Michael and I just celebrated our second month married and we really want to tell you how glad we are for having you prepared and officiated our wedding. It was wonderful. Our first meeting with you was great. We had a great conversation and we will always remember your good advice. We are very grateful for the time you spent in preparing our ceremony because we know that you put a lot of time and heart into preparing our ceremony. It was unique to have it in both English and Spanish. Your Spanish is very good. Everybody was surprised and impressed at the wedding of your great pronunciation. Our families were so happy for having you and Father Flanagan at our wedding. You conducted the wedding in such a smooth way; we felt we knew you for a long time.
You said very important words during our ceremony and the message of those words will stay in our minds and heart is forever. Our friends too told us how wonderful the ceremony was. You did a great job and we are sure that we just had the best ceremony someone can ever dream of.
Thank you very much again. You have friends in us and we know we will always find a friend in you.
Dear Rabbi Allen,
We have just moved into our new home and we've finally settled in! We wanted to take a moment to say thank you again for our wonderful and memorable wedding ceremony. You well surpassed our expectations for having a personal and romantic ceremony! You mixed just the right amounts of religion, faith and love, while interjecting such personal touches that made the ceremony truly ours!
My mother, along with Kevin and I, have received so many compliments on your ceremony, which meant a great deal to us. It was so nice to hear that everyone could relate to and be touched by the service, regardless of their religious affiliation.
Again, we thank you for your time and attention to planning our ceremony. You made our day very special! We hope to stay in touch with you and wish you all the best.
Shalom - Gina Buchalter Otis and Kevin Otis
Sheryl A. Garman, Wedding Consultant
Dear Rabbi Allen:
I'm writing this letter to thank you for your assistance in making Naina Narayana and Steven Chernoff's wedding ceremony one of the most beautiful I've witnessed. It was a pleasure working with you before the wedding day and I truly appreciate the time you spent assisting me.
Your professionalism and kindness made me feel comfortable in knowing that you would handle the ceremony with utmost dignity. Both Naina and Steve were so happy with the way both the Jewish and Hindu ceremonies were performed.
I look forward to working with you in the future. Be assured that I will refer you to any couples who will be in need of a Rabbi for their weddings and feel free to give my name as reference, if needed.
We make a great team and I look forward to working on-site with you at many weddings in the future!
Sheryl A. Garman
Dear Rabbi Allen:
Craig and I would like to thank you for the beautiful interfaith wedding ceremony that you wrote for us. We were concerned that it would be difficult to incorporate Craig’s Jewish beliefs and my Catholic beliefs into the same ceremony without losing something from each. This was definitely not the case as you managed to combine them effortlessly into something wonderful and new. You took great care to show respect for both religions and gave equal time to our co-officiant, Father Curran. The ceremony which you composed made our wedding truly special.
As a Catholic, I was not familiar with Jewish traditions. I really appreciated your time and patience in explaining some of the history and language to me. You never pressured me to convert or made me feel inferior because I was Catholic. I was concerned that because you were a Rabbi, this would be the case, but I could not have been more wrong. In fact, I was impressed by your extensive knowledge of the Catholic religion and all religions.
You gave us such a wonderful choice of readings that it was difficult to pick two. We chose readings from The Song of Songs and Paul to the Corinthians. You were perfectly willing to share the spotlight with Father Curran. It was such a special day. Your deep and resonant singing of the Seven Benedictions will stay with us always. I may not understand Hebrew, but I do understand the beauty of the language and how you sang the benedictions with such emotion. There were many times in the ceremony that I was brought to tears, even though I tried to hold them back. I found it deeply touching.
We would recommend you highly to anybody looking for a wonderful officiant to perform their wedding ceremony.
Dear Rabbi Allen,
I want to thank you on behalf of Cathy and myself. You definitely connected
with us on a deep level, and perhaps more importantly, made us connect at an
even deeper level. You helped us look more into ourselves and into our
relationship, and that is precisely what we needed at this point in time, with
the stress of the wedding plans, the defining of relationships and the logistics
of life together. With that immense pressure, we were losing sight of the main
thing that brought the three of us together in the first place--that is, Cathy
and I love each other and want to spend the rest of our lives together. I had
not felt that much raw love towards her in awhile. (I made sure to tell her that
afterwards.) I was being very sincere yesterday when I told you how much you did
for us and that I could never repay you for what you have done so far. I usually
do not get choked up and emotional in front of others, especially someone I just
Rabbi, you really did touch me. You also gave us a lot to think about and
showed us some areas upon which we need to work. There can be nothing but the
bettering of our relationship coming out of even our short session yesterday. We
are both so happy you are going to be part of our lives forever.
