Ohio native to become first black female rabbi

May 29, 2009 11:59:07 AM PDT
A Cleveland native will soon become what is believed to be mainstream Judaism's first black female rabbi. Forty-five-year-old Alysa Stanton will be ordained June 6 in Cincinnati after completing rabbinical studies there.

She will become the rabbi at Congregation Bayt Shalom (in Greenville, N.C., in August.

Experts say her ordination is a first and could help 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.

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