PROJECT LEADERSHIP & FACILITATION
Working with Arielle on major projects was a true pleasure and blessing. Not only does she bring an incredible amount of skill and paying every attention to detail when organizing major events, but she is also able to take major steps back at important junctures in time to ask the very big questions necessary to bring about the results that she desires to achieve. Arielle listens to and respects every voice in the room and is able to synthesize multiple narratives into a cohesive vision. All of this is benefitted from a deep love and profound knowledge of Judaism that she carries with her on every step of the journey.
-David Bryfman, Chief Creative Officer, The Jewish Education Project
Arielle is, at heart, a community organizer, spiritual leader, and deep listener, all of which come through in the ways she leads--she surfaces others' needs, finds ways to collaboratively address those needs, and gently guides and steers in a way that takes great strength and focus yet feels very organic. I have learned so much through our collaboration as colleagues, and watched in awe as she has accomplished an incredible amount, all with grace. -Alisha Pedowitz, Los Angeles BJE
TRADITIONAL JEWISH PRAYER
Dear Rabbi Hanien, For both me and the congregation, may I say that the inspirational way in which you chanted the time honored prayers and ancient melodies attached to each, was most inspirational and moving for all of us in the time of awe. You have been blessed with a truly angelic voice which makes you unique. Through your voice you created a substantive link between the supplications of the congregants and the Almighty; and, in reverse His blessings to all for the new year.
-Robert P.L., Temple Ami Shalom, California
Your deep understanding of the liturgy elevated the congregation to a higher level, and made the experience more meaningful and fulfilling for everyone in attendance.
-Rabbi Daniel Mehlman, Temple Emanu-el, Nevada
Because of Rabbi Arielle, I have decided I want to do the misheberach in the traditional way. She glows with spiritual connection. No one has ever connected me to traditional prayer in the way she is connecting me….When she sings, I have a melt-down. I feel like all of the lines to the universe and the divine are holding me. She touches me so deeply… I want her to record CDs. I’d listen to them every day.
-Phyllis S, PhD, Congregation B’nei Tzedek, Cincinnati, Ohio
Rabbi Arielle, More than words can say… you added to my lifelong religious journey in the few years you spent with our congregation. My most precious memory of you is your ability to teach us without a classroom. During our praying you offered us bits of knowledge I had never before heard. This not only enriched our service but opened my mind to the why. I felt less than a robot and more of a participant. We send you our thanks and our love.
-Leda P., Congregation Eilat, Mission Viejo, CA
Dear Rabbi Hanien,
Jews everywhere need help finding their way into full, spiritual Jewish life… we’re a generation of spiritual orphans… You model ways in which prayer can come alive, mitzvot are done in a heartfelt way–and [you] gave us a sense that ones life could and perhaps should, be guided by a theology rooted in our traditions, but constantly seeking more.
Your comfort with Hebrew and the liturgy… helped us to appreciate services much more and helped break us away from the sense that this is some sort of performance that we have to listen to and brought us to a place where we can see ourselves being more fully engaged… Thanks again for starting us off on our new path.
-Steve Birch, Co-President, Congregation Eilat, Mission Viejo
It’s a mechaya to daven with you.
-Jacob Weisberg, Congregation Eilat, Mission Viejo, CA
Dear Rabbi Hanien,
Your role in striking a perfect balance between professionalism and spirituality… was appreciated by all. We’re sure that you heard during and following services that your wonderful voice, command of the service and spiritual insights made this a most uplifting experience for all of those who attended. This was certainly something that was greatly needed given all that Congregation Eilat has faced over the last six months… We believe that these services helped us to start the healing process and think that your davening and kavanot were an integral part of this process.
-Evan Wohl, Co-President, Congregation Eilat, Mission, Viejo, CA
WEDDINGS & COUPLES COUNSELING
Thank you from the bottom of our hearts and tips of our toes for making the trip to Healdsburg for our wedding. I can’t imagine what it would have been like without you. You were (ARE!!) wonderful! Your teaching and guidance and most of all friendship have been such an unexpected gify over the past year. We hope to see you down here very soon for Shabbat.
Love, J & O
M and I connected so easily with you. I sought you out after our engagement when we needed to have some deeply important conversations about... defining what raising a Jewish family and keeping a Jewish home would mean for us. I have a very strong Jewish identity that has enriched my life in so many ways, but it was so difficult to articulate to M since he is not Jewish. When you met with us each week you brought language to my feelings where I couldn't.
