Accolades - Interfaith

Linda Russ  You brought significance and meaning to the customs of our religions. The ceremony flowed beautifully; it's was personal and genuine. (Filipino and Jewish)
David and Eugénie Olson It really reflected the two of us and our relationship, and our wedding guests said as much. They were all impressed by how engaging the service was, and everyone also mentioned how much they liked your singing.
Maureen and John The Hand of God touched us again when He sent us you.
David and Sabine Shaman You were more than just the solution to a thorny problem. We feel deeply that the ceremonies on both sides of the Atlantic were something special and memorable-- the warmth and humanity you brought to the occasion touched us both and had us completely at ease. You took the time to get to know us and let us get to know you. You provided us with the framework of a ceremony and allowed us to participate in determining its final detail.
Cara and Dave Thank you for coming all the way from Philadelphia to Mesa, Arizona to marry us.
Nimia and Ron  We wanted to have a ceremony that combined the traditions of our respective backgrounds; we feel so fortunate to have met you and to have been able to work with you to develop the ceremony. (Jewish and Filipino-Catholic)
Ariann & Steve It was without a doubt the most moving wedding ceremony I have ever witnessed.
Sue and Scott Dubow  The way in which you intertwined our two faiths was beautiful. We received many compliments on our ceremony. The words used in our ceremony portrayed all of the feelings in our hearts. Your singing of the blessings was quite beautiful and inspiring.
Shana and Michael Herring We cannot thank you enough for the wonderful job you did in conducting our wedding ceremony!
Eun-Mi and Michael While your ceremony, written especially for us, was beautiful – even poetic, your personal words to us continue to resound in our minds and hearts. We requested a copy of your words to us and I think they are so beautiful, caring and thought-provoking, I’d like you to put them on your web site
Gaby and Michael You conducted the wedding in such a smooth way; it was unique to have it in both languages. (English and Spanish)
Sheryl A. Garman, Wedding Consultant Your professionalism and kindness made me feel comfortable in knowing that you would handle the ceremony with utmost dignity. (Hindu and Jewish)
Gina Buchalter Otis and Kevin Otis You well surpassed our expectations for having a personal and romantic ceremony!
Barbara and Craig Millman We were concerned that it would be difficult to incorporate Craig’s Jewish beliefs and my Catholic beliefs into the same ceremony; you took great care to show respect for both religions and gave equal time to our co-officiant. (Catholic and Jewish)
Dr. & Mrs. Jeffrey E. Jacobs Our guests continue to this day to compliment our wedding.
Rev. William B. Kauffman, Catholic priest "I found him most affable, a superb cantor, and a delight to work with."
Lynne and Barry Green (Parents  Lynne and I just wanted to send you a most sincere "Thank You" for all that you did to make Jen and Brian’s wedding truly something special. With just two days notice, you were able to consult with Father Luke Nelson and create a ceremony that was praised by everyone who attended. All the guests were truly moved by the feeling created by the two of you, none more so than Lynne and I.
Ellie and Bob Arend The ceremony itself was beautiful.
Father Robert P. Daly Rabbi Allen is a warm and compassionate man who believes that God is alive and active in all bona fide religious persuasions.
Sharon and Mike All our family members kept commenting about what a wonderful, special, and personal ceremony we had.
Holly & Vin San Angelo We were very, very fortunate to have such a beautiful wedding.
Andrew and Lee Ann Kress We can tell you that most of our guests commented on how wonderful the ceremony was.
Michael - 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.
Phil & Michel Penley - 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.
Linda Russ

Dear Rabbi Allen,

It was truly a pleasure having you officiate at Marissa and Brian's wedding. You brilliantly wrote a beautiful, warm service, incorporating all the important traditions of the Jewish and Filipino faiths.

Our guests raved about your voice and eloquent delivery of the service. You brought significance and meaning to the customs of our religions. The ceremony flowed beautifully; it's was personal and genuine. You were organized and diligent in planning the events leading to the special day.

Prior to the wedding, your meeting with both Marissa and Brian was informative, interesting and helpful to both of them.

We feel fortunate that we came across your name to perform this service for such an auspicious occasion. It was a wonderful experience working with you. We both look forward to keeping in touch and in seeing you at another wedding in the future.

Fondly,
Linda Russ 

David and Eugénie Olson

Dear Rabbi Allen,

We wanted to take this opportunity to thank you for the wonderful job you did at our May 11 wedding. It was solemn without being stuffy or boring, yet it was upbeat without being silly. It really reflected the two of us and our relationship, and our wedding guests said as much. They were all impressed by how engaging the service was, and everyone also mentioned how much they liked your singing. It certainly added an unusual element to the service, and your voice sounded great in that space. We are also grateful for the suggestions you made for the service; it was helpful to be able to talk about what we had in mind and get an idea of how it would all fit together. All in all, it was a great wedding, and your service was a very big part of that. Thank you again!

