University of Pittsburgh
February 25, 2010

United States' First Female African American Rabbi to Share Her Life Story During March 3 Lecture at Pitt

Contact:  412-624-4147

PITTSBURGH-The path to the pulpit has been a long and winding journey for Alysa Stanton, the United States' first female African American rabbi. Stanton will share her life experiences during a free public monologue performance titled "Layers of Healing, Layers of Hope" at 7:30 p.m. March 3 in the Ballroom of Pitt's William Pitt Union, 3959 Fifth Ave., Oakland.

Born to a Christian family in Cleveland, Ohio, Stanton converted to Judaism at age 24. She completed seven years of rabbinical training at the Hebrew Union College-Jewish Institute of Religion before assuming the role of rabbi of Congregation Bayt Shalom, a 60-family synagogue in Greenville, N.C., in June 2009.

Prior to converting to Judaism and preparing for the rabbinate, Stanton worked as a psychotherapist specializing in grief counseling; her counseling experience includes the treatment of individuals affected by the murderous 1999 shooting rampage at Columbine High School. She is an alumnus of Colorado State University, where she earned a bachelor's degree in psychology in 1988 and a master's degree in education in 1992; she received a professional counselor's license in 1998.

Stanton's presentation is sponsored by Pitt's Office of Cross Cultural and Leadership Development and Departments of Cultural Studies, History, and Religious Studies, as well as by the Edward and Rose Berman Hillel Jewish University Center of Pittsburgh and the United Jewish Federation of Pittsburgh.

For more information on the event, call 412-621-8875 or e-mail