Bar Bat Mitzvah and Jewish Wedding Officiant – Ceremony Reviews and References


Officiant Reference: Bat Mitzvah Tutoring – Marcy and Dave Winer

“For my family, working with cantor Debbi was an incredible experience. Her weekly Bat Mitzvah tutoring sessions to our home were so positive and productive. The relationship that we all had with her was truly amazing. Our family and friends who attended the service truly enjoyed every aspect of it.

Debbi made our daughter feel confident and comfortable. By the time the service came, she had nothing to be nervous about. We can’t thank Debbi enough for all that she did for our family.” Officiant review by Marcy and Dave Winer


Officiant Reference: Jewish & Interfaith Wedding Ceremony in the Bahamas – Larissa and Michael Sykes

“Dear Debbie,
We can’t thank you enough for being a part of our wedding day. Being in the Bahamas, under the Chuppah, with the waves crashing and the sun peaking through the clouds, couldn’t have been a more beautiful and romantic setting for our special day.

Michael and I were blessed to have you there to perform our wedding ceremony. It was so comforting to hear the words you spoke about Michael and I, using some of the information we had shared with you during our private conversations.

You were amazing and thoughtful and we really appreciated you customizing our wedding ceremony to make it personal and meaningful to us for the rest of our lives. We wish you the best always.” Officiant review by Larissa and Michael Sykes

Josh Pollacksmall

Officiant Reference: Bar Mitzvah – Josh Pollack

“My experience with Debbi Ballard has been amazing. She has taught me a lot and how to become a bar mitzvah, and she was like a second mom to me. I liked having the 1 on 1 time together. I felt that she really knew me and I was not just another person. She really made me feel important and I learned so much in 10 months.

I am really going to miss my Sunday mornings with Debbi and I thank her for everything that she has done for me and because of her I became a Bar Mitzvah.” Officiant review by Josh Pollack



Officiant Reference: Bar Mitzvah – Kathie & Ron Schmidt, Terry, Casey, and Randy

We cannot thank you enough for the wonderful ceremony you orchestrated for Randy’s Bar Mitzvah. It was wonderful to see how every struggle, every missed class, and every perfect practice came together.

I knew you were the one to do this for our family, especially since you were there for us twice before. As always it is a pleasure having our spiritual leader in our home over the years to bring our children into a new phase of their lives. Thanks again.” Officiant review by Kathie, Ron Schmidt Terry, Casey, and Randy



Officiant Reference: Jewish & Interfaith Destination Wedding in St. Croix – Doug and Monica

“My husband is Jewish and his family is based in LA where we live. My family is Christian (I’m Religious Scientist) based in Michigan and Illinois. Who was going to marry us? And, where would we get married? Neither a temple or a church felt right.

We decided on Paradise and a destination wedding ceremony that really reflected us: a four-day wedding in St. Croix, Virgin Islands that had both Christian and Jewish traditions. We also wanted the service co-officiated and to bring both male and female energy into the mix.

We found Cantor Debbi through a referral and my Reverend was willing to travel. Living in Florida, it was an easy commute for Debbi. We walked through the ceremony via conference call, and she and the Reverend really clicked. They focused on our love, commonalities and commitment, not our differences.

In St. Croix, Debbi was wonderful. She stayed all four days attending every event and made friends with our 75 family members and guests. She also co-hosted an “After Party” with the Reverend after the reception that was attended by many guests and went long into the night. My husband and I did not attend this. After all, it was our wedding night, but we heard that it was fabulous.

Our wedding officiants were clearly a team and really reflected the Spirit of God. This was truly amazing because they had never worked together before, and I must add that it never appeared like work. It was beautiful. We were on a hillside surrounded by 360-degree water views. Both our officiants were joyous. The wedding ceremony felt warm.

Reverend Charles deep rich voice was confident. Debbi brought her guitar and wonderful singing voice to the huppa. More importantly, she brought her heart. We strongly recommend her.” Officiant review by Doug and Monica


Officiant Reference: Jewish & Interfaith Wedding Ceremony in St. Petersburg, Florida – David & Katie Rapport

“Thank you so much for being part of our wedding ceremony. When we met you, we knew that with your experience, charisma, and knowledge you would be a great fit to lead our wedding ceremony. In working with you over the past year, it became more and more clear what a great choice we had made for our officiant by choosing you to participate in our wedding. I found our conversations about blending our faith during this time to be very insightful.

