Your tour in Lamezia Terme gave a different dimension to all your stories that were already ingrained in my memory: now I internalized them all….The Synagogue you built is a true milestone in Jewish history. You and Enrico have made Alex and I strive to be better people. Thank you so very much for an incredible day you gave us, for appearing in our lives and making us feel as part of your family. It was indeed a precious gift we will always cherish. ~Irene and Alex, Cleveland, Ohio
Thank you so much for the wonderful Jewish surname research report! I feel so privileged and blessed that you have been able to conduct this research for me. This gives me a lot of first answers . Thank you! ~N. D. Paris, France
Thank you so much for an amazing Bar mitzvah. I can’t tell you how happy I am with the experience – and feel my children got the right message! ~Dawn C.
I am really excited to read the report, my whole family is also excited. That’s amazing, the report is very detailed! Thank you so much, ~R.S
Thank you again for everything- what a special, memorable experience we all had.We had the best experience and hold the memories dear already. We can’t thank you and your community enough. ~Aunts Sharon and Liz, B’nei Mitzvah parents
Rabbi Barbara! I’m so glad you posted the menorah cleaning tips. I’m so delighted with the oven method. I am thrilled every year when I clean it that way and unwrap it. It’s such a gift! May Hashem bless you and make His face shine on you! L’Chaim! ~Debbie D
I loved (your article in the Forward) on so many levels…your father’s wisdom, your disappointment as a child and your own wisdom on how Jews should approach Christmas. Wow, some of us have really lost our way? ~Barbara T.
My Bar Mitzvah was amazing thanks to you 🙂 ~Mauro K. Bar Mitzvah student
Rabbi, You truly make a difference for all who have the opportunity to come in contact with you and your wonderful world view and efforts to try to help the world be a better place due to your value added efforts. You are a true pioneer and futurist. Thank you. ~Gene S.
Just finished your article on aging and loved it. When I was young my Mother’s mother came to live with us and the arguments between them were similar to those you describe having occurred in your household. Brought back memories and was poignant as well. Thank you! ~Arnie G.
We thoroughly enjoyed your presentation at the Heinz History Center today! It was amazing to hear how many people in Italy were/are Jewish and how many of them practice Jewish customs. ~Michael M.
My husband and I and our two friends hear your lecture today and yesterday at the Heinz History Center in Pittsburgh PA. We enjoyed the so much. Thank you for the wonderful presentation. ~Denise S.
The main comment from our people after your film shown and we Skyped you in from Italy to answer questions, was how joyous you were despite your difficulties. You are such an inspiration and a real example of what it means to be a genuine and truly holy Jew.~Rabbi Frank Tamburello–The center for applied judaism NYC
Yesterday, I received your book and read it with pleasure. And in the evening I read my husband paragraphs and chapters from it. You are a brave, gifted, and a resilient person. And, no doubt, a very strong individual. I could imagine that you’ve heard a lot of such accolades, but it’s so right to put it black on white myself. ~Helen V
We just wanted to say thank you for a wonderful wedding ceremony – you did such a spectacular job and it made our day! We don’t know what we would have done without your direction and guidance, and the ceremony itself was absolutely lovely.~Wedding couple, Lake Como, Italy
Emma’s Bat Mitzvah was the most meaningful, magical, and joyous day of our lives – and it was all because of your warm, kind, intelligent, loving, strength and guidance. It not only celebrated our miraculous daughter but the diversity and love of our family. It allowed cousins and friends from across the world to have precious time together and even repaired old, painful wounds between me and my brother. I don’t know how you bridged languages, cultures and religions to make everyone involved – from my Catholic husband and children – to my observant brother and sister-in-law – to stop everything in order to feel the love, power and significance of the tradition, the history and the moment in Emma’s life. I don’t know how you got my shy, reserved almost-teenager to trust you and work so well with you. I don’t know how you had the generosity of spirit to share the amazing stories of you life with people you had never before met. I don’t know how you seamlessly fit into our extended family as if you had been at every family reunion. I don’t know how you quietly moved people and furniture around to make the most beautiful restaurant into an even more beautiful sanctuary. I don’t know how you figured out how to give even our youngest Payton such important parts to play that she is still talking about it. I don’t know how you made even my relatives who are not Jewish feel part of the tradition. And yet you did it all with grace and a smile.~June B.
