• Jews of NY team

Rabbi Sharon Kleinbaum, spiritual leader of LGBTQ+ synagogue: CBST

Updated: Jun 16

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Rabbi Sharon Kleinbaum serves as spiritual leader of f New York City's LGBTQ synagogue Congregation Beit Simchat Torah.


She was installed as CBST’s first rabbi in 1992, arriving at the height of the AIDS crisis when the synagogue was in desperate need of pastoral care and spiritual leadership. She guided the congregation through a period of loss and change, while addressing social issues of the day and building a strong and deeply spiritual community.


Under her leadership as Senior Rabbi, CBST has become a powerful voice in the movement for equality and justice for people of all sexual orientations, gender identities and expressions and a significant force challenging the radical right’s dominance over religious and political life in the United States and around the world.  Rabbi Kleinbaum has long been involved in the fight for human rights for all people.  For many years Rabbi Kleinbaum has been ranked by Newsweek among the 50 most influential rabbis in America.


Rabbi Kleinbaum was appointed by Senator Schumer to the United States Commission on International Religious Freedom, is a Commissioner on New York City's Commission on Human Rights, and serves on Mayor de Blasio's Faith Based Advisory Council.


She was recently appointed to NY Governor Cuomo's Interfaith Council to make recommendations about how to open houses of worship safely as the COVID-19 pandemic continues.

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