1st black female rabbi spent years searching

What a fascinating person she is! I’m so glad she has already found a congregation.

Alysa Stanton began quenching her spiritual thirst early, discovering Judaism after a search that began at age 9 and worried her mother only when a man called the house one night asking for her youngest child.

Turns out he was a priest Stanton had contacted to ask questions about Catholicism, part of a road that took her through charismatic Christian and Eastern faiths and finally to a position that experts say makes her mainstream Judaism’s first ordained black female rabbi.

As a student at Colorado State University in Fort Collins, Stanton drove more than 140 miles a week to study with a rabbi in Denver for her conversion. She later moved to Denver, becoming very involved in the Jewish community.

She also learned to chant the Torah, the five books of Moses.

“That opened something in the recesses of my being, and I had a hunger and a thirst to learn more,” Stanton said.

Stanton, who worked as a licensed psychotherapist specializing in grief, loss and trauma, thought she was too old and too poor to start rabbinical studies at age 38. But she believed it was meant to be.


Some Orthodox and Conservative will wonder if Reform can be considered “mainstream” Judaism, but that’s for adherents of Judaism to thrash out.

That’s what I was wondering…which branch is “mainstream” Judaism? I figured it would be Reform…that or non-practicing. :shrug: :stuck_out_tongue:

I hope she continues her long journey to God and ends up in the Catholic Church. :thumbsup:

Would you believe that Congregation Bayt Shalom is both Reform and Conservative?

I didn’t know that was possible, but there is a lot about the Jewish faith I don’t know. :o

Wow…same here. :stuck_out_tongue:

Well, you’ll only find that pairing amonst those 2 and maybe you’ll find Reform/Reconstructionist occasionally, though I never have, those 2 traditions being set in different philosophies.

Essentially, both Reform and Conservative Judaism are children of the Enlightenment. They are Judaism’s response to Modernity.

Reconstructionist and Humanist Judaism are children of post-modernism.

Orthodoxy, is a child of the Ages. Beautiful, but hard.

I’m somewhere between Reform and Reconstructionist. As befits my age and philosophy. A Gen-Xer with all the caustic cynicism that generation entails.

And yet, I too, went on a spiritual journey (Catholic-Episcopalian-Judaism) and found myself finding Judaism as well. Though I have no interest in the Rabbinate. It’s a hard job and usually poorly compensated.

Thank you this overview - it helps to put the categories into context.

As for your personal journey, I think the most important thing is that you find God, and are able to respond in a human fashion. I, too, have done some searching, and had a home, yet currently am not settled.

Rabbis shouldn’t be women,:frowning: …c’est logique :dts:

why? Rabbis don’t stand in for the Almighty, like Catholic priests and other religious leaders. They are scholars. There is nothing in women that makes them inferior at being scholars.

Are you from a Jewish familial background?

i studied at a couple of local synagogues and knew a very intelligent female rabbi in the conservative branch. she was a brilliant and inspirational person. she also served in the military and went to Iraq to perform her rabbinical duties for the Jewish soldiers fighting over there.

rabbis are not priests.

My father is Jewish.

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