One Column

The Month of Elul 5780

In year 5780 / 2020, the Month of Elul begins at sundown on Thursday, August 20 and concludes at sundown on Friday, September 18. 

Skip down to Elul Classes & Programs: Click Here

Listen to Psalm 27 sung by the CBST Community Chorus at past High Holy Days: Psalm 27

Register for access to CBST’s 5781 High Holy Days observance, always open to all, always free of charge: High Holy Days

Read an Elul message from the CBST Clergy & Staff below: Click Here

"Elul (blue tones)" by Karin Foreman, karinforeman.com

August 20, 2020 / 30 Av 5780

אַחַ֤ת שָׁאַ֣לְתִּי מֵֽאֵת־יְהוָה֮ אוֹתָ֪הּ אֲבַ֫קֵּ֥שׁ שִׁבְתִּ֣י בְּבֵית־יְ֭הוָה כָּל־יְמֵ֣י חַיַּ֑י לַחֲז֥וֹת בְּנֹֽעַם־יְ֝הוָ֗ה וּלְבַקֵּ֥ר בְּהֵיכָלֽוֹ׃
One thing I ask, only this do I seek: to dwell in your house all the days of my life,
to behold your loveliness, in the light of the temple dawn.
-from Psalm 27, the Psalm for Elul, translation from CBST Siddur B'chol Levavcha

Tonight, as we make our way into the 5781 season of awe, our desires could be as simple as this single line of the Psalms relates: we want to be in the presence of holiness, we long to experience loveliness and light.

The Hebrew month of Elul has always held an essential place in the Jewish calendar, and this year of all years it seems even more necessary. Elul is a month of preparation, of spiritual discernment and direction.

At CBST, we prepare for the upcoming Days of Awe, the High Holy Days of 5781, with unique opportunities for study, connection, and prayer. Prepare yourself for this season, individually and as part of a community. Fill your home with the smell of fresh baked challah, introduce yourself to our new Machzor with the guidance of our Clergy and Music Team, deepen your understanding of what "repentance" means in Jewish thought, set up your home space to be a house of prayer for S'lichot, Rosh Hashanah, and Yom Kippur.

Through classes, workshops, services, and social justice work, you are invited on this journey towards a year of goodness and sweetness that is in our hands to create. Elul brims with possibility; a new year is dawning.


Rabbi Kleinbaum signature

Rabbi Sharon Kleinbaum
Senior Rabbi

Rabbi Yael Rapport
Associate Rabbi

Joyce Rosenzweig
Music Director

And the CBST Clergy & Staff


Elul Classes & Programs


Psalm Study with Rabbi Kleinbaum
Mondays through Thursdays, 9:45 - 10:45 am
Join CBST's Senior Rabbi, Sharon Kleinbaum, for an in-depth study of the Book of Psalms. Starting on Monday, August 24th, we will take an in-depth look at Psalm 27, the Psalm for the Season of Repentance, which is recited daily from the beginning of the month of Elul through Hoshanah Rabbah. We will read the Psalm in Hebrew and various English translations, and then class participants are invited to share their own interpretations through writing, song and the visual arts. Once we have studied Psalm 27, we will return to the psalm-by-psalm study begun in March, at Psalm 11. No previous knowledge of psalms is necessary; some familiarity with Hebrew is useful but not necessary. If you are intending to attend this class regularly, please email Jkatz@cbst.org to be placed on the class email list, and join the class Facebook page. No registration is required, but a contribution at your discretion to Adult Education at CBST is appreciated. Click here to make a contribution towards Psalms Study. 
To participate via ZOOM click this link on your computer: https://us02web.zoom.us/j/513468144
OR join by phone (audio only), call
 +1 646 876 9923 US (New York);
when prompted, enter Meeting ID  513 468 144


DAILY: Rambam (Maimonides)'s Hilchot Teshuva - The Laws of Repentance with Rabbi Moskowitz 
Sundays through Fridays, 8:30 to 8:45 am, from Fri, Aug 21 through Fri, Sept 18 - The Month of Elul 
Elul is the time for us to appreciate all of God's beautiful creations and recognize that God, the Creator, is even more beautiful. Elul is an opportunity to reflect, push ourselves, and reinvest. As we prepare for the High Holy Days, CBST's Scholar-in-Residence Rabbi Mike Moskowitz leads a daily 15-minute Meditation to be streaming live from the CBST Facebook Page. A recording will be immediately available in the CBST Facebook Videos section archive. Photo: Harold Levine


CBST Members' Town Hall: 
How CBST Will Observe the Yamim Noraim / High Holy Days This Year.

