Rabbi Sharon Kleinbaum serves as spiritual leader of Congregation Beit Simchat Torah. She was installed as CBST’s first rabbi in 1992, arriving at the height of the AIDS crisis when the synagogue was in desperate need of pastoral care and spiritual leadership. She guided the congregation through a period of loss and change, while addressing social issues of the day and building a strong and deeply spiritual community. Under her leadership as senior rabbi, CBST has become a powerful voice in the movement for equality and justice for people of all sexual orientations, gender identities, and expressions, and a significant force challenging the radical right’s dominance over religious and political life in the United States and the world.
For many years Rabbi Kleinbaum has been ranked by Newsweek magazine among the 50 most influential rabbis in America. In 2012, The Reconstructionist Rabbinical College awarded her their highest honor, the Keter Shem Tov Award.