Best,
 
David and Eugénie Olson


Maureen and John

Dear Rabbi Allen;

There are a few times in life when the Hand of God touches us gently and makes profound differences. That day happened when John and I met each other. Every day since has been filled with many experiences, all shared together. We have in each other happiness neither us thought possible.

The Hand of God touched us again when He sent us you. Since that day, our lives have been richer. We enjoy your words of wisdom and caring and we smile with the humor and wit you interject. However, nothing quite compares with the marriage ceremony you composed for us. It was truly a thing of beauty. Our family and guests were awed; they had never heard a more meaningful and expressive service, regardless of religious denomination. You made our wedding day one that will be cherished forever.

Words of gratitude and thanks pale; they are simply not sufficient to tell you all that we wish to convey, but know that you have given us a very special gift --- yourself.

Maureen and John
 

David and Sabine Shaman

Dear Rabbi Allen,

When we decided to marry last year, we knew there were several hurdles to overcome-- two cultures, two languages, and family living across the ocean from one another. Most of the French did not speak English. Most of the Americans did not speak French. And as 2003 got underway, the two countries were not exactly on the most-popular list with one another. (Although we happily can report that Franco-American relations without our home have been, and remain, excellent.)

One of our greatest concerns was finding someone who could preside at our ceremony, express the sentiments important to us, and do so in a way that would be inclusive for all the people dear to us. To complicate matters further, we concluded it was easiest to do the civil paperwork by marrying first in Pennsylvania, but we knew the best place to gather all the family together was down in the Dordogne in France. So make that two cultures, two languages, and two ceremonies!

Rabbi Allen, you came to our rescue. We were very pleased when you agreed to marry us in Pennsylvania and again in France. But we can now say that this statement alone hardly does justice to how delighted we are that you were the person to marry us.

You were more than just the solution to a thorny problem. We feel deeply that the ceremonies on both sides of the Atlantic were something special and memorable-- the warmth and humanity you brought to the occasion touched us both and had us completely at ease. You took the time to get to know us and let us get to know you. You provided us with the framework of a ceremony and allowed us to participate in determining its final detail. The interactive exercise of crafting some passages in French and in English (bi-lingual not being the same as 'repeat everything in two languages'), and choosing texts for brothers and sisters to read, and preparing a ceremony outline so all could always follow -- while sometimes a challenge -- was also a process of constant fascinating exploration.

The service was especially wonderful at the May 2003 ceremony at the chateau in France, where your tone and spirit helped to bring together our two families -- even where they could not speak the same language. We know the day brought joy to both our families gathered together beneath our huppah and we will cherish those memories. 


Dear Rabbi Allen

Thank you for coming all the way from Philadelphia to Mesa, Arizona to marry us. We should probably have married in Philadelphia, where most of my family is, but I wanted to please Dave’s parents who find it difficult to travel – and he has a really large family in Mesa. I’m sure a judge could have married us in a civil ceremony, but your words contained such spirituality that I am sure a Justice of the Peace could not have spoken as you did.

I am so happy that I met your daughter in High School. We have been like sisters. When she asked you to marry us in Mesa, you told her that you had the time and you would do it. Your only requirement of us was that we come to you for premarital counseling. We were so pleasantly surprised to find out that you would write our ceremony, E-mail it to us for our comments and let us choose readings. There really wasn’t anything to change. We loved your words. We look forward to seeing you if we get back to Abington for a visit.

Our warmest best wishes,

Cara and Dave
 

Nimia and Ron

Dear Rabbi Allen,

We decided early in our planning process that we wanted to have a ceremony that combined the traditions of our respective backgrounds—Jewish and Filipino-Catholic. We were seeking a delicate balance.

That is why we feel so fortunate to have met you and to have been able to work with you to develop the ceremony. We particularly appreciate the time that you spent with us, getting to know us both as a couple and as individuals, and sharing your personal insights. We had worried that developing a truly integrated ceremony would be difficult, but your enthusiasm about incorporating the various Filipino rituals into the ceremony and your willingness to seek our input and suggestions made the process surprisingly smooth. Your advice about how to equitably divide the ceremony between Father Reilly and you, and your experience with keeping the ceremony interesting without dragging were especially helpful.

On our wedding day itself, your dedication and hard work really showed. You and Father Reilly officiated beautifully. It was impossible to tell that the two of you had never worked together before; you handed off seamlessly. To this day, we continue to hear from our guests that the ceremony was the most beautiful they have seen. One of our guests asked to borrow our video so he could show the ceremony to his fiancée and her mother as an example of the kind of ceremony he wants at his wedding (they’ll be married in Los Angeles; otherwise he would have wanted you to officiate!).

Rabbi, thank you again for everything especially for your guidance and support. We wish all the best to you and your family.

