Congregation Beit Simchat Torah

Forty Years Of ‘Making History’ At CBST

Manhattan’s gay and lesbian synagogue marks a milestone with new illustrated book.

Culture Editor

In what may be the largest Kol Nidrei service in New York City, Congregation Beit Simchat Torah is expected to host about 4,000 people at the Javits Center on Friday night. These services are free of charge, open to all.

At CBST, A Hero’s Welcome for Edith Windsor


At 5 p.m. last Friday, a line of visibly excited people — many decked out in rainbow regalia — gathered on the sidewalk outside Congregation Beit Simchat Torah, the gay and lesbian synagogue in Manhattan.

Rabbi Sharon Kleinbaum, right, welcomed congregant Edith Windsor at Beit Simchat Torah, following the Supreme Court’s DOMA rulin

Sign Of The Times: Gays March, ‘No One Cared’

Staff Writer

Even as the brilliantly sunny Sunday of the Celebrate Israel Parade turned into an overcast and chilly start to the workweek, excitement persisted over the long-sought inclusion of a coalition of organizations representing lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgendered Jews.

LGBT Jews under the banner of Jewish Queer Youth march Sunday. Robert J. Saferstein

In A Move Freighted With Symbolism, CBST Purchases First Home

Midtown space will give city’s gay congregation its first street presence after 38 years hidden from view.
Jewish Week Correspondent

Michael Levine remembers the days in which members of Congregation Beit Simchat Torah, founded by 12 gay men in search of a Jewish connection, met for Friday-night services in the annex of a local church.

By the time Levine joined the congregation, in 1974, its numbers had expanded from 12 to about 100, and the organization was marking its first anniversary. But its members still met in the church, which could provide chairs for the services but little else.

This landmark Cass Gilbert building on West 30th Street will house the nation’s largest LGBT shul. Photo by Michael Datikash
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