torah – a Holocaust Scroll, on permanent loan from the Westminster Synagogue in London. This scroll belonged to the small, 500-year old Jewish community of Dolni Kounice (Kanitz), in the former Czechoslovakia. This community was destroyed by the Nazis in 1940.
1980, adopt the name Bet Mishpachah – House of Family.
1980, co-found the World Congress of Gay & Lesbian Jews at the Third International Conference of Gay & Lesbian Jews, in San Francisco.
1985, host the Ninth International Conference of the World Congress of Gay & Lesbian Jews.
1991, engage our first part-time rabbi, Bob Saks.
1991, celebrate the purchase of our second Torah scroll. Written in 1917 in Tzarist Russia, it was never mounted on Eitzim Chayim or used by a congregation until we acquired it. Build a new Ark to house our Torah scrolls. The doors of the ark are hand-carved by one of our members and feature a magen david with a lambda in the center.
1991, publish our own Shabbat and festival prayer book, Shavat va-Yinafash (Rest and Be Renewed), in Hebrew and English; the text is gender-neutral in reference to God and gender-inclusive with respect to people. Several other congregations from around the country have chosen to use our siddur for their services.
1992, produce T’filot Nachumim (Prayers of Consolation for a House of Mourning) for use during shiva minyans and memorial services.
1993, a member of the congregation designs and crafts the “Burning Bush” which sits on top of the Ark and serves as our Ner Tamid (Eternal Light)
1997, the historic District of Columbia Jewish Community Center is our new home.
1998, dedicate new “everyday” mantles for our two Torah scrolls. The mantles, designed by a local Judaica artist, feature a rainbow motif and are inscribed with the quotation from Genesis 9:13, "When I see the rainbow, I will remember My covenant."
1998, complete our own five volume High Holy Day machzor, Chadeish Yameinu ("Renew Our Days"), with liturgy for each of the High Holy Day services.
1998, host the Eighth Eastern Regional Conference of the World Congress of GLBT Jews.
2000, engage a second part-time rabbi, Leila Gal Berner. Rabbi Berner is with the congregation through 2004.
2000, dedicate new High Holy Day Torah mantles and Ark curtain. Both are designed by the artist who created our “everyday” mantles. The new mantles are cream colored and trimmed in antique silver and gold braiding. The curtain is sheer with a hand-embroidered, open golden gate design. The mantles and the curtain are inscribed with the phrase, “Hashiveinu Adonai eilecha, v’nashuva” ("Turn us to You, O God, and we shall return” ).
2004, a pair of sterling silver rimonim (Torah finials) is donated to the congregation for our “Russian” Torah scroll.
2009, Rabbi Bob Saks, our guide for eighteen (chai) years, retires in July 2009 and becomes our rabbi emeritus.
2009, engage our new rabbi, Toby Manewith. She serves the congregation through 2012.
2010, receive Mautner Project Healing Works Award.
2011, celebrate our 36th (Double Chai) Anniversary with a Gala Concert at the Washington DC JCC.
2013, engage our new rabbi, Laurie Green and a program coordinator, Sharon Greenbaum