Sincerely,
Nimia and Ron 
 

Ariann & Steve

Dear Rabbi Allen,

You married my cousin Ariann in Philadelphia in August. It was without a doubt the most moving wedding ceremony I have ever witnessed. You injected a tremendous amount of spirituality and warmth into the service. It was obvious that much time and thought were put into your remarks and your beautiful cantor's voice contributed much to making it a very special ceremony. Our family will always be grateful to you for your sensitivity in handling this Interfaith marriage.

 

Dear Rabbi Allen,

We wanted to write and thank you for the role you played in our ceremony. The way in which you intertwined our two faiths was beautiful. We received many compliments on our ceremony. The words used in our ceremony portrayed all of the feelings in our hearts. Your singing of the blessings was quite beautiful and inspiring. Thank you very much. We will be sending you and e-mail with a scanned picture soon.

Thanks!

Love,

Sue and Scott Dubow
 

Shana and Michael Herring

Dear Rabbi Allen,

We cannot thank you enough for the wonderful job you did in conducting our wedding ceremony! We have received countless compliments from our guests who, after attending many other weddings, have said that our ceremony was the best they had ever witnessed. Thank you again. We look forward to getting together with you soon so that we can develop your favorite proof of us all.

Fondly, Shana and Michael Herring

Dear Rabbi Allen

When you united us you united two cultures – the Korean and American. Toronto is has an enormous Korean community and it seemed as if half the chapel was filled with them. They sat on one side and Michael’s family and friends on the other.

While your ceremony, written especially for us, was beautiful – even poetic, your personal words to us continue to resound in our minds and hearts. We requested a copy of your words to us and I think they are so beautiful, caring and thought-provoking, I’d like you to put them on your web site.

The wedding ceremony is a coming together of many elements. There are the symbols of the service. There are emotions of feeling and sharing. There is the presence of those who are here with us today and those who could not be.

Both of you come from very different cultures, which, while from opposite sides of the globe, have much in common. To paraphrase Kipling: east is east and west is west but the twain have met with superb results. Both of you come from backgrounds that have heritage and values bound up with family.

Eun-Mi, your beautiful spirituality began with your parents, whose commitment to love and sharing and caring have transformed many challenges and trials into a kind of fulfillment that you might otherwise never have known.

You will have the opportunity to preserve and strengthen your traditions. As you have shared wine from your own special cup during the consecration of your marriage, I adjure you to bring your joint heritage into your life, into your shared love, into your home.

You have the gift of your own God-given abilities ... the intelligence and energy with which each of you has been endowed in a unique way. Apply these gifts not only to your work, but to your marriage above all, for there is no endeavor of greater significance for the very substance and meaning of your lives. Nothing you can do will be more rewarding for your future happiness and fulfillment.

You have been given the divine gift of a soul that in Hebrew is called a neshama. From that soul come your capacity for faithfulness and responsibility.

Faithfulness, responsibility to another human being, is the bedrock of any marriage.

These, then, are the gifts that you bring with you today: the gifts of family, of tradition, of your own capacities, of your souls. When you bring these gifts to your new home, to your marriage, you will be truly gifted in love. And as it grows and becomes richer year by year, your love in turn will become a gift to all who love you, all who know you, all who behold you.


Love always,

Eun-Mi and Michael
 

Gaby and Michael

Dear Rabbi Allen,

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.

Best wishes,
Gaby and Michael 

Gina Buchalter Otis and Kevin Otis

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!

Sincerely,

Sheryl A. Garman
Owner, Perfect Weddings

Barbara and Craig Millman

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.

Sincerely,
Barbara and Craig Millman 

 

Dr. & Mrs. Jeffrey E. Jacobs

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 met.

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 ceremony.

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


  

Rev. William B. Kauffman, Catholic priest

"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

(From Parents)

Dear Rabbi,

Lynne and I just wanted to send you a most sincere "Thank You" for all that you did to make Jen and Brian’s wedding truly something special. With just two days notice, you were able to consult with Father Luke Nelson and create a ceremony that was praised by everyone who attended. All the guests were truly moved by the feeling created by the two of you, none more so than Lynne and I.

We were so pleased that you were able to be involved, and we would certainly recommend you to anyone seeking to do an Interfaith marriage. Please feel free to have any prospective brides, grooms, or their families call us.

Thank you again for all that you did to make this most special day so much better.

Lynne and Barry Green

Ellie and Bob Arend

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

 

Father Robert P. Daly

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

Sharon and Mike

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.

Regards,
Sharon and Mike.

Holly & Vin San Angelo

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!

Fondly,
Holly & Vin San Angelo

 Andrew and LeeAnn Kress

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.

Best wishes, Andrew and Lee Ann Kress   

 

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.

Phil & Michel Penley

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.

Fondly,

Phil & Michel Penley

 

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