Congregation Beit Simchat Torah

New York City, United States

Congregation Beit Simchat Torah

Congregation Beit Simchat Torah ("CBST") is a synagogue located in Manhattan, New York City. It was founded in 1973, and is the world's largest LGBT synagogue. CBST serves Jews of all sexual orientations and gender identities, their families, and their friends. Members commute from as far away as the Bronx and New Jersey. The congregation is led by Senior Rabbi Sharon Kleinbaum and Assistant Rabbi Yael Rapport. It is not affiliated with any denomination or branch of Judaism.

The congregation, founded in 1973 by twelve gay Jewish men led by Jacob Gubbay, originally met in Chelsea's Church of the Holy Apostles and brought its prayer materials to services each week. In 1978 they began renting space in the West Village at 57 Bethune Street, in the Westbeth Artists Community residential-artistic complex, for offices, a Hebrew school, and a sanctuary with a capacity of 300 which they use for Saturday morning services, while continuing to hold Friday night services in the church. In addition, the synagogue rents the Jacob Javits Convention Center for Yom Kippur services, which draw over 4,000 people.

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