When she is ordained on June 6th, Alysa Stanton will become the first African-American woman ever to be ordained as a rabbi.
A psychotherapist who converted to Judaism 20 years ago, Stanton will be ordained in Cincinnatti, where she attended HUC-JIR, the rabbinical school of the Reform movement.
Although raised in a Pentecostal family, Stanton says her mother encouraged her to pursue her own spiritual path, and the social and community, as well as spiritual, aspects of Judaism appealed to her from an early age.
When she joins Congregation Bayt Shalom in Greenville, North Carolina in August, she will establish another landmark by becoming the first African-American rabbi to lead a majority white congregation.
Says Stanton, "My goals as a rabbi are to break down barriers, build bridges and provide hope...I look forward to being the spiritual leader of an inclusive sacred community that welcomes and engages all."