- Krispy Kreme coming to Cape Girardeau (12/14/17)2
- Light and music show: Jackson family goes high-tech with Christmas display (12/11/17)
- Two Cape County residents, including former Jackson police officer, face burglary charges in Colorado (12/12/17)
- Cape schools to get two new principals, assistant superintendent (12/13/17)1
- Kelso resident brings home $60K in lottery winnings (12/14/17)
- Three-vehicle wreck ends up with parked car crashing through business wall (12/16/17)3
- Insurance building's renovation part of Coalter family's commitment to region (12/15/17)3
- New regents president named after Knudtson decides not to seek second term (12/18/17)
- Southeast rings bell for 807 December graduates (12/18/17)
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.