All posts by Cantor Matt Axelrod

Cantor Matt Axelrod has served Congregation Beth Israel of Scotch Plains, NJ since 1990. He is a graduate of the Jewish Theological Seminary of America and a national officer of the Cantors Assembly. Cantor Axelrod is the author of Surviving Your Bar/Bat Mitzvah: The Ultimate Insider's Guide, and Your Guide to the Jewish Holidays: From Shofar to Seder.

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A number of years ago, the Israeli government needed to add a special fighter plane to its arsenal. The plane would cost $500 million, and the government didn't know where they were going to find the money. One professional fundraiser said, "No problem--we'll find 500 of the wealthiest Jews around the world and simply ask ...

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Don’t Heed the Call

New technologies provide us with fantastic opportunities to connect, communicate, and have instant access to the world around us. As a synagogue professional, however, I'm sometimes troubled by how a certain generation has embraced their devices. We all share a responsibility to train people in the proper and appropriate use of phones when in temple. ...

What’s Your Name? Who’s Your Daddy?

Names are serious business in Judaism. I think it all started in the Torah--all of the main characters' names are loaded with significance. When Sarah was pregnant with Isaac, she thought the idea of a 90-something year old woman giving birth was hilarious. Sure enough, Abraham named their son Yitzchak, meaning "laugh." Years later, as ...

The Kids are All Right

Just when we go to all that trouble to get kids to come to services, we hurriedly rush them out and tell them they're not welcome. Four times a year, we recite Yizkor--on Yom Kippur, as well as on the last day of each of the Three Festivals: Passover, Shavuot, and Sukkot. The service itself ...

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