Accolades - Jewish Ceremonies
Sarah and Aaron  We are so grateful for the sincerity you showed in our premarital counseling, for it put us at ease about many things. Of course, this sincerity translated to the ceremony you wrote.
Halle & Jake Finkelstein Throughout the ceremony writing process, you were attentive and flexible – allowing us to mingle traditional words and actions with some less orthodox ones.
Miriam and David  - You spoke to us not just as a rabbi, but as a husband, father and grandfather. Your insights into what makes a marriage work were so meaningful.
Alissa and Anthony  We are so very happy that you could marry us.  The service you wrote especially for us was, we are certain, the most beautiful ever.  Your premarital counseling was when we got to know you as you really are: kind, wise, intuitive to our needs and full of the love of humanity.
Carrie and Jim - What a beautiful, sensitive and caring ceremony.
Maria Eugenia & Ilan Dabara - English and Spanish
Luba and Greg - We so much appreciate all of the time you took to meet, and get to know, us. Sitting and talking with you through our first meeting helped us both feel at ease, and we were grateful to see how flexible you were with everything.
Kerstin & Benjamin - Well, the wedding was beautiful and touching indeed. It was wonderful that we had the chance to marry in the beautiful main sanctuary of the synagogue. That really made it very, very special to us.
Jason & Jamie - Until the next mitzvah.....
Dear Rabbi Allen - Thank you for your wonderful ceremony!
Dear Rabbi Allen

We loved the ceremony you wrote for us. It was so special! Your words and your singing of the Hebrew Blessings throughout the ceremony made the Horticultural Center in Fairmount Park seem to be a beautiful synagogue instead of a place to get married.

We are so grateful for the sincerity you showed in our premarital counseling, for it put us at ease about many things. Of course, this sincerity translated to the ceremony you wrote.

I wonder how many rabbis would take so many hours with a couple – and then send them a copy of the ceremony for review! We read everything except your personal words to us. It only made the ceremony more enjoyable for our non-Jewish guests for you to explain all of the symbolism. In your personal message you translated specific words from the Seven Benedictions that really spoke to what marriage should be.

We will remember your kindness and outgoing personality always . . . and when our children are born, look forward to your naming them as you have for our friends.


Much love,

Sarah and Aaron
 
 
Dear Rabbi Allen

Many of our friends and relatives were skeptical when they heard we were planning the wedding ceremony with a rabbi we found on the internet. We ourselves had some initial doubts. However, your insight and communication – via e-mail, on the telephone, and in person at our counseling session – put us at ease and bolstered our confidence in our choice of wedding officiant.

Throughout the ceremony writing process, you were attentive and flexible – allowing us to mingle traditional words and actions with some less orthodox ones. You honored our wishes to have a loving and spiritual ceremony without going too heavy on the conventional religious jargon. Since the ceremony, we have received numerous compliments on the simplicity and beauty of the ceremony, and we must concede the credit to you, Rabbi Allen.

Thank you so very much for everything – your words, your voice, your kindness and openness. You played a large role in making our wedding the immeasurable success that it was, and we are forever grateful.


Sincerely,

Halle & Jake Finkelstein
 

Dear Rabbi Allen,

How can we thank you enough? When we met with you for premarital counseling, we could never have known that we would become fast friends.

You spoke to us not just as a rabbi, but as a husband, father and grandfather. Your insights into what makes a marriage work were so meaningful. In addition to everything else, you made us laugh with the antics of your children and grandchildren.

Your kindness in offering us a 150-year-old tallit to use as our chupah and suggestions about how to use dowels for poles allowed our families to be part of the ceremony, something you truly believe in – that is to say that weddings should be family affairs, so our brothers, sisters and parents all could take part.

This seems to be your hallmark: humor, wit, kindness, caring and above all in the sanctity of marriage. We look forward to keeping in contact. You are unlike any rabbi we have ever met.

Love,

Miriam and David
 

Dear Rabbi Allen,

We are so very happy that you could marry us. The service you wrote especially for us was, we are certain, the most beautiful ever. Your premarital counseling was when we got to know you as you really are: kind, wise, intuitive to our needs and full of the love of humanity.

We enjoyed your humor and the explanations you gave us about Judaism I thought that confirmation was the end of study, but your further explanations of the various forms of Judaism and the options we all have made it clear to us that just being Jewish is not enough; that we have to continue to learn and study. You didn’t speak at us, but to us and you spoke from the heart. Your offer of helping and guiding us in the future will be requested.

Your singing of the Seven Benedictions was a revelation. We know that you sang opera internationally, but the Cantor in you made them even more beautiful. Our guests said they had never heard a Rabbi who sang like an opera singer. We sort of chuckled at that and didn’t let them know that they just had!


