From: Glenn G
Event: Bar Mitzvah
Date: July 2020
After Covid-19 forced us to cancel our son's Bar Mitzvah in Israel, we scrambled to find a local rabbi to officiate the ceremony that our son had prepared years for. When we contacted Rabbi Ziona over the phone, her warmth, sincerity, and competence were immediately evident. Rabbi Ziona did everything from helping us to prepare a comprehensive, organized, and heart-warming program to getting to know our family and what mattered most to us regarding this special event. She held multiple Zoom (video) calls with our son for several weeks to review his knowledge, polish his speeches, walk him through the ceremony, and understand his needs in addition to our own. We never felt nervous or alone in this potentially overwhelming process as Rabbi Ziona guided us every step of the way including recommending the items that we should have for the ceremony in our backyard (speakers, tent, podium, Kiddush cup, sturdy table for holding the torah, etc.). The actual ceremony went flawlessly. Rabbi Ziona conducted it with the same loving care that we came to expect of her and every single one of our family members and guests were equally impressed. Rabbi Ziona helped us create a special day for our entire family, especially our son who will remember it for the rest of his life. I wholeheartedly recommend her for any event in need of a Rabbi's services, her entire demeanor and capabilities are absolutely applicable in any situation.
from: Eric and Jennifer G
Event: baby Naming
Date: July 2018
Rabbi Ziona presided over the Hebrew Baby Naming ceremony for my daughter in July 2018 at our house. It was such a loving, beautiful and spiritual ceremony that she conducted....that was made truly memorable for our family and our guests. She also did the Baby Naming ceremony for our son 2 1/2 years ago, and we wanted her back ... which was just as special. Thank you Rabbi for making such a special day for us even more memorable! - Eric and Jennifer
My wife found Rabbi Ziona after an exhaustive search in which many local rabbis were either booked for our popular May date and/or not interested in performing an interfaith service. After giving up hope on having a wedding full of Jewish tradition, Rabbi Ziona rescued us and was an integral part in the best day of our lives.
Rabbi Ziona was extremely thoughtful in getting to know us. She worked with our schedules and communicated with us phone, FaceTime, and in person. She guided us through some very thoughtful exercises that helped my wife and I reaffirm our love and cultivate some very personal material for her service. In particular Rabbi Ziona knew our story, what mattered to us, and each other. In delivering her service she beautifully highlighted G-d's role in nature in a way that really honored our shared values and traditions.
To anyone who is searching for a Rabbi with great spirit, energy, and love please contact Rabbi Ziona and you will not be disappointed! - Adam and Jeremy
Dear Rabbi, It would be our pleasure to tell anyone about how happy we were to have you officiate at our wedding. We appreciated the time you took to get to know us and perhaps even to help us get to know ourselves a little better. You were able to address what was important to us as individuals and as a couple. The guests were so fascinated by the reason for the wedding band being worn on a different finger then is conventional in America!
Thank you for a lovely memory. - Helene and Joe
My husband and I were married by Rabbi Zelazo September 22nd 2012. The ceremony was absolutely beautiful, everything we wanted and more. Although there were 160 people in attendance, the ceremony felt intimate like it was just the few of us under the chuppah.
Although we spoke before hand about specific aspects we did or did not want in our ceremony, Rabbi Zelazo kept certain details of the ceremony to herself until the day. What she didn’t tell us was how personal and specific our ceremony would be to us. From the description of the Ketubah we chose, to her address to us, our ceremony felt singular to the two of us and to the moment. Rabbi Zelazo has a way about her that makes you hang on her every word.
We think the best indicator of the kind of ceremony Rabbi Zelazo officiates is that looking back the entire day of the wedding is a blur, but we remember the ceremony most vividly and that, we think, is a credit to Rabbi Zelazo.
- Tara and Ian
The Rabbi did an excellent job performing the ceremony for Tara and Ian. She followed all the traditions and laws of an orthodox ceremony with explanations and interpretation for everyone to understand and appreciate. She personalized the ceremony by remembering the family members that were there in spirit and also recognizing the importance of Tara’s grandparents that were Holocaust survivors. Both in Hebrew and English the prayers were sung and read with heartfelt emotion and meaning to all. The last tradition paid tribute to Israel and the destruction of the Holy Temples, as Ian broke the glass under his foot, and all wished the newly married couple Congratulations and Mazol Tov.
- Wedding attendant
Rabbi Ziona Zelazo recently led a wedding ceremony that I attended in a way that was very personal and meaningful for everyone involved. She came across as a thoughtful and concerned spiritual leader who was there to set the newlyweds on their path as partners in life and help them bring out the best in themselves and each other. I would feel very comfortable recommending Rabbi Ziona to others seeking a religious leader to officiate at their wedding.
- Ken Estridge
On behalf of Rabbi Mark, myself, my co-chair Henry Ramer, the Shomrei Torah Officers, and the Congregation; I would like to thank you and express our sincere appreciation for the excellent presentation of “Women of the Wall and Religious Pluralism in Israel”.
I have received many compliments regarding the presentation and how knowledgeable you are about the subject. Other comments indicated that your enthusiasm and depth of knowledge about these issues made many participants more aware of their implications and concerns as to how these problems will eventually be resolved. Although many of us may have had some knowledge of the subject matter, your presentation introduced us to other issues that we were not aware of.
On a personal note, thank you for working with me and providing advice; all of which made this a very successful event. It was quite some time since you conducted the Meditation Services and I am very happy that we re-connected. I know you are very busy, and I appreciate that you accepted our invitation to speak and were able to “fit” us into your schedule.
I am very proud to say that I know you and I look forward to an opportunity to see you again soon.
- Harold Willner
Temple Shomrei Torah, Wayne, NJ Home
Dear Rabbi Ziona,
I wanted to express how spiritually meaningful it has been for me to participate in a number of your group sessions. Your alternative Shabbat service as well as the meditative drumming circle you have created have both enriched my life.
The most recent discussion workshop - “What so awesome about the Days of Awe” you hosted along with Rabbi Emert and Cantor Mamber was an insightful and informative preparation for the High Holidays. You worked very well with the other clergy in making that evening well worth attending.
While I have sat and listened to you share your knowledge I have come to appreciate how you have successfully melded your life experiences from your travels and your academic study with your rabbinic degree. You manage to educate without an ounce of arrogance and your sincerity comes through the words from your heart. It's a great combination of text and soul. You are one of a kind!
Keep up the great work. I look forward to learning from you again.
-Michael Goldberg D.D.S.
Rabbi Ziona, I want to thank you for everything you do, the meditation service, the drum circle, HH Workshop, spiritual guide and great friend! You are very special to me! You have opened me up and brought much light into my life! I am so thankful!
I guess the workshop and 60dys preparation is working, I feel tremendous love and joy and anticipation for the New Year energy!
Shana Tova u'Metuka
Louis Milowski, Ritual committee chair, Temple Beth Rishon, Wycoff, NJ