Catbird: The Ballad of Barbi Prim

Catbird: The Ballad of Barbi Prim

by Barbara J. Ostfeld


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In Catbird: The Ballad of Barbi Prim, the world meets an insightful, opinionated eight-year-old who’s already taken a few steps toward becoming a pioneer—but also a shadow of her quirky self. Although she’s corroded—sometimes literally—by a toxic but familiar social atmosphere, her love of singing propels her to become the first ordained woman cantor in 3,000 years of Jewish history. A family crisis exposes old and enduring wounds, but she begins to rescue herself—by diligently going to therapy—and embarks on an imperfect but perpetual metamorphosis, becoming the well-coiffed heroine of her own story. Barbara Ostfeld shows us that we are all brave pioneers—at becoming our true selves.

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9780998032610
Publisher: Erva Press
Publication date: 03/27/2019
Pages: 358
Sales rank: 453,201
Product dimensions: 5.98(w) x 9.02(h) x 0.80(d)

About the Author

Barbara Ostfeld didn't become obsessed by singing until she was two. Though she didn't learn to ride a bike until she was twelve and never did learn to climb to the top of the rope in gym, at seventeen she innocently cracked through a stained glass ceiling and was admitted to Hebrew Union College's School of Sacred Music. At age twenty-two she became the first woman ordained as a cantor in 3,000 years of Jewish history, but foolishly turned down an invitation to appear on What's My Line? Nevertheless she persisted, serving for more than twenty-seven years as cantor of congregations in Clifton, New Jersey, and in Great Neck, Rochester, and Buffalo, New York, and then for ten years as the placement director of the American Conference of Cantors.
Barbara lives in Buffalo, New York, with her husband and an assortment of mildew-spotted African violets. She would own at least one cat if she didn't care about her husband. Her essays have appeared in Lilith Magazine, New Jewish Feminism, and elsewhere. Her website is .

Table of Contents

Barbi Prim, Herself
Stanza 1 Ditty
Stanza 2 Tune
Stanza 3 Psalm
Stanza 4 Canticle
Stanza 5 Romance
Stanza 6 Idyll
Stanza 7 Coda

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