The weekend of our wedding, you could not have been more attentive and thoughtful. You did a great job explaining everything to us as well as other aspects to our guests who were not Jewish and not familiar with Jewish weddings. I can say undoubtedly that our wedding ceremony was a tremendous success because of your preparation and participation. I wish you continued success and please stay in touch!

Thank You again. It was an honor for Katie and I to work with you!” Officiant review by David & Katie



Officiant Reference: Inspirational Wedding Ceremony – Michelle & Brandon Lugo

“We couldn’t have imagined a more beautiful and inspirational ceremony. What a wonderful decision we made to choose you to officiate our wedding ceremony. It was our favorite part of the the day – and there is no one else who could have done what you did.

We are forever grateful. Thank You so much, Love Always.” Officiant review by Michelle & Brandon Lugo



Officiant Reference: Jewish Wedding Ceremony in South Florida – Jerry and Audrey Monse

“We just wanted to tell you again how absolutely wonderfully special you made our Jewish wedding ceremony, not only for us, but for all our loved ones. This meant so much to us and will always be a part of our lifelong memories.

You far exceeded all our expectations. And to top it all off, your singing voice is absolutely beautiful. Thank you so very much.” Officiant review by Jerry and Audrey Monse


Officiant Reference: Jewish & Interfaith Wedding Ceremony in Deerfield Beach, Florida – Lori and Maurice

“Dear Debbi, Thank you for writing and providing us with a beautiful wedding ceremony. Maurice and my favorite parts of the ceremony were your wonderful loving words about how you related our two lives together as a fine bottle of wine. It was so touching to us what you brought away from spending time with the two us and getting to know how strong our love had grown.

We are so happy you performed our Jewish & Interfaith wedding ceremony because you truly are a part of our family and the wedding ceremony really showed it. We received a lot of compliments about the traditions we brought together for an interfaith ceremony. Happy New Year!!!” Officiant review by Lori and Maurice


Officiant Reference: Wedding Ceremony – Kevin & his new wife

“Dear Cantor Debbi,

On behalf on myself, my wife and my family (new and old) I just wanted to drop you a quick note to say thanks for all you did for us at our wedding. We really appreciated all your efforts in making the wedding a very unique and special occasion.

We have just returned from our honeymoon in Botswana, Zambia and Mozambique where we had the time of our lives.

As I say, thanks so much for helping make our special day so meaningful. We really appreciated being able to connect so well with you from a long distance, and were thrilled at how well things worked out. Warm regards, Kevin.” Officiant review by Kevin & his wife



Officiant Reference: Jewish & Interfaith Wedding Ceremony in South Florida – Jason & Nathalie

“Cantor Debbi Ballard is a wonderful person and a terrific officiant.

We absolutely enjoyed our wedding ceremony. Cantor Debbi was involved with us throughout the planning process. She made it a point to meet with us on multiple occasions to discuss the details and our ceremonial preferences for our Jewish & Interfaith wedding. She also took the time and interest in getting to know us and was truly a friend.

We highly recommend Cantor Debbi and will never forget how special she made our wedding.” Officiant review by Jason & Nathalie



Officiant Reference: Jewish & Interfaith Wedding Ceremony in Boca Raton, Florida – Noah and Paola Rubin

“We are so pleased to have chosen Cantor Ballard to perform our wedding ceremony. Our situation was complicated in that we wanted to include many different people in the ceremony, and these people had different backgrounds.

Cantor Ballard excellently included everyone. In speaking with each person afterwards, they were all pleased with the wedding ceremony. Additionally, we requested to include a couple “non-traditional” activities, and the Cantor was open-minded and caring towards our needs.

I would say that I would definitely hire Cantor Ballard again, but I only plan on getting married once! For your once in a lifetime event, you can depend on her to make it wonderful.” Officiant review by Noah and Paola



Officiant Reference: Jewish & Interfaith Wedding Ceremony in Boca Raton, Florida – Stacey & Bruce

“Hi Debbi,
Bruce and I are back from our honeymoon in Barbados and we had a wonderful time. The people there were so friendly and the water, sand, and weather were ideal.

