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CBST, the World's Largest LGBT Synagogue, Gets a New Home.

On Sunday, hundreds of members of Congregation Beit Simchat Torah (CBST) in New York City will march from their home of nearly 40 years in the ramshackle, dingy Westbeth Artists Community to a gleaming new space on West 30th Street (where they'll be just two blocks from Tablet; hi, neighbors!) A klezmer band will accompany the group as they walk with their five Torahs under a rainbow chuppah made by congregants several years ago in celebration of marriage equality. Elderly members and people with disabilities will be able to ride along with the parade in a borrowed NYU trolley. "It's purple," said Sharon Kleinbaum, CBST's longtime rabbi, during a recent tour of the new facilities, "so that's great."

The merry group will first head to The Church of the Holy Apostles on 28th Street, where for the past 15 years CBST has often held Shabbat services. The church's choir will serenade them from the Holy Apostles's steps, singing a hymn of blessing. Then church members will join New York City's mayor, New York's governor, and religious leaders of all denominations for a rainbow-ribbon cutting, along with songs from the CBST Chorus, a fanfare by composer/congregant Jonathan Sheffer, and a mega shofar-blowing with shofar sounders from some 30 congregations around the country. "The space isn't really sanctified until the Torahs move," Kleinbaum said. "I've heard that the definition of 'place' is 'space plus meaning.' This place, which has been nine years in the making, is a container for the vast and broad community we have at CBST."

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Author:Ingall, Marjorie
Publication:Tablet Magazine
Geographic Code:1U2NY
Date:Apr 1, 2016
Words:270
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