Following ordination in 1965, Rabbi Goldstein served as a chaplain in the U.S. Navy and was stationed in Japan. Upon his release from active duty in 1968 he became Associate Rabbi of the Baltimore Hebrew Congregation. In 1970 he was elected Senior Rabbi of that congregation. Rabbi Goldstein came to Touro Synagogue in New Orleans in 1978. He has served on the faculty of Tulane University since arriving in New Orleans and is Adjunct Professor of Jewish Studies. His courses include: The Jews of Moslem Spain; The Jews of Christian Spain; Jewish Life and Thought in the Renaissance and the Age of Reason; American Judaism; Rashi; Halevi and Maimonides.
Rabbi Goldstein has published many articles in scholarly journals and was the recipient of the Max Maccoby Fellwship awarded by HUC-JIR for advanced studies at the Hebrew University in Jerusalem. He was also awarded the Haim Greenberg Scholarship for studies in Israel. He has served on numerous organizational and institutional boards, currently including the Board of Alumni Overseers of the Hebrew Union College and the World Governing Body of the World Union for Progressive Judaism. He is past chairman of the Central Conference of American Rabbi’s (CCAR) Committee on Eastern European Jewry.
Additionally, he has served as a national officer of the National Conference on Soviet Jewry, and for five years as Chairman of the Community Relations Committee (CRC) of the Jewish Federation of Greater New Orleans and on the Executive Committee of the Federation. He has served a President of the Southwest Council of the CCAR. He is chairman of the JWB Jewish Chaplains Council and served on the ad hoc committee of the CCAR which planned a major study mission to Spain in 1992. He conducted scholarly programs at the 1992 Annual Convention of the CCAR as well as at UAHC regional conventions.
In November 1981, and again in 1983 and 1986, he and his wife, Shannie, traveled to the Soviet Union where they visited with hundreds of Jewish Refuseniks. They helped to organize secret classes and meetings advancing Jewish and Hebrew studies and music. Rabbi Goldstein is retired as chaplain in the Navy Reserve where he holds the rank of Captain. In 1977, he was awarded the Distinguished Citizen of Maryland Citation and in 1999 was the recipient of the Weiss Award from the National Conference. In 1998, he was the narrator with the Louisiana Philharmonic Orchestra for Leonard Berstein’s “Kaddish” Symphony No. 3; in 2003, he narrated Schoenberg’s “Survivor from Warsaw”, again with the LPO and again under the baton of Klauspeter Seibel. In 2007, he received the New Orleans Anti-Defamation League’s most prestigious honor, the A. I. Botnick Torch of Liberty Award.