Cantor Matt Axelrod was born and raised in the Boston area. He is a graduate of Brandeis University and received his Masters of Sacred Music and Investiture from the Jewish Theological Seminary in 1993. For the past 30 years, he has served Congregation Beth Israel in Scotch Plains, NJ, where he has taught, inspired, cajoled, and nagged generations of kids and their parents.
Cantor Axelrod is a national officer of the Cantors Assembly. Active in both the Jewish and interfaith communities, he is a past president of the Scotch Plains-Fanwood Ministerium, comprising clergy of various faith communities as well as leaders of local civic organizations. Additionally, Cantor Axelrod has served on the United Synagogue Commission on Jewish Education and is a past president of the Cantors Assembly New Jersey Region. He sings with the New Jersey Cantors Concert Ensemble, which performs throughout the state and helps to raise scholarship funds for cantorial students.
Cantor Axelrod has been a regular columnist and contributor to the online Bar & Bat Mitzvah Guide, and is the author of three books: Surviving Your Bar/Bat Mitzvah: The Ultimate Insider’s Guide, Your Guide to the Jewish Holidays: From Shofar to Seder, and Raising the Bar Mitzvah: Reimagining What our Kids Learn. He has been a frequent presenter at synagogues, Jewish community centers, and conferences to speak to groups of parents and teens about the process of preparing for their b’nei mitzvah and how to successfully navigate that period.
Matt is also an avid aviation enthusiast, and is a licensed pilot and flight instructor. When not flying over New Jersey in his Piper Cherokee, he is likely out running and training for his next marathon. He is married to Dr. Tali Axelrod, a public school principal in Bridgewater, NJ, and they are the proud parents of two sons, Judah and Josh.