We arrived home yesterday reveling in the beautiful memories of our journey. These past two weeks was an enormous dream realized and made possible by your joyous service. My family and I cannot “Thank you ” enough for making Jason’s Bar Mitzvah and incredible experience! It was a lovely service with so many personal and Italian customs that we will continue to cherish. We felt so much love in the room! ~ JF and family
Thank you again for such a special service. Annie was very worried about the whole process and you and Angela guided us so well and gave her the confidence to be successful. …we are so fortunate to have found you! ~Jill s. Bat Mitzvah parent
I want to thank you for putting together a beautiful ceremony. You took control of the important things without our having to ask, and made it so easy for us to just follow your lead. It certainly made for a stress free time before the ceremony. We all knew exactly what to do, and didn’t have to stress about the small things so everything went smoothly. It even allowed us to be relaxed enough to laugh when Annika’s veil suddenly took on a life of it’s own and blew up in my face as we were walking down the aisle. The ceremony itself was meaningful and reached out to everyone. Many of the French family commented on how special it was which alleviated our concern that they would view it as completely foreign. The sample program with explanations that you gave us was extremely helpful and easily understood. We were able to produce a program in three languages that helped everyone share in the Jewish traditions that are so important to Annika. I think in the beginning Vincent was a bit afraid the ceremony would be “too Jewish,” but he loved how inclusive it actually was. ~Anita M. mother of the bride
Thanks to the Radio Rabbi Barbara, listeners stop by Sleep King and many choose our products. We appreciate our long and productive relationship with The Radio Rabbi program. ~Steve Proffitt Owner Sleep King
I wanted to thank you for our e-mails and phone conversations over the years. I have taken a lot of your suggestions to heart, and I am embracing my Italian Jewish heritage while maintaining a Roman Catholic family. ,,,, and thank you again for your help in unlocking a hidden past that is shaping me into who I am today. ~John G
Marc and I cannot thank you enough for the magical experience we had on Saturday. The setting, your lovely ceremony with so much audience participation, the pastries and Brasilena (addictive!), and the gifts from Zio Mario and certificate etc. only added to the event. Then the meal…Lunch was outstanding in every way. Having our new friends join us only made it more special. We had no idea what to expect from the experience in Serrastretta but we were blown away by the warmth, sincerity, joyousness and good humor shown by all. We will never forget this truly unique experience. Mille grazie to you, Enrico, the people at Vecchio Castagno and all the others who made it work.
~Marc n Deborah H
Thank you for an incredible B’nei Mitzvah in Italy. Our B’nei Mitzvah experiences in Calabria exceeded our expectations. The service was intimate and meaningful. The synagogue and setting were beautiful. Our tour of Timpone was interesting and fun. It was truly memorable and special. I hope our paths will cross again. Who knows, perhaps a small Jewish wedding in Calabria in another 15-20 years? ~Susan and Jonathan K
I listen to your program every Sunday morning and I plan my schedule in order to listen. Your programs are so enjoyable and informative and I am amazed at how talented and knowledgable you are!
Sami H Sarasota Fl
What an absolutely wonderful service. So many people came up to us to comment how special you made the ceremony and how beautiful it was. Thank you again for everything – todah rabissimo! ~ Sam and Glenn
I would like to say a HUGE THANK YOU for all your help, your flexibility, your sweetness and kindness. You are a lovely person and we can see that you really love what you do.
Sara V., Wedding planner in Italy
Grazie, Rabbina, per il tuo lavoro. Tu hai portato a me, in Calabria la gioia di ebraismo.
This is the best way to stay connected to Rabbi Barbara wherever you are. I have her App on my iPhone as well as my laptop and I love getting her blog, radio show and inspirational messages pop right up on my computer or phone. Don’t wait, download right now!
Recently purchased this and very excited to learn more about the Hidden Jews of Southern Italy and be entertained as well…Excited about this
I bought the DVD and watched it after dinner tonight. That was so informative. Much respect to you and what you are doing for Jewish people everywhere…It is so interesting to hear about your life in Italy and your family history…
Everything was just so great. Great job!
We thank you for your kindness and caring at our dear father’s passing. Your memorial service was warm and personal and brought us great comfort. Thank you again for your beautiful memorial service. We will always remember it.
Dear Rabbi Barbara, The renewal ceremony was a surprise for my wife, Janne. I want you to know that I adopted our daughter when she was 7 and she was raised as a Jew. Thank you for involving her in the ceremony. as I feel that I committed to her as well as her mother when we married. Thank you for making the day unforgettable! I am so blessed to have the family I do and to be able to share them with you is a blessing.
We feel so lucky to have “found you”. We loved everything. Thank you so much for helping us and reintroducing me, personally, to a religion more accepting and less judgmental.
So, thank you dearly and deeply for everything you brought to it. Your commitment, knowledge, attention to detail and open-mindedness, together with your gift for making people feel at ease while at the same time enlightening them, are truly wonderful things.
Yesterday I received my conversion certificate. When I opened it, tears fell from my eyes. At last I am a Jew, It’s been a long journey of learning but at last I achieved what I always wanted.
I would like to take this opportunity to thank you for your comprehensive presentation on Jewish Communities in Italy”. Your presentation aroused much interest and significantly enriched the quality and diversity of the programs of the Center for Judaic Studies and Contemporary Jewish Life.”
It was a touching and inspirational service for all who attended the wedding. People are still talking about how beautiful and warm the service was and how they were impacted by the traditions, the explanations that you provided about the components of the service and the way that you included the two religions, the family mementoes and the guests in the service.
