Temple Beth Sholom of Pascack Valley

 

 

 

Cantor Joel Leibowitz
Cantor Joel Leibowitz

Cantor Joel Leibowitz
Our Cantor, Joel Leibowitz, began his cantorial career as a Chaplain's Assistant in the Israel Defense Forces. Born and raised in the Canarsie section of Brooklyn, NY, and graduate of Yeshiva of Kings Bay in Brooklyn, he spent all Jewish holidays at his grandparent's house in the Lower East Side of Manhattan, attending services and absorbing melodies at the renowned Bialystoker Synagogue. He moved to Israel with his family in 1971.

After graduating from "Yeshivat Bet-Shmuel" high school in Hadera, Israel, where he served as one of the Yeshiva's ten revolving "Ba'alei Tefilla" (Prayer Leaders), he was inducted into the IDF Military Chaplaincy where he served as Chaplain's Assistant for an artillery battalion in the Jordan Valley for one year, and an armored brigade in Sinai for two more years. His responsibilities included organizing and leading prayer services for the soldiers in his groups. It was there that his commander, as well as the Chief IDF Cantor, both urged him to capitalize on his talent and pursue a cantorial career.

Cantor Leibowitz served as a High Holiday Cantor in Israel for many years, most prominently at the Central Synagogue of Ramatayim, Hod-Hasharon, Israel. Additionally, he has been a guest Cantor at the Konievsky Synagogue in Kfar-Saba, Israel, the Central Synagogue at Moshav Neve-Yarak, Israel, and the "Liberale Joodse Gemente" (Liberal Jewish Congregation), Amsterdam, Netherlands. Before joining TBS, he served for eight years as High Holiday Cantor for the "Agudas Israel Congregation" of Hazleton, PA.

Cantor Leibowitz holds a BA in Psychology & Sociology from Bar-Ilan U. in Israel, and an MBA in Transportation Management from Dowling College. When "not singing," he serves as Senior Manager of Commodity Planning for the Procurement & Logistics Dept. of the Long Island Rail Road.

When joined at services by his family, they serve as his own personal "choir," enhancing the experience of his blend of traditional liturgy and contemporary Israeli melodies. Whether leading a service, teaching a Hebrew School class a new melody, delighting youngsters at a "Tot Shabbat," or just mingling with members of the congregation, Cantor Leibowitz is profoundly approachable, putting his emphasis on positive connections with people, in order to share with them his love for Jewish prayer, tradition, and melody.