Love,

Alissa and Anthony
 

Carrie and Jim

"We want to tell you, once again, that we thought you did a superlative job at Carrie's wedding. I can't tell you how many people came to us and said what a beautiful, sensitive and caring ceremony it was. We will always be grateful to you for coming through both as a friend and a professional. All our love to you, Val and the whole mishpocha."

-Hank & Sheila (Parents)

 

 
Dear Rabbi Allen

We really wanted to get back to you a lot earlier. Benjamin is busy these days (as always) and I am currently doing the last parts of my final exams.

Everything is well here. My tummy has grown huge and we can feel the baby moving. We are going to have a girl so that makes things easier. I guess it would have been difficult to find someone here in Munich for the Brit Milah.

First of all, I guess you know how happy we were to have found you for officiating at our wedding. I remember that I had searched the Internet for almost half a year until we found a rabbi whom we felt was the right one for our wedding. You can imagine how relieved we were when you finally (after many emails) confirmed that you would officiate at our wedding.

Well, the wedding was beautiful and touching indeed. It was wonderful that we had the chance to marry in the beautiful main sanctuary of the synagogue. That really made it very, very special to us.

You made us feel special and the ceremony was wonderful. Your words expressed our feelings and things important to us. (I was really glad that I just had to repeat the words in Hebrew. ;-) Benjamin knew them by heart but I still need help with my pronunciation.) All of us enjoyed your singing and wished that it had lasted a bit longer.

Our guests were touched too. Your explanations concerning the different parts of the ceremony, the signing of the ketubah and your humorous character really helped our guests (especially those who were not Jewish) to really enjoy the wedding. All of them told us that the ceremony had been beautiful. Today we got an email from our friends in New York. They wrote that they still tell people about our wedding as they were really moved. I guess that compliment is meant for you.

We really enjoyed the wedding and we are grateful for all the help we got. Please hug your wife for being one of our witnesses.

Best regards to you and your wife,

Kerstin & Benjamin

Munich, Germany
 

Maria Eugenia and Ilan Dabara

Dear Rabbi Allen,

We would like you to know that we are extremely grateful that you came all the way to Santo Domingo for our wedding. We never had a chance to tell you with all the commotion from the wedding party that the ceremony was beautiful. We had a mixture of English and Spanish speaking guests and family members and the ceremony had a perfect balance of both languages.

Your ceremony was written like beautiful poetry. Your singing was spectacular too. Every single guest of the wedding asked us were we found a rabbi / poet / baritone that could do a ceremony in both English and Spanish. We would then answer that you are also a friend / counselor, with a great sense of humor, and that you could have also done the ceremony in French and Italian!!!

Fondly,
Maria Eugenia and Ilan Dabara

Dear Rabbi Allen

We would just like to take a moment and thank you for all that you did to ensure such a wonderful wedding ceremony for us. After Greg and I got engaged we knew that we were looking for someone that was flexible and easy to work with to perform our wedding ceremony. We found just that and much more in you.

We so much appreciate all of the time you took to meet, and get to know, us. Sitting and talking with you through our first meeting helped us both feel at ease, and we were grateful to see how flexible you were with everything.

Several times throughout our engagement we called you with questions, looking for suggestion, and concerns. You were always so helpful and personal. Each time we got off the phone with you we felt at peace again. The ceremony was absolutely beautiful, and your singing was incredible.

Several of our guests commented on the beautiful ceremony that you led. We know that you truly helped us create the best memory of our lives.

Thank you so much for everything. We will surely keep in touch. Please let us know if there is ever anything we can do for you.

Sincerely,

Luba and Greg

Jason & Jamie

Dear Rabbi Allen,

Well, now that we are back from Hawaii, we would like to thank you again for everything. People are still talking about the wonderful ceremony you performed for us (I knew you'd deliver another typical "Allen" command performance). I also wanted to thank you again for understanding all of the issues that were going on during our wedding day and for helping to keep an otherwise very tense and stressful time calm and cool.

Your poise, professionalism, superior skills and family relationship are all reasons why we turned to you for our wedding and you glowed as always. Thanks so much for making our wedding everything we could have asked for it to be, and we love you very much for that.

Until the next mitzvah......

Love,
Jason & Jamie


Dear Rabbi Allen:

Thank you so much for your wonderful ceremony! Dan and I were quite happy with how the ceremony turned out. It was everything that we had hoped for. Many of the guests, particularly a few Israelis who were in attendance, commented on how wonderful and special the ceremony was. My friend and her boyfriend even commented that they wish that they were Jewish just so they could have a similar ceremony!

 
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