Now we are back in the thick of things, but we are still walking around with that newly-wed glow. We wanted to thank you for an absolutely beautiful and personal wedding ceremony. We wanted a wedding officiant that would be sensitive to the fact that we are an interfaith couple, and that would be able to incorporate both of our traditions into one fluid ceremony.

We feel that you accomplished that and so much more! Because you took the time to get to know us on a personal level, we feel that you were able to incorporate details and stories that made our interfaith wedding ceremony special for us, while providing insight to our families and friends.

You took the time to get to know us as a couple and as individuals, and helped us think through many important questions about how we will continue to bring God into our lives together.

Your book recommendations really prepared us to choose the elements we wanted to include in our ceremony, and your interpretations and inspiration melded to create a truly unique and meaningful ceremony. Our favorite part of our wedding ceremony was your playing the guitar and singing the priestly blessing. You helped create a very spiritual and special moment for us, and I was overcome with emotion (especially since the last time I heard that blessing was at my Bat Mitzvah!) We had such a very positive experience planning our ceremony, and it brought us closer together as a couple.

We would happily recommend you to others, and we look forward to staying in touch. Shalom and our warmest wishes!” Officiant review by Stacey and Bruce


Officiant Reference: Jewish & Interfaith Wedding Ceremony in Hollywood, Florida – Dayna & Shawn

Words cannot express the level of gratitude I have for you. I appreciate your creativity, daringness, and PURE GENIUS, for making my wedding day unique and fun. As I look back through the pictures, a common theme can be noted. EVERYONE is SMILING, and HAVING A GOOD TIME, and this is thanks to you.

My friends were so impressed with the level of involvement and effort you committed toward our special day. It was if you had known Shawn and I since day one. All who attended professed this was the BEST WEDDING THEY EVER WENT TO!!!

Thank you SO much for being a part of our life, and making our Wedding Day better than we could have possibly imagined!
Much Love!” Officiant review by Dayna & Shawn


My favorite Mom

Officiant Reference: Jewish & Interfaith Wedding Ceremony – Leslie, mother-of-the-bride

“As a mother-of–the-bride, I encouraged my daughter and her fiancee to meet with Cantor Debbi and discuss the wedding ceremony themselves. I felt if they were ready for marriage and their new journey they were ready to have their ceremony they way they wanted it done. Debbi met with the kids together and separately. Micha (the bride) was so excited after meeting with Debbi she said that I would just love her when I met her. Sure enough, I did!

Their wedding was an Interfaith service with a heavy inclusion of Jewish traditions. Cantor Debbi explained the details and traditions so everyone attending was able to understand and enjoy all that was going on during the entire ceremony. Everyone was comfortable and could feel the love, peace and harmony that surrounded the beautiful bride and groom. My guests stopped me to tell me what a magnificent ceremony it was. My uncle even commented how the music the Cantor sang was modern and he truly enjoyed the newer version.

I could not have asked for a more perfect ceremony, Cantor Debbi took the time and effort to get to know Micha and Sam prior to the wedding and it came across in every word she spoke. I would tell every friend and family member who ever needed the services of a Rabbi or Cantor to please call Debbi, for she pours her heart and soul into every task she undertakes.” Officiant review by Leslie


Officiant Reference: Bar Mitzvah in New Jersey – Audrey, Rob, and Max Rizzuto

“It was not until after my sons Bar Mitzvah that I realized that Cantor Debbie was indeed “Our Personal Cantor”. Debbi Ballard provides – in abundance, what other Jewish institutions, Rabbis and teachers were unable to…a confident connection to our Judaism … not just for the day of the event, but for all days.

As a family we feel successful about our participation in our Heritage. Cantor Debbi was able to nurture a core nugget of Judaism into an event that took everyone’s breath away. My son took to the Cantor immediately. Sensing that he would be spared the extraneous and be encouraged to have his personal relationship with G-d emerge, he embraced his lessons with the Cantor. Any parent who can say that about preparing for a Bar Mitzvah has found the right officiant to guide their family!