After introductions, I told you that out of frustration, "I made the mistake
of falling in love with someone who is not Jewish, but I still was Jewish and
wanted a rabbi to co-officiate". Rabbi, you quickly but gently admonished me
that I did not make a mistake and that love is never wrong. We talked more about
my views, my wife's views, and what we wanted in our future. We made an
appointment to meet again so that you might get to know us better and he could
help us (Cathy and me) get to know each other better. Rabbi Allen, you made it
very clear that you do not marry just anybody; both partners must have a belief
in G-d and both must be in love with each other or you will not perform the
Our meeting with you was more than we could have imagined. You put us in
touch with our feelings and got us closer than we had ever been during those
hours of "work". We left your home with a deeper, more spiritual love. We also
worked on the logistics of our wedding, since, as you explained, each wedding is
different. Between this meeting and our wedding, we spoke, or emailed, many
times. You are not just a "Rent-a-Rabbi" - You are our Rabbi.
The ceremony came off beautifully on May 28, and it was truly mine and
Cathy's. It combined in a respectful way both of our religions, our traditions,
our families, and ourselves. Our guests continue to this day to compliment our
wedding. (By the way, Rabbi Allen, you have a magnificent singing voice, and it
added greatly to the service.)
Rabbi Allen, Cathy and I cannot recommend you highly enough. We continue to
be in contact with you, whether it is to ask for advice or to exchange a joke or
humorous anecdote. You really are our Rabbi and our friend.
Dr. & Mrs. Jeffrey E. Jacobs
"In planning the wedding ceremony of which I was a part, Rabbi Allen showed great sensitivity to my faith community. I found him most affable, a superb cantor, and a delight to work with."
Rev. William B. Kauffman, Catholic priest
Dear Rabbi Allen:
We can’t thank you enough for helping to make our wedding such a success. From the time of our first meeting we knew we had chosen the right person to marry us. You were warm, understanding and made us feel very comfortable. As you can imagine, we were initially concerned about how a Rabbi would handle an interfaith wedding. You did so with amazing compassion and insight.
The ceremony itself was beautiful. With your guidance we had a wedding ceremony that was full of tradition, family and friends. You were open to suggestions for changes and additions that made our wedding personalized. We can’t express how we felt while you were speaking and singing – we were moved from tears to joy at different moments. Your appreciation for our love for each other was apparent in your words and actions.
My family and friends loved you and we were told by many that it was the nicest wedding they ever attended. You provided us with memories well above and beyond our expectations and hopes. As soon as our pictures are developed we will be sure to send you one of the three of us.
With much love and thanks, Ellie and Bob Arend
Rabbi Allen has the unique ability of composing a wedding ceremony that is distinctively personal to the couple before him. He is warm and sincerely caring himself and keenly aware that god is alive and reaching out to the world through all people of faith.
Rabbi Allen is a warm and compassionate man who believes that God is alive and active in all bona fide religious persuasions. That is the reason it is a joy and pleasure for me, a Catholic priest, to co-officiate with him at Interfaith marriages.
Father Robert P. Daly
Dear Rabbi Allen,
We just want to thank you for exceeding our expectations in making our Wedding Ceremony a huge success. Everyone told us how meaningful and eloquent it was. When we decided to get married, we both knew we wanted a quiet private ceremony, which would be officiated by one who could relate to both of us. For most brides and grooms who belong to the same congregation or practice the same religion, making arrangements for a religious ceremony may seem relatively simple. Being that we were an interfaith couple we had to search for someone to perform such a ceremony. This process made us closely examine what our wedding ceremony meant to both of us. We had to decide if we wanted a traditional, religious, or more secular humanistic ceremony. We wanted a mixture of both, where we could personalize our wedding rituals and cultures.
Our search came to an end when we called you to inquire about your services. After sitting down and discussing with you our preferences and personal beliefs about marriage, we both knew we had finally met the person in whose hands we could totally leave a meaningful ceremony to be planned. We were ecstatic you could speak French and that you were also a Cantor in the Synagogue. We couldn't quite believe our luck. After spending 6 hours with you, for the first time, we left your office feeling so relieved. We were definitely right and it was indeed a wonderful ceremony. All our family members kept commenting about what a wonderful, special, and personal ceremony we had. We speak for our entire family and friends when we say we cannot thank you enough.
We are back from our Honeymoon and we would like to meet you to continue our discussions of visiting a Reform Jewish Synagogue, and taking some classes. Please let us know when you are available. We hope all is well with you and your family.
Dear Rabbi Allen:
Thank you so much for the beautiful ceremony. Vin and I were so pleased with the ceremony. We had our concerns with an interfaith ceremony especially with Vin's religious grandparents but they particularly enjoyed the ceremony. So many of our guests complimented the ceremony throughout the evening. In fact, they truly listened to your words because they were repeating various portions all night long.