Monday, Aug 24, 6:00 - 7:00 pm
Watch previous Town Hall meetings here. For High Holy Days, you can purchase the Machzor: Lev Shalem: Rosh Hashanah and Yom Kippur directly from the publisher.  Photo: Ira Rosenblum


Round Challah Baking & Chopped Liver Class
Thursday, Aug 27, 6:00 pm
Watch the video recording here and view the recipes here. CBST Member and Jeffrey A. Miller Catering chef-owner Jeffrey Miller leads a round challah baking class and chopped liver cooking lesson! Jeffrey will be using his mother’s chopped liver recipe! Annette Miller, z”l, was a beloved and long-time member of CBST. Rabbi Yael Rapport will offer teaching on Jewish food culture and the role of these traditional foods. Read this Welcome Letter from Jeff for an introduction and details on getting prepared. For a list of ingredients and step-by-step instructions click here to view the Round Challah Recipe and the Chopped Liver Recipe (both Chicken & Vegetarian options included!). For more information on Jewish food culture: Visit Tablet Magazine's 100 Most Jewish Foods for an interactive overview with a collection of articles, and read Challah in the Round by Ruth Heiges at RitualWell for information on the tradition of eating Round Challah. Photo Credit


Meet the Machzor:  CBST's High Holy Day Prayer Book
Monday, Aug 31, 6:00-7:00pm, with Rabbi Sharon Kleinbaum - watch 
Monday, Sept 7 (Labor Day), 6:00-7:00pm, with Rabbi Sharon Kleinbaum - watch
Monday, Sept 14, 6:00-7:00pm, with Music Director Joyce Rosenzweig and Cantorial Intern Sam Rosen - watch

On Aug 31 and Sept 7, Rabbi Sharon Kleinbaum will teach about the Machzor we will use during the High Holy Day services this year. And on Sept 14, Music Director Joyce Rosenzweig and Cantorial Intern Sam Rosen will present "Music of the High Holy Days." You can purchase the Machzor: Lev Shalem: Rosh Hashanah and Yom Kippur directly from the publisher. The regular version is temporarily out of stock, but you can still get a large print edition: http://bit.ly/LargePrintMachzor, or a digital copy: http://bit.ly/DigitalMachzor 


"Prepare Me to Be a Sanctuary" - Watch here
Thursday, September 3rd, 6:00 pm - 7:00 pm
Aligning our homes and our hearts for the High Holy Days. This Elul season, how do we imbue our spaces with a sense of the sacred? What kinds of rituals and creative expressions can we utilize to make the place where we dwell into the space where we pray? Rabbi Rapport leads this workshop investigating Jewish traditions of creativity in holy places, including visual meditation, artistic expression, and sensory add-ons to Jewish ritual. Photo credit: The Tasman Center for Jewish Creativity


S'lichot Class and Service
Saturday, Sept 12, 9:00 pm class / 10:00 pm  service - watch here
Our evening opens with an in-depth study, led by Rabbi Rapport, on the meaning of S'lichot itself and the role these communal prayers of forgiveness have played in Jewish tradition across the world. The late night, candle-lit service that is led by Rabbi Sharon Kleinbaum, Music Director Joyce Rosenzweig, Cantorial Intern Sam Rosen, and Larry Kay envelopes both the personal and the communal; the work is spiritual, emotional, and intellectual. The music of the High Holy Days prepares us to open our own gates of teshuvah/repentance. All are welcome. 
Photo by Patrice Ruel taken last year on S'lichot at our 30th Street Sanctuary. This year, we will observe online.
Join Zoom Meeting: https://us02web.zoom.us/j/81111288823
Meeting ID: 811 1128 8823
Call-in: +1 646 876 9923 (New York)

Zoom Instructions & Etiquette


HIGH HOLY DAYS 5781 / 2020

The High Holy Days frame a uniquely intimate, yet communal experience of holiness in our lives. This year, given the realities of the COVID-19 world, it will not be safe to hold services in person. We will share the Days of Awe as an international CBST community online, creating beautiful and meaningful spiritual experiences. 

CLICK HERE for full information

Read the High Holy Days MESSAGE from
Rabbi Sharon Kleinbaum,
Board President Gregg Passin, and
Executive Director Yolanda Potasinski

Photo: Harold Levine

NER TAMID (Eternal Light):  CBST preserves our cherished traditions as well as our innovations - the bold pursuit of social justice, inspiring religious observance, pastoral care, educational programs, and social activities that serve our diverse community. Legacy gifts—bequests, trusts, annuities, retirement and insurance benefactor plans, gifts of real estate, and the like—significantly enhance our ability to implement all that we stand for and strive for. You can leave a lasting legacy and create a meaningful tribute. Also consider a Charitable Gift Annuity offered in collaboration with UJA-Federation of NY (offering tax benefits now, and lifetime income). EMAIL giving@cbst.org to advise us that you have remembered CBST in your estate plans and approve acknowledgement as a Ner Tamid in the Yom Kippur publication.  Learn more...

