Social Justice

At CBST, our prayers, plans, and actions are all dedicated to a world that recognizes every human being as created in the image of the divine, inherently deserving of equal rights, respect, and justice. Our work to transform the world continues especially in difficult times, whether in person, online, or through actions you take at home.

As Eleanor Roosevelt said, “Where, after all, do universal human rights begin? In small places, close to home—so close and so small that they cannot be seen on any maps of the world. […] Unless these rights have meaning there, they have little meaning anywhere. Without concerted citizen action to uphold them close to home, we shall look in vain for progress in the larger world.”

We are thrilled to announce the Rita and Alex Fischer z”l Memorial Tribute to support Social Justice and Music at CBST. Rita and Alex were dedicated CBST members who loved and generously helped build the CBST community.


We are committed to furthering social justice and equality for all people. We work within our congregation, we take public action, and we lend our names and voices to a variety of social and humanitarian causes. Learn more about social justice and CBST.

Interested in connecting with one of our currently-active social justice initiatives?
Explore this list of teams, along with contact information.

Social Justice and CBST

CBST is wonderfully blessed with amazing rodfei tzedek — committed seekers of justice. We are honored by them, and we shep a lot of naches (we are very proud).

When CBST held its first service in February 1973, no Jewish organization, synagogue, or institution supported equality for gay people. CBST serves as a symbol for marginalized people everywhere seeking to transform traditional religious communities. Our synagogue is actively engaged in advocacy, reaching out to people of a wide range of faiths and nationalities to promote equality and human rights. CBST provides a much-needed progressive and Jewish voice to counter the religious right. The synagogue is committed to advancing human rights locally, nationally, and around the world, including in the state of Israel.

As an incubator of progressive religious thought, ‎CBST’s public voice is crucial at a time when the dominant role of organized religion in the U.S. is often to ‎limit, impede, and even stifle informed dialogue on sexuality and its interplay with religion. The synagogue’s ‎boundaries and impact extend well beyond the tri-state area, where it draws the majority of more than ‎‎1,000 of its members.‎

CBST is proud to collaborate on spiritual, educational, and social justice programs with like-minded organizations throughout New York City, as well as those around the world. If you are interested in planning an event or program at or with CBST, please complete our Event Request Form.

We have also lent our support to:

​Homeless LGBTQ Youth in New York City
Women’s Cancer Education & Response
Global LGBTQ Concerns

For more information, contact Rabbi Marisa Elana James, Director of Social Justice Programming

Support our Social Justice work by giving to CBST!

  • The Rabbi Sharon Kleinbaum and Randi Weingarten
    Fund for Social Justice

  • “Social Justice is rooted in our Jewish texts, history, theology and liturgy. We don’t separate spirituality from social justice.” - Rabbi Sharon Kleinbaum
    Learn more and donate

  • CBST Annual Appeal

  • Make your contribution today!

  • Sponsor an upcoming Shabbat!

  • Each week,
    members and friends
    sponsor our livestream
    and oneg/kiddush

    to share joys and remembrances,
    marking special occasions
    and poignant moments.