- Few Southeast students face suspension, expulsion for sexual assaults, campus paper finds (4/25/17)5
- Pilot House goes smoke-free (4/23/17)10
- Woman battered after smashing boyfriend's meth pipe against wall, police say (4/25/17)
- Event includes the first public tour of 200-year-old Elmwood Manor (4/23/17)3
- BBB warns Jackson man's online business might not be legit (4/24/17)
- Cape councilman Bob Fox to run for mayor (4/21/17)5
- Cape couple turns their home into cozy, comfortable music venue (4/24/17)
- Perryville family organizing bone-marrow drive Friday for ailing 6-year-old boy (4/26/17)
- Without city record, Marie Street residents on hook for thousands in sewer repairs (4/19/17)7
- Sikeston man charged in shooting death of Cape man (4/23/17)
Convert aims to be first black woman rabbi in U.S.
DENVER -- Alysa Stanton's spiritual journey started in her childhood, when she and her family attended a Pentecostal church. As a young adult, she explored other religions, eventually choosing Judaism.
Now, at age 38, she is poised to take her faith another step by studying to become a rabbi -- the first black woman rabbi in the United States, according to experts.
"I want to be a rabbi who breaks barriers, inspires dreams and builds bridges," said Stanton, who is preparing to start the five-year course of study leading to ordination.
There are black rabbis in the Ethiopian Jewish community. But if Stanton completes the program at Hebrew Union College in Los Angeles, the Reform movement's seminary, she will be the first black woman rabbi in this country, Jewish authorities believe.
"It's a reminder that Jews come in all colors and all ethnic groups," said Rabbi Richard Levy, director of rabbinic studies at Hebrew Union College.
Officials at the Conservative movement's Jewish Theological Seminary in New York, Reconstructionist Rabbinical College outside Philadelphia, and Union of Orthodox Jewish Congregations of America said they knew of no black women rabbis.
Stanton presently works as children's psychotherapist.