Watch videos and read drashot from past High Holy Day services.

Listen to a sample from our High Holy Days CD, "Return Again, Hashivenu"
Achat Sha'alti, Israel Katz, born 1930, sung by the CBST Community Chorus


ONGOING at CBST through Elul and beyond....

Connecting in Community
Fridays, 3:00-4:00pm via Zoom 
with Cooperberg-Rittmaster Rabbinical Fellow Deborah Megdal
In these challenging times, we show up for each other with an open heart and loving presence. Join Cooperberg-Rittmaster Rabbinical Fellow Deborah Megdal for a short text study and discussion in small groups, as we transition into Shabbat. Newcomers and “drop-ins” always welcome! No registration required. Fridays, 3pm-4pm. 
Registration is not required. Zoom: https://us02web.zoom.us/j/256347787
Meeting ID: 256 347 787 Call-in: +1 646 876 9923 (New York)
Mute your device. Need tech help? Text 646-450-3556

Kabbalat Shabbat Services
Fridays, 6:30 pm
Livestreamed throughout the year via the CBST Facebook Page. 

Shabbat Morning Services
Saturdays, 9:30 am
Via Zoom throughout the year (check the CBST calendar for details, including time), and also livestreamed via the CBST Facebook Page. 

Saturdays, 9:00 pm service followed by program at 9:30 pm
Zoom: https://zoom.us/j/654880356
Meeting ID: 654 880 356  Call-in: +1 646 876 9923 (New York) 

Stargaze Candle

Mishpachah Monday! Virtual Dinner
Mondays, 5:00 pm
Join a weekly bring-your-own dinner or snack every Monday evening at 5:00pm with Rabbi Marisa James. Mishpachah is a CBST social and cultural group, diverse in its membership and informal in nature, attracting those over the age of 55 while welcoming all for a truly inter-generational experience. The group's goals are building friendship, fun, networking and mutual support. All are welcome!
On Computer: https://us02web.zoom.us/j/513521023
On Phone: +1 646 876 9923 (New York)   Meeting ID: 513 521 023

Living Successfully with HIV/AIDS
Tuesdays, 6:00 pm Register to receive Zoom info. 
This supportive social gathering–shmooze with Rabbi Marisa James is an opportunity to share stories and compare notes about what it means to be living successfully with HIV/AIDS. Sessions led by Scott A. Kramer, LCSW-R, ACSW, for adults of any age. Questions? Email Jesse at TalkHIV@cbst.org

This project was funded by the New York City Department of Health and Mental Hygiene through a contract with Public Health Solutions.

Sanctuary at CBST: Pro Se Immigration Legal Clinic
In partnership with Seeking Asylum and Finding Empowerment (SAFE) and New Sanctuary Coalition (NSC), CBST offers you the opportunity to volunteer and make a significant difference for immigrants and asylym seekers facing an increasingly complex process (now working entirely online). Contact Rabbi Marisa James, CBST Director of Social Justice Programming or Noah Habeeb, Clinic Coordinator. If you're a lawyer, contact Lee Jason Goldberg.  

Resistance: Calls & Cards meets Democracy Action Team 
Thursdays, 12:30 - 1:15 pm 
This weekly advocacy program provides you with info to contact elected officials and other key figures, to ensure vital political and social justice work as Americans and progressive Jews. Address issues via email, text, phone, and snail mail letter and post cards to impact voter protection/access/registration/turnout; refugee protections; environmental protection; common sense gun laws; ending mass incarceration; education reform; healthcare; and the fight against rising antisemitism, racism, and bigotry in all forms.  Zoom via computer: https://us02web.zoom.us/j/87441818544  Meeting ID: 874 4181 8544   Call-in: +1 646 876 9923 (New York)

Programming for Families with Children
Alef-Bet Shabbat - interactive Shabbat morning services for babies, toddlers, and preschoolers
Aggadah Adventures - innovative immersive theater for the very young educational experiences
(significantly funded by the Covenant Foundation)
Limmud b'Shabbat Grades K thru 12/Teen Track - registration is now open

Zoom Instructions & Etiquette


Ask the FDA to stop the ban on blood & plasma donations by men who have had sex with men

Copy and paste this text into a document and include your information and signature. If you want, add a line or two to make it personal! 

U.S. Food & Drug Administration
White Oak Campus
10903 New Hampshire Ave.
Silver Spring, MD 20993

Your name
Your street address
Your city, state, and ZIP code

To Whom It May Concern:

My name is ____________________ and I'm writing to ask the FDA to stop the ban on blood and plasma donations by men who have had sex with men within the past three months, per the FDA's updated guidance on April 2, 2020 (found at bit.ly/FDAbloodguidance).

