Barbara Jean Ostfeld (born 1952) is Jewish history's first ordained female cantor. She was ordained in 1975 by the Hebrew Union College-Jewish Institute of Religion.  From 1976 through 1988, she served Temple Beth-El of Great Neck as cantor. From 1990 through 2002 she was a cantor at Temple Beth Am (now Congregation Shir Shalom) of Buffalo, NY.
1952 (age 67–68)
|School||Hebrew Union College-Jewish Institute of Religion|
From 1996 to 1998, she chaired the Joint Cantorial Placement Commission of the American Conference of Cantors; she has also served it as a secretary, vice president, Northeast regional representative, and member of its board of directors. In September 2002, she was appointed its placement director.
In March 2000, as she marked 25 years of congregational service, she received an honorary doctorate in Sacred Music from Hebrew Union College-Jewish Institute of Religion. She retired from her position with the American Conference of Cantors in 2012.
She is the author of a memoir, CATBIRD: The Ballad of Barbi Prim, which was released in 2019 by Erva Press.
- "Ostfeld, Barbara Jean", Jewish Virtual Library (accessed May 14, 2015).
- "Cantors: American Jewish Women", Jewish Women's Archive (accessed May 14, 2015).
- "Barbara Ostfeld" biography at American Conference of Cantors website, archived by the Wayback Machine on March 16, 2012.
- https://web.archive.org/web/20111127114908/http://huc.edu/academics/catalog/prize.shtml. Archived from the original on November 27, 2011. Retrieved June 22, 2012. Missing or empty
- Jay Tokasz, "Trailblazing cantor Barbara Ostfeld to be honored: Music tribute to Ostfeld tonight marks historic role in Judaism", The Buffalo News, November 9, 2012.
- "First Invested Woman Cantor to Retire as Placement Director for Reform Cantorate" Archived 2015-05-18 at the Wayback Machine, American Conference of Cantors website (accessed May 14, 2015).
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