Friday, June 13, 2008

Rabbi Howard Steven Axelman, MSW (AKA: Rabbi Tzvi Axelman, Rabbi Steven Axelman, Rabbi Howard Axelman)

This was originally posted back on October 18, 2006. I was just made aware that the link to my e-mail address was not working correctly. They link has been fixed.

Looking for more information about Rabbi Howard Steven Axelman, MSW (AKA: Rabbi Tzvi Axelman, Rabbi Steven Axelman, Rabbi Howard Axelman)

Tzvi Axelman (2002) / Steven Axelman (2004)

Rabbi Howard Steven Axelman is a man who grew up in Baltimore, MD. He used to daven (pray) in both Rabbis Yaakov Hopfer and Moshe Heinemann's Shuls. He is an alumni of Ohr Somayach.

There have been rumors floating around in both Baltimore and Neve Yaakov (Jerusalem, Israel) that those connected with the Vaad HaRabbonim (Jewish religious court) chased Tzvi Axelman out of town due to allegations of both domestic violence and child sexual abuse. Others say Rabbi Axelman was set up by powerful and influential individuals connected to his ex-wife's family. Rabbi Axelman's ex-wife is a member of a very powerful rabbinic family.

Prior to leaving Baltimore, Howard Tsvi Axelman worked as a social worker at a local hospital and also as a scribe.

Upon arriving in Israel, Howard Axelman started going by the name of Tzvi Axelman (his Hebrew name). He lived in Neve Yaakov, which is a suburb of Jerusalem. He worked as a sofer stam (scribe) during his time in Israel.

According to several sources, prior to his death -- Rabbi Nachman Bulman stated that Rabbi Axelman was accused of molesting boys in the yeshiva. There were also eye-witness accounts of Axelman beating his ex-wife on the streets prior to their divorce.

During an ugly child custody battle, Rabbi Howard Steven Axelman relocated to Lakewood, NJ. This marks the time he began to use the name "Steven Axelman". He secured a clinical position as a social worker at a local hospital. He also began a private practice.

Today Rabbi Steven Axelman serves as rabbi at the Whitestone Hebrew Centre, Whitestone, NY (conservative synagogue). He no longer considers himself frum.

If you have any more information regarding Rabbi Howard Steven Axelman, please post it or send me an e-mail.

Rabbi Steven Axelman (2008)


Anonymous Anonymous said...

Listing Details
Mr. Steven Axelman LCSW
434 Dennison St.
Highland Park , NJ 08904 - 2734 Phone: (732) 299-4360
Fax: (732) 819-8655


Clients served:

* Adults
* Adolescents
* Children
* Families
* Couples

Services offered:

October 19, 2006 10:33 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Date Posted: 8/25/2005
Job ID #: 5096

Role/Job Category: Teacher - Cong./Communal school
Organization Name: Whitestone Hebrew Centre
Location: Whitestone, New York
Denomination: Conservative
Status: Part-Time
Description: Synagogue religious school seeks teacher for 9-11 year olds,
Thursdays, 3:30-5:30 and Sundays, 9:30-11:30.
Position Available: 09/15/05
Salary Range: $6000

Desired Education Degree/Level: Bachelor's
Jewish Education: Knowledge of grade level that they are required to
Prior Experience: None needed

Career Level: Entry-Level

How To Apply
Contact for Job: Rabbi Steven Axelman
Contact Title: Rabbi/Prin

October 19, 2006 10:37 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

From: (Howard Axelman)
Date: Sun, 7 Jan 1996 05:15:08 -0500
Subject: Star-K

In this week's Jewish Press there was a story about a "merger/alliance"
between the Star-K of Baltimore and the National Council of Young Israel.
Does anyone have any info about this?

October 19, 2006 10:40 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

audio tapes
Date Tue, 1 Sep 1998 00:25:37 -0400 (EDT)

would any mediators that live in Israel please e-mail me privately. I am
getting an order
form of audio tapes from the latest academy of family mediators convention
and want to
know if others would like to place orders together with me. Thank you.
Howard Axelman

Get free personalized email at

October 19, 2006 10:42 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

From: (Tzvi Axelman)
Date: Tue, 13 May 1997 12:42:30 -0400 (EDT)
Subject: Kiryat-Sefer

I'm looking to correspond with anyone on this list who lives in Kiryat
Sefer, if possible. Alternately with anyone who knows a lot about that
neighborhood, i.e. prices, quality of live, etc. I am looking into
moving to Eretz Yisroel in near future. Thank you.
Tzvi Axelman

October 19, 2006 10:45 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Ohr Somayach Alumni Database

Record for:Tzvi Axelman
First Name: Tzvi
Last Name: Axelman
Spouse's Name:

October 19, 2006 10:48 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

From: Chips
Date: Wed, 8 Jan 1997 10:44:53 -0800 (PST)
Subject: She'hecheyanu on Yom Tov

From: Jonathan Katz
>I learned recently that it is not recommended for one to bless a
>"she'hechiyanu" after lighting candles for Yom Tov .....
>Why is it recommended that this bracha not be made? And, why has it
>become almost a universal custom to say the bracha anyway?