Men who have had sex with men, many of whom identify as part of the LGBTQ community, have been disproportionately affected by the HIV/AIDS crisis, and know what it is to live through a pandemic.

With the current, continuing COVID-19 pandemic, and subsequent decrease in blood donations, I ask that men who have had sex with men be treated as equal citizens, able to donate blood and blood components during this unprecedented time without having to abstain from sex for three months in order to be of service to their communities and to their country.

I've read that blood plasma from those who have survived COVID-19 may be particularly useful to medical researchers as we search for a vaccine and/or cure for COVID-19. That's why it's more important than ever for men who have had sex with men, who have also survived COVID-19, be able to donate their plasma without having to abstain from sex for three months.

It is deeply unfair to ask this segment of the population for sexual abstinence when it is not asked of others who are not men who have had sex with men.

In conclusion, please end the ban on blood and plasma donations by men who have had sex with men within the past three months. I would very much appreciate a written response at the address above.

Thank you for your time.




Sam Rosen, Cantorial Intern

Sam Rosen is a native of Sugar Land, Texas. In 2012, he completed Bachelor’s degrees in Music (Ethnomusicology) and Jewish Studies from the University of Texas at Austin. After five years in Austin, he moved to New York City to complete a Master’s degree in Jewish History at the Jewish Theological Seminary of America. During this time, he became an active member of CBST, participating in the renowned CBST Chorus for three years. He is a fourth-year cantorial student in the Debbie Friedman School of Sacred Music at the Hebrew Union College-Jewish Institute of Religion. Sam was honored to serve The Community Synagogue in Port Washington, NY for his first student internship. He is excited to serve and share his passion for Jewish music and prayer with the CBST community!


Important Resources for Everyone in the Time of COVID-19

Important Resources for Everyone in the Time of COVID-19 

Last updated: June 3, 2020

The pandemic creates new challenges for all of us, medical, logistical, legal, and emotional. CBST wants to help you find resources you need in this difficult time. We will work to keep this list of resources up to date. One way you can help is by sharing your resources with the community. If you have resources to suggest, please email Judy Ribnick (jribnick@cbst.org). 

This guide currently contains information on (1) Mental/Spiritual Health Hotlines, (2) Official Information and Updates, (3) Wills, Trusts and Estate Planning, and Legal Protections, (4) Funeral Resources, (5) Unemployment Insurance, and (6) Food Resources.

Mental and Spiritual Well-being Hotlines and Resources:

  • Institute for Jewish Spirituality Resources from IJS to help respond to these tense and challenging times:
  • FREE Daily Online Meditation Sit  |  FREE Weekly Torah Study
  • Gift of Awareness Online Course  |  FREE Jewish Meditation Starter Kit
  • NYC Well – Talk. Text. Chat. 24/7  NYC Well is there to listen and to help, with problems like stress, depression, anxiety, or drug and alcohol use. For you or someone you care for. NYC Well is your connection to free, confidential mental health support. Speak to a counselor via phone, text, or chat and get access to mental health and substance use services, in more than 200 languages, 24/7/365.
  • RUACH: Jewish Emotional and Spiritual Support Need someone to talk to? We are a 100% volunteer-run initiative made up of therapists, social workers, rabbis, chaplains, and providers-in-training offering support during the COVID-19 pandemic. Caregivers span the spectrum of Jewish identity and practice, and we have providers who specialize in LGBTQ+, multi-faith, & accessible care. If you need free support, fill out this form and you will be matched with a caregiver for a 30-minute call. Your caregiver will reach out to you within 48 hours [Mon.-Fri.].
  • New York State COVID-19 Emotional Support Hotline New Yorkers can call the COVID-19 Emotional Support Hotline at 1-844-863-9314 for mental health counseling.

Official Information and Updates:

  • New York State COVID-19 Updates: Follow regular updates on the web from New York State, including useful health and policy information such as mobile testing sites and current stay-at-home recommendations. For other or more urgent questions, call New York State COVID-19 Hotline at 1-888-364-3065.
  •  CDC (Centers for Disease Control & Prevention) Most up-to-date information about the novel coronavirus symptoms, treatment, and spread in the United States. [The CDC remains an important source of information, but CBST is concerned about how the White House political agenda has affected some CDC recommendations.] Text COVID to 692-692 to get regular updates on the latest developments with COVID-19.
  • Met Council resource center on coronavirus Met Council is America’s largest Jewish charity dedicated to serving the needy and has many resources about unemployment, SNAP, and other benefits.
  • LGBTQ Coronavirus Resources from NYC Unity Project - Generation NYC
  • A fairly comprehensive listing of important NYC coronavirus links from THE CITY, a nonprofit, nonpartisan, digital news platform dedicated to hard-hitting reporting that serves the people of New York City.
  • NYC coronavirus crisis resources from City Lights. Using investigative journalism, City Limits exists to inform democracy and equip citizens to create a more just city.
  • HELP NOW NYC (NYC Government) Find more ways that you can give or receive help.

