Welcome to CBST

CBST is a unique synagogue and organization, providing a spiritual community, a home for ritual, a house of action in pursuit of social justice, and a place of learning for all ages.


We are a powerful voice within Judaism in the world-wide discourse on the nature of religious community and in the movement to secure basic civil rights for gay, lesbian, bisexual, and transgender people in the United States and throughout the world.

Congregation Beit Simchat Torah (CBST) is a vibrant spiritual community and a progressive voice within Judaism.  Founded in 1973, CBST attracts and welcomes gay men, lesbians, bisexuals, transgender, queer and straight individuals and families who share common values.  Passionate, provocative, and deeply Jewish, CBST champions a Judaism that rejoices in diversity, denounces social injustice wherever it exists, and strives for human rights for all people.

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Click here for articles about CBST and current hot-button issues of community interest

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Our community is your community. Meet the people who keep our congregation going. We are a diverse group of religious leaders, rabbinical and cantorial interns, professional staff, and volunteers.

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Since 1973, Congregation Beit Simchat Torah has been a home and haven for LGBTQ Jews and our allies in and around New York City. A summary of our community's journey follows. For an in-depth understanding, we offer our 40th anniversary book, "Changing Lives, Making History: CBST - The First Forty Years" written by Rabbi Ayelet S. Cohen with Foreword by Rabbi Sharon Kleinbaum, a 320-page lavishly illustrated full color hard cover volume. To support the CBST Historic Archives, to order a book, or to contribute to place books in libraries and organizations around the world, go to  

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