Alysa Stanton, First Black Female Rabbi, Will Leave N.C. Congregation
Alysa Stanton, who made headlines when she became the country’s first black woman rabbi, will be leaving her Greenville, N.C. pulpit — after the congregation that hired her less than two years ago decided not to renew her contract. Stanton said the decision to leave was not hers, and that she fully intends to serve out the duration of her contract, which expires July 31, 2011.
“I don’t regret my decision to come to Greenville,” said Stanton, who was born into a Pentecostal family and converted to Judaism as an adult. “I’ve grown to love the community, and the citizens have embraced me in a way that has been transformative.”
Stanton, 47, said the challenges that she faced at the Bayt Shalom weren’t all that different from those of any other first-year rabbi, but hers “were more visible because the world was watching.”