Cantor Banter

Style over substance

Cantor Banter: If you invite your non-Jewish guests just to the reception, they miss the whole point of becoming a bar mitzvah. Comments (1)

Affection for imperfection

Cantor Banter: Cantor Matt Axelrod explains why he prefers students that struggle with Hebrew. Comment

Loosen your tie

Cantor Banter: Does the ritual of using ‘tefillin’ tie your stomach in knots? A cantor detangles the tradition. Comment

Don’t be a diva

Cantor Banter: Think of a bat mitzvah service as a play. Even if you have the lead role, the play isn’t all about you. Comment

Lights, camera, bar mitzvah!

Cantor Banter: If you have the option to record a bar mitzvah service, should you? Comment

All about aliyah

Cantor Banter: What is an aliyah and how many will you get on the day of your kid’s bar mitzvah? Comments (1)

Lip service

Cantor Banter: Despite what you think, if your cantor refuses to phonetically spell out Hebrew words in English, there is a reason. Comment

The down-low on the high road

Cantor Banter: You may not want to invite your kid’s entire Hebrew class to his bar mitzvah, but doing so may be a rewarding experience. Comment

Passing customs

Cantor Banter: Make a bar mitzvah abroad a broader experience Comment

Don’t be an Airhead

Cantor Banter: Why you should think twice about incorporating the candy-throwing tradition into your bar mitzvah ceremony. Comments (2)

Saturday night vibe

Cantor Banter: A cantor differentiates the lesser-known Saturday evening bar mitzvah services from the morning ones. Comments (1)

Underage kids at the bar … mitzvah, that is

Cantor Banter: Ways to include younger guests your kid’s bar mitzvah service. Comment

Denomination clarifications

Cantor Banter: Can a Reform Jew invite an Orthodox Jew to a bat mitzvah? Comments (2)

Journey to the center of the worth

Cantor Banter: What is the most important aspect of the bar mitzvah process? Our columnist weighs in. Comments (2)

A matter of time

Cantor Banter: Is 30 minutes a short bar mitzvah lesson? Our columnist takes a time-out to discuss the relativity of time. Comment

Shadow of doubt

Cantor Banter: Should you shadow your child during his bar mitzvah lessons? Our columnist sheds some light on the topic. Comment

Back to the mitzvah

Cantor Banter: Our columnist takes us on a trip to the past to learn why we have b’nai mitzvah services on Saturday mornings. Comments (1)

Shalom, my name is …

Cantor Banter: Does your kid have a Hebrew name, what is the significance, and, if not, how do you find one? Comment

And the award goes to…

Cantor Banter: Feel like you have to keep up an act for the sake of your child’s religious education? Don’t be such a drama queen. Comment

The kid’s speech

Cantor Banter: Tips on how to write a d’var Torah … with or without a fountain pen. Comment

Torah, haftarahs, and fedoras

Cantor Banter: All three of these words might rhyme, but they have as much to do with each other as a plethora of menorahs and a senora named Nora. Comment

Hear no evil

Cantor Banter: Has someone told you that you’re tone deaf? Cantor Matt’s got the cure! It’s called ‘practicing.’ Comment

The ‘ick’ factor

Cantor Banter: Itching for a new Torah portion? Instead of doing something rash, be creative. Comment

Song sung blues

Cantor Banter: Singing is a pain if you can’t belt out ‘Singing in the Rain’ like Gene Kelly, but some honors demand that you do. Here’s how to handle an aliyah. Comment

Can Alice wear a tallis?

Cantor Banter: Examining where the word “tallis” derives from and why it’s just fine for a female to wear one. Comment
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