We did not want a Judge to marry us because we felt that a wedding is a spiritual and religious event. The ceremony brought together not only Vin and I but our friends and family as well. Although we met face to face on one occasion prior to the wedding and had a few conversations on the telephone or via e-mail, I felt that your words truly mirrored the nature of my relationship with Vin. You were able to capture and express our bond together.
Rabbi, you may not believe this, but I am an extremely particular person who pays a lot of attention to detail. I spoke and met with other Rabbis and Priests before we met. I had no doubt in my mind after Vin and I met with you that my ceremony would be everything that I wanted. You impressed as wanting to learn about our relationship and caring about us beyond the wedding.
We were very, very fortunate to have such a beautiful wedding (the only glitch, of course, being that Vin forgot the license). I understand the legality involved but I was confident that everything would work out. I cannot thank you enough for writing the service.
If you ever have a couple who has questions or concerns, please do not hesitate to use us as a reference. Please keep in touch!
This couple wanted a Nondenominational Ceremony and I convinced them that Interfaith would be better.
Dear Rabbi Allen,
LeeAnn and I can't thank you enough for the wedding - your participation definitely set the tone for a perfect evening for our guests and us.
While we wanted a non-denominational ceremony, we didn't want it to be devoid of personal significance or spiritual meaning. You were able to combine elements of both of our religious and cultural backgrounds in a way that was cogent and moving. We appreciate that you took the time to work with us through multiple drafts of the ceremony until you were sure it was what we were looking for.
We can tell you that most of our guests commented on how wonderful the ceremony
was. In fact, we received comments from several guests that it was the best
wedding ceremony they had ever heard. Your singing of the blessings was
definitely one of the highlights. We had both been to many weddings where the
ceremony seems a mere formality, and can tell you that in this case not only us,
but our friends and family all felt that they were participants in this special
event - it definitely underscored the sense that LeeAnn and I had of being part
of a greater community.
Dear Rabbi Allen,
Fran and I are having difficulty putting into words the feelings we have
regarding our recent wedding, which you officiated early this month. Since then,
we have spoken to quite a few people who attended; and they, too, have expressed
their extremely positive thoughts about our celebration of vows.
How can we start? When we first met? From the very first moment, we felt
connected to you spiritually, emotionally and intellectually. It was as if you
knew us, guiding us through our beliefs and expectations, reconciling our
positions regarding faith, and affirming our love for each other. We will never
forget the hours we spent with you talking about life, love, and happiness; and
about the special gifts we were soon to receive, in giving and receiving love
and sharing life together.
You found a way to express all of this, and so much more, on the day of our
wedding. You knew there was so much to be said and proclaimed. You found a way.
We each remember looking into the other’s eyes during the celebration, but
frankly, as we so often think back to that momentous occasion, we remember how
you were so intimately involved with us. We so vividly remember your words and
actions; how sincerely you expressed yourself on our behalf. We know this
because, obviously, you had to be feeling with us; you were intimately involved
with us. We just can’t imagine how our celebration could have been any better,
and much of the honor and genuine thanks, from our hearts, belong to you.
There’s so much more to say. We haven’t even touched on your prayers, and
your glorious singing, your meeting and discussions with our guests, and your
smiles. What we do know, however, is that you found a most personal way to
connect, not just Fran and I, but connect all of us together who attended our
wedding. I am confident without any doubt, that our celebration will be
remembered forever. You touched us deeply.
Thank you, once more, for making our celebration the best of the best. Fran
and I truly hope we have an opportunity to visit with you in the near future and
share with you some of our most fondest and precious memories (and pictures) of
our wedding. If, in the future, you are called upon once again to involve
yourself in a loving couple’s union, we would be most gratified to share with
them how truly special you made our wedding.
Dear Rabbi Allen,
I wanted to take this opportunity to tell you how much we loved the ceremony
and were astounded by your beautiful voice. Our wedding was Interfaith and Phil
had never heard chanting but fell in love with our customs. I have much
experience in this regard but have never experienced any chanting as beautiful.
Your career in opera was quite apparent on our very special day. Our guests were
so impressed that they continue to talk about it now.
The ceremony was very meaningful. Thank you for taking the time to customize
it so that it would be memorable and cherished for the rest of our lives. We
also appreciate the fact that you and Valerie were able to join us at the
reception and I thoroughly enjoyed the time we spent chatting.
Finally, we wanted to let you know how blessed we feel for having met you on
the Internet and later on, in person. I don’t think we could have had a better
wedding with a Rabbi we knew. You are truly professional yet very warm and
unassuming. We appreciate your services and friendship.
Thank you for being “you” and for sharing in our very special day. We hope to
continue to be in contact and that you and Valerie stay well. Please feel free
to use this letter as a reference and my e-mail address for anyone who would
like to ask me questions directly.
Phil & Michel Penley