Sharon Kleinbaum’s longtime leadership of Congregation Beth Simchat Torah and her outspoken activism have made her a powerful voice for GLBTQ rights and human rights in America and around the world. Kleinbaum’s activism began in college, protesting for divestment against South Africa. Ordained as a Reconstructionist rabbi in 1990, Kleinbaum became senior rabbi of CBST in New York, the largest gay and lesbian synagogue in the country, in 1992. Speaking out for the rights of gays and lesbians, immigrants, Palestinians, women, and people of color, Kleinbaum was repeatedly arrested and jailed for her beliefs, but was also hailed by the Huffington Post, Newsweek, the Forward, and the Jewish Week in their annual lists of the most influential rabbis in the country. She was part of Mayor Bloomberg’s Commission on GLBTQ Runaway and Homeless Youth, the NYPD’s GLBT Advisory Committee, and Mayor de Blasio’s Transition Committee. When New York ruled in favor of gay marriage, Kleinbaum set up just across the street from the courthouse to offer couples the chance for a religious marriage ceremony.
How to cite this page
Jewish Women's Archive. "Sharon Kleinbaum." (Viewed on February 19, 2017) <https://jwa.org/people/kleinbaum-sharon>.