Rabbi Sharon Kleinbaum, ordained 1990, has placed social and political activism combined with an equal commitment to prayer, pastoral counseling and study at the heart of her work as a congregational rabbi. Since 1992, she has served as spiritual leader of Congregation Beit Simchat Torah (CBST) in New York City – the world’s largest LGBTQ synagogue, for people of all sexual orientations and gender identities. She is a leading social justice and human rights activist. Under her leadership as senior rabbi, CBST has become a powerful voice 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 around the world. She currently serves as a Commissioner on New York City Commission on Human Rights and on the New York City Mayor’s Clergy Advisory Council. She has served on the New York City Commission on LGBTQ Runaway and Homeless Youth. Early in her career, when HIV/AIDS was devastating life in New York City, she became a pioneer in Jewish pastoral care for people with AIDS. Before coming to CBST, Rabbi Kleinbaum served as the Director of Congregational Relations at the Religious Action Center of Reform Judaism in Washington D.C. An ardent Yiddishist, Rabbi Kleinbaum was the Assistant Director of the National Yiddish Book Center in Amherst, Massachusetts. Recognized by Newsweek magazine as one of the 50 most influential rabbis in America, Rabbi Kleinbaum has been named one of the nation’s Top 10 Women Religious Leaders and among of the 15 Inspiring LGBT Religious Leaders by the Huffington Post. Profound faith is the bedrock for all her work. Among the honors she has received: The Reconstructionist Rabbinical College: Keter Shem Tov Award, 2012; Jews for Racial and Economic Justice (JFREJ): Rabbi Marshall T. Meyer Risk Taker Award, 2014; T’ruah: Rabbinic Call for Human Rights: Rabbinic Human Rights Hero Award, 2016; The Parity Award: Lifetime of Activism and Leadership, 2016; and the Islamic Center at New York University: Visionary Award, 2017.