Welcome from Rabbi Goldsmith
Shalom! My name is Rabbi Michelle “Mina” Goldsmith. Most people here at CBE call me Rabbi Mina.
Though I just joined the Congregation Beth Emeth family in July 2013, I already think of CBE and Northern Virginia as home. Hopefully you will as well.
Before joining CBE I served congregations in Birmingham, Alabama, Sarasota, Florida, and Jacksonville, Florida. During my years of study I had the pleasure of studying both at the Jewish Theological Seminary of America and at the American Jewish University, the two flagship institutions of the Conservative Movement in the United States.
Other than my family, there is nothing more I love more than being a rabbi. It is a privilege to share the beauty of our tradition with my congregants, to walk with them during the pivotal moments of their life, and to share in their spiritual journeys. It is a special delight to serve at CBE, where the people are eager to learn, welcoming of others, quick to volunteer and help the synagogue run efficiently in various ways, and exude a general happiness with the congregation that is infectious.
Moreover, at CBE our leadership, both lay and professional, all strive to live up to the name of our institution – a “house of truth.” What is the truth? That each of us is an imperfect individual, searching for meaning and connection to our families, our community, and God, and that CBE is a place where we search together, with the Jewish tradition, community, text, and ritual as our guide.
Below you can find a little more detailed biography and read some of my recent sermons. Doing those things will help you learn about both me and the congregation. But the best way to do that is to come in and visit – at services, class, or a program. I hope to see you soon.
Recent Sermons and Thoughts
Meet Rabbi Mina
Rabbi Michelle “Mina” Goldsmith joined Congregation Beth Emeth as Rabbi on July 1, 2013. Previously, Rabbi Mina served as the rabbi at Temple Beth-El in Birmingham, Alabama from July 2009-June 2013. During her time there she helped revitalize the adult education program, revamped the Confirmation curriculum, was instrumental in the congregation becoming a constituent congregation of the Institute for Southern Jewish Life, and, together with the Cantor and Education Administrator, created a unique Kabbalat Shabbat service for congregants of all ages called Shabbat Ruach.
Rabbi Mina received her rabbinic ordination and M.A. from the Conservative Movement’s flagship school, The Jewish Theological Seminary of America, in 1998. Prior to that, she earned her Master of Hebrew Letters in 1994 and her B.A. in 1993 from the American Jewish University in Los Angeles. In June 2013 Rabbi Mina completed a certificate program called the Rabbinic Management Institute at the American Jewish University, designed to enhance leadership skills and aspects of non-profit management critical to the success of rabbis in 21st century America.
Before assuming the pulpit in Birmingham, Rabbi Mina had previously served in two congregations in Florida. She first served as the Associate Rabbi at Beth Shalom Congregation in Jacksonville and then as the Associate Rabbi at Temple Beth Sholom in Sarasota. In each community she was deeply involved in the educational programs of the synagogue, helping to enhance the vitality of the religious schools, creating well-attended adult classes and family learning services, and developing a series of self-guided Jewish tours of local attractions such as zoos, Botanical Gardens, and science museums. She looks forward to bringing some of those programs to CBE.
While in Florida, Rabbi Mina served as the President of the Sarasota-Manatee Rabbinical Association. In Birmingham she was involved in the broader community and served for over three years as the Jewish representative for the University of Alabama at Birmingham (UAB) Campus Ministry Association. A prayer written by her appeared in Rabbi Nina Beth Cardin’s book Tears of Sorrow, Seeds of Hope, a spiritual guide for those suffering from infertility and pregnancy loss.
Rabbi Mina recently finished her second year on the Rabbinical Assembly’s Resolutions Committee and was integral in the writing of the most recent resolution on Reproductive Freedom. Rabbi Mina was personally invited to attend the Jewish Heritage Month celebration at the White House in May 2011. She plays guitar and enjoys leading congregants and students in song. Rabbi Mina and her husband Jeff are the proud parents of four children - Aviella, Rafaella, Jonah and Shiah.