Debbie Ballard is a Beacon and we are very fortunate to have found the Light.” Officiant review by Audrey, Rob, and Max Rizzuto
Park Ridge, New Jersey


Officiant Reference: Double Bat Mitzvah in South Florida – Jeff Iserson, father

“We were referred to Cantor Debbi by mutual friends and we were so happy they put us in touch with her. We had a double Bat Mitzvah and had our children at different levels of Hebrew learning and Cantor Debbi as their spiritual leader was able to get them both prepared and ready within the timeframe she set.

We would so recommend anyone who is going to do this private tutoring approach to use Cantor Debbi. She is very easy to work with, has a great personality, and is so professional in her approach, attitude, and overall demeanor. She helped make our special day what it was, without her it never would have been as special.” Officiant review by Jeff Iserson


Officiant Reference: Jewish Destination Wedding Ceremony in St. Maarten – Keith & Faith

“There are times in your life when you meet someone and you instantly know you will have a special bond with them for the rest of your life. That is how Keith and I felt from the moment we met Debbi. Debbi joined us for 4 days in St Maarten where our families and closest friends were part a joyous multi-day celebration, which finalized with our destination wedding. She was part of all of our family activities from beginning to end and without even a question; she was part of the family. It was such a joy to spend time with Debbi and to have her there to bond with our families.

Throughout our planning of the wedding ceremony, my husband and I repeatedly expressed how the most important thing for us was that we had a ceremony that truly reflected our love for each other and our families and friends. We didn’t want to lose sight of what we were here to do; make a life long commitment to each other with our friends, family and G*d to watch over us.

Debbi did not fail us in making the ceremony the best part of the day… She gave the most sentimental, heart-felt, beautiful, and personal ceremony that I have ever heard. It was as if she had known all of us for a lifetime. Debbi has a special talent to bring people into her heart and her soul and to make everyone involved feel as if they are together and one. Debbi took all of us to an enlightened state filled with love, warmth and true spirituality. The exchange of our vows was the absolute highlight for me on our wedding day and I know with certainty that I would not feel that way if it were not for Debbi.

Since our wedding, I have kept in contact with Debbi and still feel an incredible connection with her. She has become a part of our family forever and I look forward to her being part of all of our lifetime milestones in the future.

I highly recommend Debbi for any event that you have …. Except of course, if I need her on the same day!” Officiant review by Keith & Faith



Officiant Reference: Jewish & Interfaith Wedding Ceremony – Jaci and Joe Trapani

“Dear Cantor Debbi,

Joe and I are so thankful to have had you as our officiant at our wedding. With Joe and I being different religions, we found ourselves stressed and stuck on what to do for the wedding ceremony.

You worked with Joe and I and reminded us that this is our wedding and do what we feel the most comfortable with. We never thought in a million years that the ceremony would have turned out as beautiful as it did. It was such an honor to have you and Joe’s father officiate our wedding together.

Thank you so much for putting up with the late night phone calls as I’m stressing out about how to work with both religions in one ceremony. Everything turned out PERFECT! Much Love!” Officiant review by Jaci and Joe Trapani


Officiant Reference: Jewish & Interfaith Wedding Ceremony – Greg and Serin

“Being an interfaith couple, choosing an officiant was a very daunting task. We had to take into account everyone’s religious beliefs, feelings and faith. We came across Debbi and thought that she may be the one to marry us. Once we actually spoke to her, we truly knew that she would be the one.

Debbi is extremely passionate about her work. She is very conscientious, caring and has a very strong understanding of what her couples are looking for. Debbi took the time to understand us both as a couple, and then separately as individuals… The result was a MAGNIFICENT performance that not only made all of our guests emotional, but the entire staff at the hotel were tearing up as well (and they see weddings ALL THE TIME!!).

Debbi really is a pro. I can’t say enough good things about her. She really made everything possible for us, and for that, we are forever grateful to her. Thank you Debbi for all your hard work!” Officiant review by Greg and Serin


Officiant Reference: Jewish & Interfaith Wedding Ceremony – Jayson & Lauren Coutts

“When my fiancee Jayson and I were searching high and low for the perfect officiant, we had an image of what we were looking for…. someone who was passionate about their work, a great listener, and most importantly to us as an interfaith couple- someone who we would find respectful and considerate to both Judaism and Christianity.

