First Black Female Rabbi In World Ordained, Coming To Greenville

It was a historic day for African-Americans, Jews and woman Saturday.

Alysa Stanton was ordained as a Rabbi in Cincinnati, Ohio.

What makes it such special occasion is that Stanton becomes the first African-American female Rabbi in the world.

The ceremony was held at the Plum Street Temple in downtown Cincinnati.

Stanton says she is proud to represent Judaism's growing diversity.



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A Cleveland native whose search for a spiritual home began at age 9 with questions about Catholicism will soon become mainstream Judaism's first black woman rabbi.

Forty-five-year-old Alysa Stanton will be ordained June 6 in Cincinnati after completing seven years of rabbinical studies at Hebrew Union College-Jewish Institute of Religion.

She will become the rabbi at Congregation Bayt Shalom in Greenville, N.C., on Aug. 1.

Many believe her ordination could draw more women and blacks to Jewish leadership roles.

Stanton says the road to her spiritual home has been a journey with many twists and turns. She says she didn't always feel accepted by Jewish congregations or some friends when she converted during her 20s, but she knew Judaism was where she belonged.

(Copyright 2009 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)


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Comments are posted from viewers like you and do not always reflect the views of this station.
  • by Anonymous on Jun 20, 2009 at 01:19 PM
    Friendly, you are wrong. Read your Bible, Jesus did identify race, creed and color.
  • by Friendly Location: Engelhard on Jun 13, 2009 at 06:27 AM
    U know, things have come and gone. Prejudice never leaves. Why can't we celebrate the individual for accomplishing his or her goal and forget about race. Will we ever do that? Jesus fed millions. He didn't stop to identify race, creed, or color.
  • by Tad Location: Jamesville on Jun 8, 2009 at 09:35 PM
    Sorry Chris from Greenville, I spelled a word wrong again. mackey needs to stay on the porch. Maybe I should work less and proof read more.....nah.
  • by Tad Location: Jamesville on Jun 8, 2009 at 01:55 PM
    mackey from choco, lot a intolerance there guy. Why don't you think and say what you want and let the rest of us do the same. I personally am going to post, say and think what I want without giving any regard to what you think anyway. Relax man and enjoy being bested in the debate or stay on your poarch.
  • by Mr. Mackey Location: Choco on Jun 8, 2009 at 06:22 AM
    This is an honor to have the first black rabbi here in our community. Ignorant haters and race baiters, please don't bother to post. Can't believe folks can be this narrow minded and yet still use a computer.
  • by why Location: north carolina on Jun 7, 2009 at 05:39 PM
    why does it have to be the "first" based on color? Why can't it be a woman or man regardless of race reaches another milestone. If we live in the past, we have no future.
  • by Tad Location: Jamesville on Jun 7, 2009 at 02:20 PM
    unwise one, learn to respect all people's opinions whether you like them or not. Most of the time they are right anyway. Militant black muslims, radical skinheads and others have the right to hate gay white males even if you are offended. As long as they don't physically harm you or anyone else they should be left alone to feel how they want to feel. Peace be upon your household and your lacey undergarments.
  • by Lee Location: New Bern on Jun 7, 2009 at 01:07 PM
    Several people have posted that this does not concern us & who cares - as a human being, you should care. People care about other peoples' lives - particularly, if there a news event of significance. The first female black rabbi is certainly a newsworthy item. Please be respectful toward other people.
  • by Gary Location: NY on Jun 7, 2009 at 11:33 AM
    Can anyone tell us about the Jewish community of Greenville, NC?
  • by DONALD Location: MELVILLE, NEW YORK on Jun 7, 2009 at 06:39 AM
    I THINK IT IS ABSOLUTELY WONDERFUL AND WELCOME HER INTO OUR FAITH.
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