Legal Advice on Wills, Trusts and Estate Planning, and Legal Protections:

If you are an LGBTQ or LGBTQ-friendly lawyer and want to be added to our list, please email Tasha Calhoun at tcalhoun@cbst.org.

  1. Judith E. Turkel, Esq., Howard M. Forman, Esq. - Wills, Trusts and Estates, Family Law and Real EstateTurkel, Forman, & de la Vega, LLP304 Park Avenue South, New York, NY 10010(212) 353-2200 // jturkel@turkelforman.com, hforman@turkelforman.com // turkelforman.com
  2. Carol Buell, Esq. - Weiss, Buell, & Bell, 350 Fifth Avenue, Suite 2604, New York, NY 10118(212) 967-5710 // cbuell@wbblaw.com // carollbuelllaw.com/
  3. Elizabeth Deutsch, Esq., Second Parent Adoptions, Wills, Living Wills with Medical Health Care Proxy, Powers of Attorney17 Burroughs Way, Maplewood, NJ 07040917-655-4971 // EDeutsch2001@verizon.net 
  4. Leslie Deutsch, Esq., Second Parent Adoptions, Wills, Living Wills with Medical Health Care Proxy, Powers of Attorney19 Rynda Road, Maplewood, NJ 07040917-355-5638 // LSDeutsch2003@yahoo.com 
  5. Noemi Masliah, Masliah Firm, Immigration Law - 225 Broadway, New York, NY 10007(212) 227-9390 // https://themasliahfirm.com/ // Noemi.Masliah@themasliahfirm.com 
  6. Ralph Randazzo, Esq., Elder Law - 475 Park Avenue South, Suite 2100, New York, NY 10016(631) 673 4998 // ralph@randazzolaw.com 
  7. Richard Tesler, Esq., Estate Planning - 41 West 72nd Street, New York, NY 10023(212) 362-6961 // Richtesler@aol.com
  8. Jillian T. Weiss, Law Office of Jillian T. Weiss, P.C. - 527 Hudson Street, P.O. Box 20169, New York, NY 10014(845) 709-3237 // jweiss@jtweisslaw.com // https://jtweisslaw.com

Funeral Resources:

If you would like to obtain information about purchasing a plot in CBST's cemetery, please contact Yolanda Potasinski (ypotasinski@cbst.org) and Chaz Macrina (cmacrina@cbst.org).

Unemployment Insurance:

  • Unemployment insurance fact sheet CBST member Hugh Baran has offered to talk with our members who have questions or are seeking help with unemployment insurance. You can contact him here. 
  • Educational Alliance Employment Services, employment and career development services to address the needs of the communities of the Lower East Side, East Village, and greater Manhattan.

Food Resources:

  • Invisible Hands Deliver: Local NYC 20-somethings will pick up your groceries, pharmacy needs, etc. and deliver to your door for free, throughout 5 boroughs, greater NYC area. You can pay them in cash or call to pay the store directly. 
  • Mazon: Online state-by-state list of resources for both free food pickup and delivery (food banks, meals on wheels, etc). Possibly more to come.
  • SelfHelp selfhelp.net “For those in need of meals at home, we have made referrals to a home-delivered meals provider.” Currently considering everyone over 60 as homebound. info@selfhelp.net; West Side, Project Pilot; East Side, case management; Downtown, neighborhood house; Department of Aging contract with Meals of Wheels
  • God’s Love We Deliver: Home-delivered meals for those with major health challenges (HIV/AIDS, cancer, etc.). Participation requires doctor confirmation of eligibility. Delivery in all five boroughs and beyond.

Finally, see this list of NYC mutual aid groups and coronavirus resources for more information, including campaigns and actions you can join and places where you can donate time and/or money as you are able.


CBST's Summer 5780/2020 Lehrhaus Judaica Adult Learning Classes – Zoom Info

Classes run for eight consecutive weeks beginning June 29 and concluding the week of August 17. Questions? Contact Jesse
Click here for class recordings. Having tech difficulties? Text the CBST Tech Support number: 646-450-3556.

Hebrew Language Students!
Please take a moment to complete this brief survey about language classes and your preferences for next semester! https://bit.ly/LehrhausHebrewSurvey

Mishnah Brachot - How Do We Pray with Rabbi Atara Cohen will be offering a make-up class for the class that was missed during the power outage on Wednesday, August 26 (same Zoom info as usual). 

All Hebrew Classes Taught by Miya Rotstein, CBST Educator. Hebrew Language proficiency questions? Email Miya.

