Rabbi and labor leader get married
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Rabbi and labor leader get married

Teachers’ union leader Randi Weingarten and rabbi at New York’s largest LGBT-friendly synagogue tie the knot

Rabbi Sharon Kleinbaum and Randi Weingarten attend the Broadway Opening Night Performance of 'Indecent' at The Cort Theatre on April 18, 2017 in New York City.  (Walter McBride/WireImage via JTA)
Rabbi Sharon Kleinbaum and Randi Weingarten attend the Broadway Opening Night Performance of 'Indecent' at The Cort Theatre on April 18, 2017 in New York City. (Walter McBride/WireImage via JTA)

Randi Weingarten, who heads the national union for teachers, and Rabbi Sharon Kleinbaum of New York’s leading synagogue for LGBT Jews were married in New York.

Their union at a downtown Manhattan restaurant, La Marina, was featured in the Weddings section of The New York Times on Sunday, their wedding day.

Weingarten 60, is the president of the American Federation of Teachers, headquartered in Washington, DC. Kleinbaum, 58, is the senior rabbi of Congregation Beth Simhat Torah in New York, whose membership includes a significant number of lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender congregants.

The couple first met in the mid-1990s, they told The Times.

“We were two lesbians in New York fighting for different things,” Weingarten said. “We liked each other. We had good banter. It wasn’t as if there were a lot of high-profile gay women who were active in leadership roles. I thought she was fun, witty and smart.”

In 2006, Kleinbaum asked Weingarten to speak at her congregation’s Gay Pride Shabbat service, which Weingarten called a turning point in how she saw herself as a lesbian.

Kleinbaum divorced in 2012 after an 18-year relationship and two daughters. The women soon began dating and later moved in together.

“We’re not spring chickens,” Kleinbaum told The Times. “We didn’t believe we would get this kind of love this late in our lives.”

Judge Michelle Schreiber of the New York City Housing Court officiated, with the religious ceremony led by Rabbi Sharon Cohen Anisfeld, the president of Hebrew College in suburban Boston.

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