I cannot thank you enough for such a wonderful experience. The event was well beyond our wildest dreams. The service was particularly special and meaningful to us, our family and our friends. Your spirit, personality, sincerity and energy created an intangible and profound atmosphere that could never be duplicated.
Thank you for doing such a beautiful and special naming ceremony for Jesse. We were so happy with the way it all turned out and so appreciative of your time and effort. Your support, counsel and sensitivity in regards to our families was amazing and really had such a positive affect on everyone.
You managed to capture the hearts of all our family and friends, who have not stopped telling us how wonderful the ceremony was! They loved the symbolism, the way you explained and in turn included everyone in the service, making it incredibly meaningful. It will forever mean such a great deal to Andy and I that our friends and family (many of whom are not Jewish) felt this way. The atmosphere was one of warmth and love and the sense of informality, yet purpose, was just right for us. So thank you for creating our perfect wedding ceremony.
The time we spent in Calabria, was a truly special experience. Perhaps most importantly, Leo feels that he had a truly unique and meaningful Bar Mitzvah experience that will remain with him throughout his lifetime.
Thank you very much for your wonderful service in May. It was an amazing wedding and you were an invaluable part of it. Both of us and all of the guests enjoyed your service very much. I got nothing but complements about everything you did. Thank you so very much. We shall remember it forever!
We are just back from Italy and wanted to say a big thank you for the most wonderful wedding service; you made it so special for our children and for our guests …so many people commented on the service. Our non-Jewish guests especially loved it.
All our thanks for making J and T’s wedding so beautiful, moving, and extraordinary. Everyone present was deeply touched. From your very first words … everyone present could feel the holiness of the moment. You gave each blessing so much meaning. You invited the guests to participate. You spoke from the heart about our children and the strength of their relationship. You brought so much joy and warmth to the ceremony and made it truly sacred and wonderful.
The time we spent in Calabria, was a truly special experience. We so much appreciated going somewhere off the typical tourist path and your tour of the Jewish quarter and the historical information you provided were truly enlightening. Of course, you led a wonderful service for Leo’s Bar Mitzvah. Everyone in our group agreed. Perhaps most importantly, Leo feels that he had a truly unique and meaningful Bar Mitzvah experience that will remain with him throughout his lifetime. Lastly, it was a pleasure to have you and Enrico join us for dinner. We all so much enjoyed getting to know you.
Hopefully, our paths will cross again in the future. In the meantime, we wish you all the best in your life’s endeavors.
I cannot thank you enough for such a wonderful experience. As I mentioned to you, the event was well beyond our wildest dreams. The service was particularly special and meaningful to us, our family and our friends. Your spirit, personality, sincerity and energy created an intangible and profound atmosphere that could never be duplicated. We are in the process of sorting through pictures and will send some shortly (with and without Arnold).
If any potential travelers ask for a reference, please do not hesitate to give my name.
All the best. Richard
We want to thank YOU for everything. The Bar Mitzvah was everything we hoped for and more. We so appreciate the wonderful tour you took us on and all of your wonderful stories and history. You are a very special person as well as Rabbi.
We also felt so very comfortable with your group. Enrico is lovely and we so enjoyed our time with him. Your home and synagogue are so warm and inviting. The dinner was so fun and lively and we all really enjoyed it.
We feel so lucky to have “found you”. We loved everything about the tone of your service (“I don’t know I wasn’t there” will always be a favorite of mine). We were and are so very proud of Roman…he did an extraordinary job and we are glad you got to spend some time with him…he is a very wonderful young man (if I do say so myself). It really was the perfect setting, location, Rabbi and student! Thank you so much for helping us and reintroducing me, personally, to a religion more accepting and less judgmental. We tried to convince Randall that he should convert and be Bar Mitzvahed (verb) so we could have another experience…he actually thought about it for a moment. In fact, Alexander said that he wants to do the genealogy blood test because he is certain they were Jewish until they arrived at Ellis Island…so who knows…maybe there will be another one. All that said, I doubt it could match our son Roman’s amazing job! Way to go Roman. You make us proud every day!
Thank you Rabbi Barbara. Will stay in touch!
Best, Nancy and Michael
Greetings Rabbi Barbara!
It has been a long time since we have been in contact and I want wish you a Happy New Year on behalf of the entire Hoffman family; myself, Jay, Corey and Taylor. I cannot believe that it has been 4 years since Corey became a Bar Mitzvah in Calabria at Synagogue Ner Tamid del Sud. What a fabulous experience we had! I hope this email finds you and your family and friends well. Has the bed and breakfast been opened yet? I know you were talking about that when we saw you.
Be well. Have a safe and happy new year. And we hope to visit you and your synagogue again- hopefully sooner rather than later.
Best regards, Kerri
What a wonderful and kind note that you sent to me and I so thank you!! I am touched indeed. Your service was so special and unique and I was overwhelmed with my feelings as it was so sensitively and beautifully done……I thank you for leading such a deeply memorable service. I wish you and your family a very happy and healthy New Year and may this year be filled with much joy and success.