Hebrew "Alef" - Tuesdays & Thursdays, 9 am
 For those who never studied Hebrew or need a "refresher." Learn to read Hebrew and basic prayerbook vocabulary. This class will use the book “Aleph Isn't Tough: An Introduction to Hebrew for Adults, Book 1” which you can order here. Resources will be provided to those waiting on their copy to arrive, or for those experiencing financial hardship.
Add this class to your calendar, so you get a reminder (with the Zoom info)!
Join Zoom Meeting: https://us02web.zoom.us/j/82241786310
Meeting ID: 822 4178 6310
Call-in: +1 646 876 9923 (New York)

Hebrew "Bet" - Mondays & Wednesdays, 11 am
Advanced Beginners: 
For those who can read letters and vowels and are able to complete the Hebrew Bet Class Self-Assessment. Increase your vocabulary and grammar through prayerbook and biblical texts. This class will use the book “Aleph Isn't Enough: Hebrew for Adults Book 2” which you can order here. Resources will be provided to those waiting on their copy to arrive, or for those experiencing financial hardship.
Add this class to your calendar, so you get a reminder (with the Zoom info)!
Join Zoom Meeting: https://us02web.zoom.us/j/87002506984
Meeting ID: 870 0250 6984
Call-in: +1 646 876 9923 (New York)

Hebrew "Gimmel" - Tuesdays & Thursdays, 6 pm
 For those who can sight-read Hebrew words and recognize basic prayerbook root words and are able to complete the Hebrew Gimmel Class Self-Assessment. Increase your vocabulary and exposure to grammar, poetry, and liturgical texts.
Add this class to your calendar, so you get a reminder (with the Zoom info)!
Join Zoom Meeting: https://us02web.zoom.us/j/84729272017
Meeting ID: 847 2927 2017
Call-in: +1 646 876 9923 (New York)

The following classes are open to those of any skill level or background. Texts will be provided in original Hebrew and translation. Both classes taught by Rabbi Atara Cohen, Cooperberg-Rittmaster Pastoral & Educational Intern. Texts will be provided in original Hebrew/Aramaic as well as in translation.

Stories of the Rabbis - Mondays, 6 pm
Discuss the art of rabbinic story-telling, make Talmud more approachable, and delve into deep questions. 
Add this class to your calendar, so you get a reminder (with the Zoom info)!
Join Zoom Meeting: https://us02web.zoom.us/j/87016360518
Meeting ID: 870 1636 0518
Call-in: +1 646 876 9923 (New York)

Mishnah Brachot - How Do We Pray - Wednesdays, 6 pm
This exciting rabbinic text lays the groundwork for our prayers today. 
Add this class to your calendar, so you get a reminder (with the Zoom info)!
Join Zoom Meeting: https://us02web.zoom.us/j/85178449528
Meeting ID:
851 7844 9528
Call-in: +1 646 876 9923 (New York)

Drop-ins Welcome. No Registration Needed.

Psalm Study - Mon-Thurs, 9:45 - 10:45 am
Join CBST's Senior Rabbi, Sharon Kleinbaum, for an in-depth study of the Book of Psalms. Starting on Monday, August 24th, we will take an in-depth look at Psalm 27, the Psalm for the Season of Repentance, which is recited daily from the beginning of the month of Elul through Hoshanah Rabbah. We will read the Psalm in Hebrew and various English translations, and then class participants are invited to share their own interpretations through writing, song and the visual arts. Once we have studied Psalm 27, we will return to the psalm-by-psalm study begun in March, at Psalm 11. No previous knowledge of psalms is necessary; some familiarity with Hebrew is useful but not necessary. If you are intending to attend this class regularly, please email Jkatz@cbst.org to be placed on the class email list, and join the class Facebook page. No registration is required, but a contribution at your discretion to Adult Education at CBST is appreciated. Click here to make a contribution towards Psalms Study. 
Add this class to your calendar, so you get a reminder (with the Zoom info)!
Join Zoom Meeting: https://us02web.zoom.us/j/513468144
Meeting ID:
 513 468 144
Call-in: +1 646 876 9923 (New York)

Pirkei Avot Study with Rabbi Moskowitz - Mon-Thurs, 4-4:45 pm ON BREAK UNTIL AFTER THE HIGH HOLY DAYS
Rabbi Moskowitz continues the study of Pirkei Avot, the foundational text of Jewish ethical teaching. This class begins with Chapter 2, where Rabbi Moskowitz's class between Pesach and Shavuot left off. The earlier class is not a prerequisite for this one. Some knowledge of Hebrew is helpful, but not necessary; no registration is required. All are welcome! Texts will be provided in original Hebrew/Aramaic as well as in translation.

Participating via Zoom: Most of our programming is conducted online via Zoom, so please be sure to read up on our Zoom Instructions & Etiquette for ParticipantsMUTE your computer microphone, phone or other device until you are invited to speak. Zoom is a free technology for calling and videoconferencing. You do not need a personal Zoom account to use it. Zoom has step-by-step instructions hereThis is also a good guide to using Zoom.

