The LGBTQ Synagogue / About / Timeline


The history of CBST

  • 1972

    Jacob Gubbay envisions gay synagogue

    While leading a gay seder at the Church of the Holy Apostles, the idea of gay synagogue comes to Jacob Gubbay.

  • 1973

    Twelve attend a Kabbalat Shabbat service 8PM, Feb 9, at the Church of the Holy Apostles in Chelsea.

  • 1974

    First monthly newsletter published in November; 400 copies printed.

  • 1975

    CBST moves to Westbeth in August.

  • 1976

    Isaac Bashevis Singer visits CBST. CBST moves to current Westbeth space. Frank and Leslie hold CBST's first commitment ceremony.

  • 1977

    201 attend International Conference of Gay and Lesbian Jews held at CBST.

  • 1978

    CBST's first Friday Evening Siddur is finished.

  • 1979

    First CBST chorus begins rehearsals; sings at Rosh Hashanah .

  • 1980

    New York City Comptroller Harrison J. Goldin at CBST.

  • 1981

    CBST in joint education program with the Village Temple, the Conservative Synagogue of First Avenue, Derkh Amuno, and Town and Village Synagogue.

  • 1982

    "Diseases That Plague Gays," first newsletter article on AIDS appears in February; 350 attend symposium on gay diseases at CBST. Member Jeffrey Cortland dies of AIDS on October 29.

  • 1983

    Tenth anniversary bash drew 275 attendees. Over 1000 attend High Holidays services.

  • 1984

    CBST is Jewish Week cover story.

  • 1985

    Mayor Ed Koch visits CBST.

  • 1986

    New York City's Stephen Wise Free Synagogue holds community-wide conference on gay and lesbian Jews.

  • 1987

    March on Washington, October 11. Attendance at High Holidays outstrips available space; two sets of services held to accomodate overflow.

  • 1988

    B'nei Jeshurun Rabbi Marshall Meyer speaks at CBST. Renovations planned.

  • 1989

    Israeli Knesset member Shulamit Aloni at CBST. Committees evaluate hiring a rabbi. Renovations completed; 1400 attend High Holidays services.

  • 1990

    Mayor Dinkins speaks at CBST. Board votes to hire rabbi, begins search.

  • 1991

    Ten synagogues hold joint Yom Hashoah service at CBST.

  • 1992

    Rabbi Sharon Kleinbaum installed. Yom Kippur services at Javits Center; 2200 attend.

  • 1993

    Twentieth anniversary celebrated. Bereavement group begins meeting. Rabbi Kleinbaum starts parshat hashavua class and Shavuot all-night study.

  • 1994

    New chorus begins with Joyce Rosenzweig as Director. Gift by William Fern launches Cooperberg-Rittmaster Rabbinical Internship program.

  • 1995

    "The Future of CBST," an open brunch for all members, held in February.

  • 1996

    First annual Shabbat Shira concert. CBST sponsors trip to Jerusalem for city's 3000th anniversary.

  • 1997

    Member deaths from AIDS exceed 100. Rabbi Nancy Fuchs-Kreimer, Professor of Theology at the Reconstructionist Rabbinical College is Scholar-in-Residence at first annual Shabbaton .

  • 1998

    Twenty-fifth anniversary celebration. UJA awards CBST a four-year adult education grant. Rabbi Benay Lappe launches Lehrhaus Judaica program. Rabbi Burton Visotzky, Professor of Midrash at the Jewish Theological Seminary, is CBST's second annual Scholar-in-Residence.

  • 1999

    Kabbalat Service returns to Church of the Holy Apostles. Rabbi Roderick Young becomes first assistant rabbi. Ford Foundation awards grant to enable CBST to hire an Executive Directory. Rabbi Shefa Gold, renowned musician and mystic, is CBST's third Scholar-in-Residence.

  • 2000

    Tel Aviv City Council Member and out lesbian activist Mychal Eden speaks at CBST. More than 3400 attend Yom Kippur services at Javits Center. Ernie Rubinstein, Ph.D., authority on the life and work of Franz Rosenzweig, is CBST's fourth Scholar-in-Residence.

  • 2001

    Amos Gil hired as CBST's first Executive Director. CBST sponsors solidarity mission to Israel; meets with Israeli gay rights activists and Minister of Justice Yossi Beilin. In the wake of the terrorist attack on NYC, 6000 people attend CBST's Yom Kippur services at the Javits Center.

  • 2002

    CBST dedicates its cemetery in Cedar Park, N.J. Rabbi Ayelet S. Cohen from the Jewish Theological Seminary joins CBST.

  • 2003

    Kollel Mispachah launched

  • 2004

    Marriage Clergy Pledge launched

  • 2005

    Listening for the Oboe , a collection of Senior Rabbi Sharon Kleinbaum's selected drashot from her first ten years as spiritual leader of CBST was published and released

  • 2006

    Reimagine Initiative launched

  • 2007

    Rabbi Sharon Kleinbaum named #19 on Newsweek’ s annual 50 Most Influential Rabbis list. She is also the highest ranked woman rabbi

    Pilot edition of new CBST Siddur released

  • 2008

    Rabbi Sharon Kleinbaum named #17 on Newsweek’ s annual 50 Most Influential Rabbis list. She is also the highest ranked woman rabbi

  • 2011

    CBST Acquires first permanent home and begins capital campaign

    The community purchased a 17,000sf home, it's first property, at 130 West 30th Street and began a $16,000,000 capital campaign.

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