and a glass half full.
If you loved Eleanor Oliphant Is Completely Fine, you’ll absolutely cheer for real-life Barbi Prim.
–Rabbi Sally Priesand, America’s first female rabbi, and Rabbi Emerita of Monmouth Reform Temple, Tinton Falls, NJ
“Funny, heartbreaking, and yet bursting with hope.”
–Helen Aronoff, MD, Child and Adolescent Psychiatrist with Western New York’s Children’s Psychiatric Center
“Celebrates the sweetness of hard-won acceptance.”
–Lois Weis, State University of New York Distinguished Professor, and coauthor of Class Warfare: Class, Race, and College Admissions in Top-Tier Secondary Schools
In Catbird: The Ballad of Barbi Prim, the world meets an insightful 8-year-old who has already taken a few steps toward becoming a pioneer—but also a shadow of her quirky self.
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.
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