You are so inclusive and warm, so thoughtful and provocative. You will be our Rabbi and friend for years to come, but I am so especially thankful that in such an important time in our relationship, we could turn to you for counseling. Our uncertainty and discomfort around talking about hard topics in Jewish life is so diminished.
You were able to be a third person in our conversation who is so knowledgeable yet removed from the vulnerability of the conversation you could advocate on both partners' behalf. In our sessions I was able to say to M thoughts that I had in my head for a long time, but didn't feel comfortable saying myself until then. Thank you! -Elana H
As I sit up with my very active son, belly dancing away at 4:17am, I am thinking of your warm and beautiful words [when you counseled us through years of infertility]. When I think of you (often) I’m filled with joy, support and comfort. We have recently been trying to settle on a wedding picture for the mantle and we both are sentimental with pictures of you under the chuppah with us. We will always be thankful that you were a crucial part of out most personal journey and that you could share that sacred space with us. Thank you for your love and guidance. -Tracie S
JEWISH LEARNING FOR ADULTS
I didn't understand the Indian concept of "guru" till I was in your class. I would hang on each word, nodding, sometimes trying to connect your concepts with stories I'd heard or learned. It has been such a precious gift being your student, kind of makes me glad I waited so long. What's that adage, "When the student is ready, the teacher will appear"?
-In gratitude, Adam B
From the moment I heard you speak, I fell in love. I have never experienced a Rabbi like you. To me you are a friend as well as my Rabbi. Yes, I still say “my” Rabbi, because I will always think of you that way. I don’t think I’ll ever find another Rabbi who engages me as you do... You have an old soul, but are modern at the same time. You speak from your soul; it just oozes out of you. You have reached me like no one else, and the spirituality I feel when you are leading services is something I can’t explain. I wrote to you when there was a family issue, and you wrote the most beautiful letter back to me. I just couldn’t believe the words I was reading. You brought a whole new light to the situation. I... wish everyone who comes in contact with you the same sense of community and spirituality that I received, and continue to receive, from you. You are the warmest, most caring and devoted Rabbi I know. -Caryn B.
Your presence with the group was a definite plus and I was extremely impressed with your capability to shift gears, quickly, and to move in a different direction as the nature of the group became evident. You brought both charm and understanding. You quickly established a rapport of trust with the participants and your openness and lack of judgmentalism made for a most successful evening... Your professionalism and your presentation are qualities of first-class calibre.
-Rabbi Mordechai Kieffer, Anaheim, CA
Thank you again for coming and speaking to our group... I heard glowing reports from many of the artist members who found the talk you gave inspiring.
-Anne H., Los Angeles, CA
I have such warm memories of the time L spent studying with you and the magical day she became bat-mitzvah! It was deeply meaningful and I wanted to thank you for the guidance and wisdom that you shared with my family. I was so deeply moved by the day–as were our family and friends. You are to be commended for your inspiring teaching and for guiding and encouraging L and our [interfaith] family to reach for the spiritual expression of the wonderful ancient and contemporary right of passage...
You have made such a huge difference in L’s life, and all of ours! I am forever grateful to you for your dedication. Thank you for embodying the true spirit of religion, for bringing it with us all together. With love, Lucas
I knew when we first met you you were special, and I knew that A would have a wonderful teacher... This weekend, you reminded me how right our decision was to have you as our Rabbi. You were absolutely amazing. Your way of explaining our culture to the family, your humor, your facilitating the whole service was ideal. Yes, I'm kvelling, but I'm kvelling over the fact that you made my family fall in love with you. They had never seen a Bat Mitzvah like this and it brought the memory of why I thought you were the right Rabbi and I am proud and honored to know you and your family whom I adore.
So thank you so very much for your wonderful suppoort to A and my family. And A was amazing and I was so proud of her... I hope that we will remain connected. All my love, Debra
What a wonderful bat-mitzvah experience you gave L–just what her inquiring mind needed and wanted. My friends are hearing more about the bat-mitzvah, all the details, with pictures, than they ever expected! I’ve sent an email picture of proud grandmother with Torah scrolls clear to Australia. It was a real pleasure to have met you and know that L has you to foster her spiritual life. God is good, all the time, and very much so on September 12, 2009. Fondly, Ann
I want to thank you for being so patient with H. You are such a lovely teacher and all-around person. Thank you for taking the time to teach... kids some very important things. I found you so inspiring and energetic. I wish I had had a religious school teacher like you!
I’m amazed at what D has learned and remembers! -Ruth B