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Girl in Bid to Be First Trained and Accredited Cantor in Jewish History

A Connecticut girl will become the first female student at the Hebrew Union College Cantorial School here in September in a bid to be the first trained and accredited cantor in Jewish history. Cantorial school officials confirmed that Barbara Ostfeld of North Haven. Conn., will be one of 25 cantorial students at the school during the coming academic year. If she successfully completes the five-year program, she will be qualified to participate in services, though presumably only at Reform congregations. The officials said she was auditioned this past spring in a unique experience for the school officials who supervise such auditions. It was the first time in the 95 years of the school that a woman had been auditioned. Miss Ostfeld said she had wanted to be a cantor since she was a little girl. She is a student of classical music and it was her interest in singing and music which, led her to choose the cantorate. School officials said that, like all other students, Miss Ostfeld will be qualified to serve as a student cantor as early as her first year, if her studies are satisfactory. Her father is a faculty member at Yale University.

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