Frequently Asked Questions About Fabrangen
Fabrangen, meaning “bringing together in joy,” is an independent, participatory, and egalitarian Jewish community, led by its members, that was founded in 1971.
You will be noticed and welcomed! On Shabbat, expect a service in the round with lots of singing, a Torah reading accompanied by a thought-provoking Torah discussion, and time for snacks and socializing afterwards. On the High Holidays, expect a larger group with more formal seating, complete services with lots of singing, and Torah readings and commentary. At all services, there is a creative mix of innovative and traditional worship.
We are Jews by birth and Jews by choice; married and single; interfaith families; LGBT and straight; families with adopted children and families with biological children; raised Reform, Conservative, Orthodox, Reconstructionist, Renewal, or with no affiliation at all.
Absolutely! Everyone is welcome.
Fabrangen does not have a rabbi or cantor as the spiritual leader of our community. However, we do have members who are rabbis and cantors or who are studying to be rabbis.
Fabrangen holds weekly Shabbat services beginning at 9:30 am at 7750 16th Street NW, Washington, DC 20012 (corner of 16th and Kalmia Road NW). Our services are egalitarian, led by members, with full participation of men and women. Services generally end about 12:15 pm. We have kiddush and a light snack after Shabbat services.
Fabrangen West meets at 10 am on the second Saturday of the month in Northern Virginia. Services and Torah reading and discussion are followed by a potluck lunch.
Most weeks, we use the Kol Haneshamah: Shabbat Vehagim, (2nd Edition) prayerbook, a Reconstructionist Prayerbook, even though our community is not affiliated with the Reconstructionist movement. One reason we selected this siddur is that both Hebrew and English prayers are gender neutral. It also contains ample transliteration, explanations, and thoughtful readings.
Approximately one Shabbat each month, we use an alternative siddur —Siddur Eit Ratzon by Joe Rosenstein. This siddur provides a four-column layout — the Hebrew text, translation, transliteration, and commentary – all on the same page.
Once a month on Friday night, we have a potluck dinner at a Fabrangen member’s home. These dinners are generally held in Northwest DC, Bethesda, or Silver Spring. Guests are welcome to come to these dinners and get to know Fabrangeners. The dates and locations of the dinners are posted on the Fabrangen website calendar.
The community reached consensus on the following guidelines: When participating in a Fabrangen Shabbat or holiday service or activity, there is no writing, drawing, or coloring, no cooking and no use of electrical appliances or electronics. Cell phones should be turned off while in the building.
All food at any Fabrangen service or sponsored activity should be dairy/vegetarian/fish. Food does not require a hecksher (kosher-certification label) and does not need to be prepared in a kosher kitchen.
Fabrangen provides a full schedule of High Holiday services each year, led by members of the community. Services are open to all, and no tickets are required. Services are held at 1313 New York Avenue NW, Washington, DC 20005 (we rent space at New York Avenue. Presbyterian Church).
We use the Hadesh Yameinu – Renew Our Days prayerbook for our High Holiday services. It is gender neutral and, together with the High Holiday Companion written by Fabrangen members, provides ample transliterations and explanations.
Yes, our Shabbat services location at 7750 16th Street NW is fully accessible, and so is our High Holidays services location at 1313 New York Avenue NW (we rent space at NY Ave. Presbyterian Church). There is accessible parking behind the building at 7750 16th Street NW. The High Holidays location is in downtown DC and has no parking, but there are many parking garages within a block or two. It is also located just two blocks from Metro Center.
Children are an important part of our community and are invited to participate in all of our activities. We encourage children to be present during services. They often sit with their parents or other adult Fabrangen friends, or read/play quiet games on the floor.
Children’s education programs are offered on High Holidays. Please check the website for more details on the children’s programs.
If you have questions about the children’s programs, please email email@example.com.
Fabrangen does not have a Hebrew school. Some Fabrangen children go to Jewish day school. Others enroll in religious schools at other congregations. These include Ohr Kodesh, Kehila Chadasha, and Adat Shalom (in Maryland) and Washington Hebrew, Adas Israel, and Tifereth Israel (in Washington, DC).
Jewish education for children who are Fabrangen members is supported in multiple ways. One benefit that is provided is access to the Children’s Education Scholarship Fund, which is used to assist families to provide appropriate Jewish educational experiences. For example, the Children’s Education Scholarship Fund has been used for children and teens to attend Jewish summer camp (either residential or day camp), participate in the Havurah Institute or the Aleph Kallah, and for teen group trips to Israel.
Yes, children can have their B’nai Mitzvah at Fabrangen. The community decided that a bar or bat mitzvah at Fabrangen is to be a regular Fabrangen service in which the bar or bat mitzvah child participates. Each family can generally select the date for their child’s B’nai Mitzvah and structure a service that is appropriate for each child. Many members assist the family in locating tutors, dealing with logistics, and helping plan this special day. Fabrangen expects families planning to have a bar or bat mitzvah to attend services for a period of time prior to the event and for the child to become familiar with the service. We do not make Fabrangen available to host a bar or bat mitzvah when that service is the only contact that the child or family has with the community.
Non-Jewish parents may participate in the Bar/Bat Mitzvah of their child. Fabrangen has developed a special blessing for a non-Jewish parent to recite in lieu of the traditional blessing when called to the Torah for an aliyah.
Fabrangen has a three tiered “fair share” dues structure.
REGULAR DUES: $600/year per adult member = $50/month
SUSTAINING DUES: $900/year per adult member = $75/month
LOWER RATE DUES: $240/year per adult member = $20/month
if these options do not fit your personal needs or circumstances, you are welcome to email the Fabrangen Coordinator for a confidential discussion about another dues arrangement.
For more information on our dues structure, see our membership page.
Fabrangen’s budget includes expenses for a part-time coordinator, childcare and teachers on Shabbat and holidays, rent for venues for Shabbat services and High Holidays, and other operating expenses.
Please click on this link to make a donation to Fabrangen.
Dues and all contributions to Fabrangen are tax deductible.
Fabrangen handles its community issues, both short and long term, at monthly Steering Committee meetings. The Steering Committee consists of 8-10 community members. All members are volunteers, except for our coordinator who is an ex officio member, and who is a paid, part-time employee. Any member can serve on the Steering Committee. Meetings are announced in advance and open to all members of the community.
The community makes decisions governing policy, budget, observance, and other matters at Community Meetings, which are held on an as-needed basis. Community decisions are made using the rules of consensus.
Fabrangen employs a Coordinator whose function is to facilitate community business, handle administrative functions, and help channel the energy of the community on ideas that the community’s members have expressed interest in pursuing. The Coordinator is also the point of contact for dealing with Fabrangen’s business matters.
The Announcements email contains information about upcoming Fabrangen services and activities, as well as events in the wider Jewish community. Enter your email below to sign up for the bi-weekly announcements.
Please join us at a service, social event, and/or volunteer for one of our social action projects. If you have questions before you come, please check the Contacts page on this website and email the appropriate person. or you can always email firstname.lastname@example.org. If you would like to donate to support our community, please click here.
Please contact our coordinator at email@example.com.