Check our calendar for ongoing programming!


Check back here for class recordings. Please be advised, recordings may not be immediately available. In some cases, please allow up to 12 hrs for class recordings to be posted. Each recording will only be posted for a 2 week duration. Thank you!

Hebrew "Alef" - 7/28, 7/30, 8/4, 8/6 ,  8/11, 8/13, 8/18, 8/20

Hebrew "Bet" - 7/27, 7/29, 8/3, 8/5, 8/10, 8/12, 8/17, 8/19

Hebrew "Gimmel" – 7/28, 7/30, 8/4, 8/6, 8/11, 8/13, 8/18, 8/20

Stories of the Rabbis – 7/27, 8/3, 8/10, 8/17

Mishnah Brachot - How Do We Pray - 7/22, 7/29, 8/5 [Cancelled due to instructor power outage], 8/12, 8/19, 8/26

Psalms Study - click here

Pirkei Avot Study - click here


CBST's 25th Annual Benefit Concert

Missing the 25th opportunity to gather in person, hundreds of households across the country and around the world came together online on Sunday, June 7, 2020 to experience a glorious livestreamed concert.

The diverse pieces, curated by our Music Director, Joyce Rosenzweig, were selected some time ago, but became a collection of such deep meaning, inspiration, comfort and solace in today’s dark world. We were all moved to smiles and tears throughout the performance.  

We are so proud to share this Recording of the entire performance and the Zoom-Meet-the-Artists Conversation that followed. You can view/download the Concert Journal-Program.

Our magnificent CBST Chorus performed “together online” – an amazing sight and sound. Soloist Sally Wilfert (who brings tears to our eyes at Yom Kippur Yizkor services) and ALL our past and present cantorial interns performed, introducing themselves and the songs they chose: Cantors David Berger, Magda Fishman, Jason Kaufman, Dan Singer, and Steve Zeidenberg, and Re’ut Ben-Ze’ev, David Fair, and Sam Rosen. The CBST Concerts for Social Justice chamber music quintet, Adria Benjamin, Tomoko Fujita, Adrienne Kim, Sebu Sirinian, and Lisa Tipton, performed Bach and Leonard Bernstein’s “Somewhere” as you have never heard or seen before.

Concert sponsors, patrons, and hundreds of donors provide significant funding for Music at CBST every year. Thank you, thank you, to all who step forward, at all levels, to make a gift that helps bring music into our lives throughout the year.


PRIDE 2020

     Celebrate PRIDE Month!  Be Joyful. Spiritual. Proud.   
     Add your PRIDE Shout Out! for the June 26 Pride Shabbat Program.

      Add your PRIDE Shout Out! for the June 26 Pride Shabbat Program.

Attend Friday evening services livestreaming via Facebook. 
Purchase a CBST prayerbook through the CBST online Shop.
Attend Saturday morning services at 9:30 am via Zoom. 
25th Annual Benefit Concert Recording   Concert Journal-Program   
Click on events in the cbst.org calendar for information.  



Planned Giving

When you remember CBST in your planned giving you leave a special legacy for the future. In some circumstances, that legacy may have greater impact than you might have been able to make during your lifetime, but please know whatever the amount, your intent is important, meaningful, and greatly appreciated.

"Ner Tamid" (Eternal Light) members are acknowledged in the Yom Kippur booklet. Simply advise our staff that you have included CBST in your will, trust, or other document naming Congregation Beit Simchat Torah as beneficiary.  You may use this simple INTENT FORM, or just email Gina to discuss options and provide the name of the contact person (i.e. your attorney). You do not need to provide details in advance. 

"Charitable Gift Annuityis a unique opportunity, offered by CBST in partnership with UJA-Federation of NY.  You receive an initial tax benefit and annual return on your gift/investment (min.$10,000) at an excellent rate for your lifetime. The program is administered and guaranteed by UJA (even if your total benefits surpass your original investment). When you pass away (may you live to 120!), the remaining funds in your annuity account are split: 10% to UJA and 90% to CBST.  Questions?  Contact the Planned Giving & Endowments Department at  or 212.836.1247 and ask about the program in collaboration with synagogues





CBST Trans Pride Kiddush Cup

In celebration of Trans Day of Visibility, CBST is thrilled to offer a custom Trans Pride Kiddush Cup created through a partnership with Israeli Judaic Art designer Yair Emanuel. TDOV is dedicated to celebrating the accomplishments and victories of transgender, non-binary, & gender nonconforming people while raising awareness of the work that is still needed to save trans lives. To receive a Trans Pride Kiddush Cup, please follow the instructions below to make a contribution of your choosing from $18 to $180 to help fund Trans, Non-Binary, & Gendernonconforming Programming at CBST. UPDATE: We are currently out of stock. Contact Jkatz@cbst.org with any questions.

