Mazel Tov, Alysa Stanton!
Apropos of Judith's recent post on Sotomayor and other "firsts," here's a celebratory shout-out to Alysa Stanton who became the world's first African-American female rabbi when she was ordained yesterday, June 6th, at Hebrew Union College-Jewish Institute of Religion (HUC-JIR) in Cincinnati. What does Stanton make of her status as a first? "If I were the 50,000th, I'd still be doing what I do, trying to live my life with kavanah and kedusha ... Me being first was just the luck of the draw," she explained.
Come August, Stanton will begin her new job as rabbi of Congregation Bayt Shalom, a predominantly white congregation of about 60 families in Greenville, North Carolina, affiliated with both the Reform and Conservative movements. "My goals as a rabbi are to break down barriers, build bridges and provide hope," Stanton told CNN. "I look forward to being the spiritual leader of an inclusive sacred community that welcomes and engages all." It's certainly gratifying to see the Jewish community moving in this direction.
Mazel Tov, Rabbi Stanton! Learn more about Alysa Stanton in This Week in History.