Steven's biography

Steven's biography

Steven Goldstein is CEO and Chief Strategist at Steven Goldstein Insights.

Steven founded Garden State Equality, New Jersey’s statewide organization for equality, in 2004.  As executive director, he led the winning campaigns for marriage equality and more than 200 other state and local civil rights laws, a number of which he helped to write.

The Harvard Law and Policy Review wrote Steven had built an “immensely successful model for the rest of the country.”  The Associated Press has called his impact “magical.”

A 2007 documentary, “Freeheld,” chronicled Steven’s work at Garden State Equality and won the Academy Award for Best Short Documentary.  Hollywood turned “Freeheld” into a full-length film, released in 2015, in which Steven was played by Steve Carell.

Steven became national executive director of the Anne Frank Center USA, the U.S. organization in the Anne Frank family of organizations worldwide.  HuffPost wrote the organization under Steven “catapulted to national prominence.”

In 2019, HarperCollins published Steven’s first book, The Turn-On.  It includes many of his original advocacy and communications strategies that he also taught as a Rutgers law professor.  Porchlight Book Awards named The Turn-On one of the top five marketing books of the year.

Steven began his career as a staff member in Congress, as a lawyer for Chuck Schumer on the U.S. House Judiciary Committee and then as communications director for the late U.S. Senator Frank Lautenberg.  Steven’s federal portfolio includes landmark statutes that advance reproductive choice, counter gun violence, and create sentencing alternatives for nonviolent crimes.

He wound up on Capitol Hill after Congress saw his work on television in Washington, DC, where he won 10 Emmy Awards as an investigative producer.  He later worked as a producer for Oprah Winfrey.

Steven holds a law degree and three master’s degrees.  He received his B.A. summa cum laude, Phi Beta Kappa from Brandeis; his M.P.P. (Public Policy) from Harvard’s John F. Kennedy School of Government, where he was editor-in-chief of Harvard Journal of Public Policy; his M.S. from the Columbia School of Journalism; his J.D. from Columbia Law School, where he won his first-year moot court competition, and his M.A.J.S. (Jewish Studies) from the Academy for Jewish Religion in New York, where he won the 2022 Rabbi Herschel J. Matt Creative Liturgy Award.

Currently based in Philadelphia, Steven is pursuing rabbinical ordination at the Academy for Jewish Religion and is Education Director at Old York Road Temple-Beth Am in suburban Abington.  He is also a lecturer in communication at The Wharton School of the University of Pennsylvania.  He is the 2023 recipient of the Whizin Prize for Jewish Ethics, an annual competition open to all scholars worldwide.