The concern is that if the women make the 'brocha' then when they hear
it in 'Kiddush' it would be a 'hefsek' (an interuption) for them, since
it wouldn't have any application to them. I happened to have covered
this issue in Yeshiva (if someone on the list knows Zvi Axelman in
Baltimore they can get the sources from him). The isue is more
applicaple to the 2nd day YomTov. Even so, there are two points to
counter this concern. First, as Jonathan points out, it is a universal
custom and has been for over 300 years. An early "Acharon" (medieval
commentary?) wrote that he came to the conclusion that his wife
shouldn't make the 'brocha' and told her so. She told him that her
mother did it, her grandmother did it and her great-grandmother did it;
so she is going to do it. And she did. The "Acharon" finishes that he
had no argument to give to her.

Secondly, Rav Moshe thought not much of the concern. Rav Moshe points
out other occasions where the same situation occurs and there is no
concern mentioned. Specifically, on 'Sukos' when the husband makes
"Leisheiv ba'Suko" and the women are not even in the 'Suko'.

October 19, 2006 10:50 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

WHere has the poster been all these years ? The Star K & Young Israel have had a joint hechsher for ages already under the Star-D symbol.

October 20, 2006 5:59 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

When I was 15 years old I used to hang out at a bar near Ben Yehuda. This guy creeped me out. He was always hitting on me.

He'd go there with one of his kids who was around my age. He was just creepy. He was an old guy trying to act cool.

October 22, 2006 9:45 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I also saw him hitting on cute chicks.

October 23, 2006 12:21 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

These allegations are factually incorrect and in fact have not even been alleged by any parties in numerous court filings in 2 countries.
Rabbi Axelman is licensed and privileged to treat children in 2 states after
undergoing standard investigations to do such work for hospital based
agencies. After several thorough and comprehensive evaluations by
court appointed experts in which none of these libelous charges were even made, the rabbi was awarded custody of 3 sons by consent of the parties and court order. Legal action is being initiated against the publisher of this blog and appropriate damages are being sought.

October 24, 2006 4:31 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

In the article "A Modest Proposal — Disband the Rabbinical Courts", by Naomi Ragen. One can't help but notice that Rabbi Howard Axelman e-mail address is posted at the end:

Was Axelman able to manipulate Naomi Ragen in believing he was a victim of the religious court system in Israel?

It has been outlined in the previous postings on this blog that Howard Axelman used the same e-mail address for other purposes.

A Modest Proposal — Disband the Rabbinical Courts
by Naomi Ragen (February 23, 2001)

Case two: A couple with seven children divorced. The father, a devout religious Jew, disdained his friends’ advice and did not hold up the writ of divorce to squeeze his wife for concessions. All matters of custody and finances were left for later. The court appointed a respected psychologist to help decide custody.

In his report, the psychologist said the children were victims of abuse, and pointed to the mother and maternal grandfather as the perpetrators. The father asked that the two young boys, the children most at risk, be immediately transferred to his custody.

What did the Court do? They ignored their own Court-appointed psychologist’s report and accepted the mother’s suggestion that a family friend, a social worker with a spotted reputation, be asked to prepare another report (and obviously one more favorable to her…) The Court, inexplicably, thought this was a wonderful idea. But the vociferous objections of the father forced them to concede that, perhaps, after all, a psychologist was needed. So they appointed THE SAME psychologist (whose report they had ignored) again to prepare another report.

In the meantime, without the father’s knowledge or approval, one daughter was spirited out of the country, ostensibly to go to summer camp. Despite a $60,000 bond signed by the mother and grandmother guaranteeing her return, to be paid to the father if she didn’t, the daughter is still in America. When the father applied to the Court to enforce the bond, his request was ignored.

In the meantime, the abuse continues, the children (and their father) are miserable, longing for more time together than the two days a week and every other Shabbat the Court now allows. Ironically, religious law usually encourages the court to give male children over to their fathers in the wake of divorce.

How can we begin to understand the Court’s behavior? Perhaps this will help: the mother’s family is part of one of the greatest and most distinguished in the Rabbinical world. Her great-grandfather actually founded the religious world’s most influential political movement.

The Bible says: A judge must not perpetrate injustice, accept bribes or be partial or afraid (Deut. 1:17). He may not favor the poor or discriminate [even] against the wicked (Ex. 23:6). He is forbidden to hear one litigant without the other being present (Ex 23:1). He is forbidden from accepting testimony from relatives of those involved in a case (Deut. 24:16). Every person appointed as a rabbinical court judge in Israel must pledge to dispense justice fairly, not to pervert the law and to show no favor.

I assert that the Rabbinical Court system in Israel is rife with corruption, favoritism, and plain incompetence. Judges saunter in whenever it pleases them. They hold conferences in the hallways with Yiddish-speaking whisperers. Nothing is computerized. Files often get dusty, torn, lost.

Except those of powerful, well-connected litigants. Those are treated, as we see, quite differently.

