First Black Female Rabbi to Head North Carolina Synagogue

5/28/2009, 7:43 a.m.

(Taylor Media Services) On June 6, Alysa Stanton will be ordained at the Hebrew Union College in Cincinnati, Ohio and as a result become the nation€s first African American female rabbi. Stanton, a licensed psychotherapist, and she said she hopes to be a role model for America€s small but active population of Black Jews. She told the Jewish publication JTA last week, €I represent the new face of Judaism, a new era of inclusiveness.€ Stanton has already been hired by a synagogue in Greenville, N.C.

The number of practicing Jews has been declining in America in recent years and some reform groups have been reaching out in an attempt to recruit Black and other minorities. Stanton will be among a unique group. According to the Pew Forum Religious Landscape Survey, released last year, less than one-half of one percent of American Blacks is Jewish.