Shabbos as an All Gender Experience
"If we take the opportunity to show up for G-d on Shabbos, if we have the capacity to experience G-d, whether G-d is Queen, King, She, He, or They, we are well on our way to appreciating those different from ourselves. By showing up for God, we learn to show up for everyone." Rabbi Mike Moskowitz, CBST's Scholar-in-Residence, Trans and Queer Jewish Studies

The dimensions of the cup are 12cm height, 6cm diameter. It holds 100ml liquid.

The weight of each cup including the plate is 320 grams. 
The cup and plate are stainless steel, the rings are aluminum, and the color is anodize.
Plate included with cup. Plate and cup are not dishwasher safe.

Artist Bio 
The artist Yair Emanuel, a graduate of the Bezalel Academy of Art and Design, lives and works in Jerusalem. Emanuel's designs of Judaic art are based upon a fusion of traditional motifs and ancient Jewish manuscripts with modern and Oriental art. Vivid and harmonious colors as well as a mixture of the old and new characterize Emanuel's work, which he designs and crafts in his Jerusalem studio. The principle techniques utilized encompass painting on silk, hand embroidery, raw silk applique, painting on wood and metal designs. Among the staff are new immigrants and employees with special needs.  A portion of the studio's profit is donated to charity. https://www.emanuel-judaica-israel.com/main-page/

1) Click here (link has been deactivated as we are out of stock)
2) Under "Additional Contribution Options" in "I'd like to contribute to:" Select "Social Justice" from the drop-down menu.
3) Enter a numerical amount from $18.00 to $180.00. Your contribution above $18 helps to keep the pricing low for those who need it.
4) Select "Yes" under "Are You Making a Tribute?"
5) Select "On Occasion Of" under "Tribute Type:"
6) Under "Honoree Name" type: "TDOV Kiddush Cup"
7) Skip the rest of the fields and scroll to the bottom and select "Next Page"
8) Select your method of payment and follow the instructions to complete the transaction. You will have the opportunity to review before completing.



Director of Development, Congregation Beit Simchat Torah (CBST)


Located in New York City, Congregation Beit Simchat Torah (CBST) is a vibrant spiritual community and a progressive voice within Judaism. Founded in 1973, CBST attracts and welcomes LGBTQ 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 everywhere, and strives for human rights for all.


Applications will be reviewed on a rolling basis until the position is filled.

Reporting to the Executive Director and working closely with the Board President, Senior Rabbi, and the Development Chair(s) and Committee, the Development Director is responsible for designing, implementing and leading a sustainable development strategy to support CBST’s many ambitious goals for today and for securing its financial health for the future. Development is an essential and integral part of CBST and is interwoven in everything the synagogue does to support its mission.

Key Responsibilities:

  • Maintain and enhance the current giving infrastructure to expand, develop and cultivate the donor base.
  • Increase funding for the capital reserve fund established to support and maintain the facility.
  • Develop a strategy to establish an endowment fund to ensure the long-term sustainability of the institution.
  • Seek new grant opportunities, while continuing to build upon existing relationships with family and institutional foundations.
  • Lead CBST’s major annual fundraising efforts, which include its Annual Appeal, Annual Gala, two major annual Concerts, Membership, and other special funds and initiatives.
  • Provide regular progress reports to Board of Directors.


  • Fundraising experience in the nonprofit social justice-focused, Jewish, and LGBTQ communities, preferably in the NYC metro area.
  • Experience in managing annual campaigns, capital campaigns, planned giving, major gifts, corporate giving, and foundation giving is preferred.
  • A track record of success as a lead solicitor of major gifts.
  • Excellent interpersonal skills.
  • Minimum of 5-7+ years of increasing responsibility in fundraising.
  • An undergraduate degree is required and an advanced degree is preferred.
  • Knowledge of data base and fundraising software.
  • Ability to work closely with Board and staff, as well as independently.
  • Excellent communications skills, written and verbal.
  • A collaborator who appreciates the value of building on strengths of individuals.
  • Ability to think and plan broadly and strategically.
  • Embrace the mission and values of CBST while creating an integrated development program and continuing the culture of giving.
  • Acts as an energetic, enthusiastic representative and advocate of the synagogue both to internal and external constituents.
  • Relationship builder who has strong planning and implementation skills in addition to being able to mold infrastructure while increasing organizational capacity.
  • Ability to foster a team-oriented environment and mentor others is critical, coupled with a creative, innovative and entrepreneurial technique for increasing contributed income.
  • Results-driven, experience establishing and using metrics to drive productivity.


To apply online, please visit https://app.trinethire.com/companies/22607-cbst/jobs



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