Cantor Debbi was everything we could have imagined…and SO much more! Our wedding ceremony beautifully coordinated both of our religions, families, and it truly captured the essence of who we were as individuals and as a couple.

Cantor Debbi was patient with our many many questions; always delivering an honest and sincere response. We both immediately felt comfortable working with her and entrusting her with our very personal thoughts and feelings.

Our wedding day was more beautiful, more perfect, and more unique to us as a couple because of Cantor Debbi’s hard work and passion for the blessings she bestows upon couples in love.” Officiant review by Jayson & Lauren Coutts


Officiant Reference: Jewish Wedding Ceremony – Daniel & Barri White

“Thank you, thank you, thank you Debbi!

My husband and I had two hurdles to jump to get to our wedding day – the first, as an interfaith couple who would be our officiant and the second, as an out of town couple, how would we find them?

I spent a long time reaching out to various officiants, including my childhood rabbi, and for a variety of reasons they weren’t the right fit. We wanted someone to marry us who thought we were right just the way we are – no need to convert, take classes, etc. Speaking to Debbi it was clear that she was that Wedding Officiant.

The next concern was would we connect prior to the wedding, so that we felt we knew her and she really knew us. It was important to have someone so intimately involved in our wedding really know us.

Debbi made great efforts to do just that, we met every time we came to town, had Skype calls, phone calls and many emails to answer all of our questions. With Debbi’s help we were able to plan a ceremony that included our friends and families, and that was beautifully unique to us.

We knew from the very beginning phases of planning that we wanted the most significant and memorable part of our wedding day to be the ceremony… what we did not know was that we would be receiving comment after phone call after letter singing the praise of the absolutely phenomenal Cantor who officiated it.

From the very first moment that she began speaking, Debbi graced our guests with the most incredible warmth, poise, and eloquence that set the tone for our entire wedding.  Her words were so perfectly harmonious, seamlessly intertwining the story of our lives from all of the conversations we had with her leading up to the day.

She brought every level of emotion we wanted for the most important occasion of our lives – from laughter in her recalling personal anecdotes we had shared, to tears in her beautiful words in remembrance of our loved ones passed, to excitement and inspiration in her speaking of the loving home and family that our marriage would create.  We truly could not have asked for more.  In a word, she made our ceremony absolutely perfect.

Not only did it feel that way to us, but our guests literally could not stop raving about “the most beautiful ceremony they had ever witnessed” with a Cantor so sincere in her joy and happiness for us that it simply radiated amongst us all.

We cannot say enough about Debbi.  Not only does she take the time to truly and intimately get to know each couple’s story of love, but she leads the ceremony in a manner that captivates every guest and brings them through an incredible emotional journey with the bride and groom.  I can guarantee that nobody stops talking about your wedding for months to come… our guests sure haven’t!” Officiant review by Daniel and Barri White, Married November 21, 2009


View the Pessin Reference Letter I received from Mitch’s Mom and Dad, after the wedding


Officiant Reference: Jewish Education, Bat Mitzvah & Funeral – Melissa Ferber

“Dear Debbie,

You came into our lives under very difficult circumstances and were the glue that kept us all together during what proved to be the darkest time in our lives.  The way that you spoke at my mother in laws funeral was unbelievable.  It was hard to believe you had never met her.

You captured the true essence of who she was as a person and what she meant to all.  From then, you have become such an important person in our family’s life; from teaching Joey Hebrew school to tutoring Nikki and preparing her to become a bat mitzvah.

You have been there every step of the way, always willing to listen or share your invaluable advice.  Nikki’s Bat Mitzvah service was a pivotal moment in not just our immediate families eyes yet, all who attended and observed.

You were tremendous!!!  The love you brought to the room was overwhelming and lets not forget how truly authentic your words were.  You are a master at your trade and Stephen and I are honored to call you not just our personal cantor but also our friend forever! With much love and gratitude!” Officiant review by Melissa Ferber