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Interim Rabbi Bruce Aft 

It is with great excitement that we welcome Rabbi Bruce Aft as our interim rabbi for the 2021-22 year. Rabbi Aft joins us on August 1 and will be with us for the year while we continue our search for a new permanent rabbi. As you can see in his bio below, Rabbi Aft supports a variety of organizations throughout the area but he will be working closely with us every week.

From a services perspective, Rabbi Aft will be with us at least 2 weekends every month and we will use the other weekends to bring in a variety of rabbis, interns, other invited guests, and lay leaders to lead our services and provide different perspectives. Our talented member volunteers will continue to lead Wednesday and Sunday minyanim. Rabbi Aft will support our celebrations and life cycle events and provide pastoral care and consultation to our membership.

We look forward to the Rabbi working with our youngsters, including our Bar and Bat Mitzvah students and our BEECCers, and our adults throughout the year. I personally am very excited to be able to work with Rabbi Aft while our rabbi search team continues the process of finding us a new permanent rabbi.

Rabbi Emeritus Bruce D. Aft has been the spiritual leader at Adat Reyim in Springfield, VA from 1991 until June, 2020.  He grew up in the Chicago suburbs and developed an early love for Judaism — and the Chicago White Sox.  He played on the University of Illinois varsity reserve team for a few years, and then turned his attention to the rabbinate and social work, receiving an MSW from Temple University, ordination from the Reconstructionist Rabbinical College, and eventually an honorary Doctor of Divinity degree. 

Now in retirement, Rabbi Aft is a visiting scholar at George Mason University in the Jimmy and Rosalynn Carter School for Peace and Conflict Resolution. He will also be working with the Jewish students at GMU and lectures for the Learning and Retirement Institute at GMU. He is an adjunct faculty member in the religious studies department and honors college at GMU.  He is the President of the community board for Operation Understanding DC. He also serves as a visiting lecturer at Greenspring Village and a Chaplain for the Jewish Social Service Agency.

Rabbi Aft will also continue to have a part-time pulpit, serving small congregations in the South through the Institute for Southern Jewish Life and just completed serving as interim rabbi for Congregation Sha'are Shalom in Leesburg, VA.
Over the past 30 years Rabbi Aft was active with BBYO and helped staff March of the Living.  He served as President of the Board of Jewish Education of Greater Washington and was a board member for the Federation.  Rabbi Bruce and his wife Sue will be volunteering for the Washington Nationals Youth Baseball Academy where he has not yet been offered a contract to pitch.  In retirement he and Sue look forward to visiting their four children and six grandchildren much more often. 

Rabbi Aft can be reached at

Rabbi Bruce's Blog

Check out Rabbi Bruce's blog, with weekly messages and more! Here are links to the last few posts:


Tue, May 24 2022 23 Iyyar 5782