For those secular Jews which Israeli laws force to go to Rabbinic Courts for divorces, it is an embittering experience which ensures their continued disdain of the Torah.

It serves no one well. Secular or religious.

The time has come to disband it, giving its powers to decide monetary and custody matters over to the civil courts. As for religious issues, let each community set up its own court, accepting judges on the basis of their learning and righteousness, not their political connections.

It’s a modest proposal whose time has come. Those who are interested in getting involved in changing the Rabbinic Court system, or who have been victims of it, can please contact me or

October 24, 2006 6:00 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

This is creepy. I was trying to learn more about Axelman and found the following. I have no idea if Axelman and Menken know each other.

Messages from Alumni

Tzvi Axelman-( `74 - '77)

I am currently living in Baltimore. I have __ children (be'h), ages 11-1 1/2, __ boys and __ girls. I work as a clinical social worker during the day at a community mental health center. I am writing a Sefer Torah at night (my second one) and am in safrus for about 10 years. I am also the Ba'al Koreh at the Glen Avenue Shul here and sometimes teach Bar-Mitzvah lessons. I will also be running a support group for children of divorce for the Jewish Family Services.
(Do I sound Bored?)

Go here for more on Menken (
Yaakov Menken-( JLE `85, Monsey `88)
After several years of study in Ohr Somayach Monsey and the Lakewood and
Mirrer Yeshivos, I returned to the US. to launch a new outreach organization for college students, Project Genesis.

On a more personal note, I married ----------- on Rosh Chodesh Elul of last year, and we live in Victoria Gardens in Monsey (which is home to many young Ohr Somayach families in the US). I invite all local alumni to the Daf Yomi shiur that I give in the Blueberry Hill Shul at 6 a.m. each morning.

[Rabbi Menken heads Project Genesis which in addition to campus programming and weekly Divrei Torah, provides an extensive program in
Jewish education via the Internet -- with on-line shiurim in Mesilas Yesharim, Mishna Brura, Hilchos Loshon Hora, Sefer Mishlei, and most
recently Pirkei Avos with the Maharal' s Perush. For more information write to .]

October 24, 2006 9:29 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I don't know what his past history in the Orthodox community was but now he
has a fetish for older married women with a lot of money. He milks them and
then moves on to greener (grayer) pastures. The married woman he has an
affair with now is the president of our Congregation.Its such a Nachas to
see their (un)marital bliss sitting on both sides of the ark on Sabbath!

October 25, 2006 2:53 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Axelman's been milking women for money for years. He's charismatic that's for sure. Very friendly and charming.

November 19, 2006 10:14 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Axelman is listed on "dont date him"

January 09, 2007 1:14 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Axelman now has his own web page

January 09, 2007 1:16 AM  
Anonymous Queens Courier said...

Whitestone has full-time rabbi and cantor
Wednesday, April 16, 2008 11:25 AM

Beginning as a part-time cantor at the Whitestone Hebrew Centre, Rabbi Steven Axelman is now their full-time cantor and rabbi.

When the previous rabbi left the center several years ago, Axelman began filling in as a cantor to lead services. He eventually began serving as the rabbi on weekends while continuing to work full-time as a psychotherapist in New Jersey. About a year ago, Axelman stopped working as a therapist to work only at the center.

“You grow into a synagogue and you literally become part of the family,” said Axelman, who is originally from Baltimore.

Axelman said that he loves Whitestone and the neighborhood, describing it as a very friendly area.

While at the Whitestone Hebrew Centre, Axelman said that he has been dealing with a problem that many other synagogues face, which is an older and decreasing membership. In order to attract newer members, Axelman said that along with making physical improvements they have worked towards making services more warm and inviting.

Another component of the synagogue has been to offer classes that are of interest to members, including a Talmud class attended by about 15 people.

“We have a very dynamic Talmud class,” Axelman said. “For some people it’s literally life-changing. It’s introducing people to things they may not have been exposed to in Judaism and finding a way to make it exciting and relevant.”

Within the Whitestone Hebrew Centre, Axelman is also the principal of the Hebrew school and is in charge of the youth program.

Because of it being a small synagogue, Axelman said that, although he has a great deal of responsibility, he is able to take his vision, sell it to others and then work to make things happen.

Axelman interacts with other organizations such as the Northeast Queens Jewish Community Council and the Whitestone Neighborhood Clergy. He can also be seen at local community events such as ribbon cuttings.

For the future, Axelman has two main goals for the center. First and foremost, he said he plans on it remaining open. Secondly, he also wants to continue to attract new members, including younger families with children.

“We’re going to grow as a vibrant Jewish center,” he said.

In his professional work, Axelman said that the most rewarding part has been being able to make an impact on the lives of others.

“It’s an unbelievable opportunity because as clergy you really make a big difference,” Axelman said. “Sometimes just clergy being there makes a difference and that’s amazingly rewarding.”

The Whitestone Hebrew Centre is located at 12-45 Clintonville Street. For more information, call 718-767-1500 or visit

June 13, 2008 11:17 PM  

Post a Comment

<< Home